iSkin iPhone 4/4S case roundup – Claro, Solo, Aura
Continuing my iPhone 4/ 4S case review series, here’s a quick roundup of my impressions of three of iSkin’s latest offerings.
iSkin Solo ($29.99) – Available in four translucent colors (pink, aqua, purple, and black) the Solo is your basic “rubber case”. Of course, iSkin says the Solo is made from a a special “new generation theromoplastic”, but for all intents it looks and feels like rubber. iSkin also hopes to separate it from the run of the mill silicon sleeves by embedding their Microban® antimicrobial coating into the case to help keep it from spreading the plague.
The Solo is a very nice “every day case”, and brings a nice splash of color to the iPhone, although I would categorize all but the black as “girly” colors. It has a nice no-slip feel to the material, and it’s slim enough to slide into pockets easily. There are the familiar cutouts for the dock, earbuds, mute switch and camera/flash, so don’t expect this to provide “at the beach” protection. Also, the $30 price tag inexplicably does not include one of those 10¢ plastic screen protectors, which seems a bit odd. It should also be noted that the bright colors of the Solo case will look nicer on a white iPhone, as the black back can somewhat bleed through the semi-transparent material.
Pros: Sturdy, nice feel and fit, bright colors, Microban® antimicrobial coating if you are into that sort of thing
Cons: Nice, but uninspired design, $30 seem a bit much for a simple rubber case – no screen protecting film
iSkin Claro ($34.99) If you like the idea of the Solo but don’t want the colors, the Claro is the case for you. Made not simply out of a transparent rubber, but an ULTRA-transparent rubber, the Claro provides the same basic feel as the Solo, but in a somewhat thicker, more sturdy-feeling clear case.
The Claro is still one bendable piece of “rubber”, but is made from two layers: a hard polycarbonate core which is then coated in a soft flexible and transparent polymer. The end result is a truly clear case with the feel and bounce protection of rubber. (Please note, I said rubber, NOT Flubber, so don’t go throwing this). The Claro provides decent protection for the occasional drop (which I have accidentally test a couple times now). Again, like the Solo, the Claro does not come with a screen protector, and the $34.99 price tag seems a tad on the high side, but the case is well made and attractive, and I have no issues with it.
Pros: A bit sturdier than the Solo, nice feel and fit, truly clear design
Cons: $34.99 seem a bit much for a simple rubber case – no screen protecting film
iSkin Aura ($39.99) Now THIS is a case! Coming in at the higher-priced of the 3 cases, and providing arguably the LEAST protection the Aura is a GREAT-looking case, and provides one of the best-feeling case experiences I’ve had. The Aura is available in three colors (graphite, navy and silver) although it should be noted for some reason the silver model comes with the disclaimer of “Recommended camera use in daylight settings only”. I’m not sure why this is, perhaps the camera flash hole is not large enough and it can reflect off the lighter colored material back to the lens? Anyway, we tested the navy and it is wonderful.
The interior of the case is a nice-feeling plastic, which then has a layer of brushed “Aircraft-grade aluminum” applied to it, trimmed by shiny metallic accent lines. I love when companies use things like that, as if it matters. I suppose it’s their way of saying it should hopefully resist car-key scratches in your pocket.
The case is fairly rigid and simply snaps on and off, and the fit and feel are wonderful in the hand. It is similar too the feeling of NO case, actually, and the case makes a satisfying “PLUNK” when you lay it on a desk, unlike the silent, rubber cases above. Coming in at $39.99, the Aura, is the most pricey of the somewhat pricey iSkin lineup, but guess what? This one actually comes with a screen protector film! So that knocks 10¢ off the price right there. Plus, this case is actually worth the price, in my opinion. It really is a great blend of style and useability, and adds no really noticeable bulk. However, as I mentioned before, it doesn’t provide quite the drop protection of the rubber Claro and Solo cases, so if you’re looking for more than stylish scratch protection, look elsewhere.
Pros: beautiful design, feels great in the hand, adds no real bulk to the iPhone, comes with a screen protecting film
Cons: $39.99 ain’t cheap, not a huge amount of drop-protection, silver model seems to have an issue with flash photography