Review: Belkin’s Acrylic Case for iPhone - Macenstein

Review: Belkin’s Acrylic Case for iPhone

Posted by Dr. Macenstein

Belkin Acrylic Case for iPhone

I know they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m actually a big fan of acrylic cases. In my experience with iPod cases, I find they provide some of the best protection available, as well as the ability to hold up over time. A quick rinse restores the cases to like-new condition (try that with a leather case), and their transparent design allows you to appreciate the “beauty” of your gadget’s design. I suppose I am a sucker for shiny things.

So I was understandably excited to see Belkin release an Acrylic Case for the iPhone in time for the iPhone’s launch. While there is much to like about the case, unfortunately the product feels slightly rushed, and a couple small design flaws keep me from giving it my blessing.

What’s good

Well, the case looks very nice. If you are a fan of the acrylic case-type, you will love the way Belkin’s case looks on your iPhone. The case comes in two pieces which snap together to encase your iPhone in a hard, see-through protective shield. Only cutouts for your headset, dock cable, and volume/lock buttons are exposed, which is good. This means removing the iPhone from the case is rarely necessary. the screen is entirely exposed, however. If you are worried about protecting the touchscreen, you’ll have to invest in a separate sticker-type cover for it, as none is included with the Belkin case. Personally, after seeing the PC World scratch test on the iPhone screen, I am not all that worried about protecting the screen as I am the rest of the device (famous last words, I suppose).

On the back is a removable ratcheting belt clip with a 180 degree range of motion. The clip can be used as a “kickstand” type of display for watching video on a flat surface, and I am a big fan of this. As I have mentioned in past video iPod case reviews, I actually use the video playback capabilities of the iPod quite a bit.

Belkin Acrylic Case for iPhone

The only other accessory in the package is a mounting clip for the car that you might actually miss and throw away if you aren’t looking for it. There is no mention of it on the website on the packaging. It is basically a plastic nub with an adhesive backing which you can stick to your car dashboard to secure your iPhone while driving. The nub fits into a recess in the belt clip, and does indeed hold the iPhone tight. However, removing the iPhone is a two-handed operation, so it’s not a great idea if you find yourself in need of handling your iPhone frequently (not a great idea while driving, by the way).

What’s bad

The biggest problem with the case in my opinion is it does not provide a 100% secure fit around the iPhone, meaning if you rattle the case, you will feel the iPhone rattle back and forth a bit as well. This could lead the the potential for your iPhone to possibly become scratched if a small hard particle, such as a piece of sand, were to get inside the case between the acrylic and the iPhone. Depending on how you use your iPhone, this may or may not be a big deal. For example, a corporate exec may never have an issue, however, I use my iPhone while running (holding the iPhone, not using the belt clip), and I was uncomfortable with the feeling of the iPhone being jostled. I would have liked to see some padded rubber “nubs” on the interior to hold the iPhone securely in place, to help restrict its movement a bit.

The only other problem I have with the case is it doesn’t seem to snap together as securely as other acrylic cases I have used for the iPod. I haven’t had the iPhone pop out of the Belkin case, but it doesn’t take all that much effort to pop it manually, and one would assume a drop of any significant height might cause the case to do so.

Finally, while I have said I am not all that worried about protecting the screen as much as the rest of the iPhone (I find the iPhone’s chrome bezel is the easiest to scratch) there are other acrylic iPhone cases in this price range which include a screen protecting sticker. It’s a little extra piece of mind that I think Belkin could have thrown in, even if it raised the cost of the device a nickel.


Belkin’s Acrylic Case for iPhone has more beauty than brawn, and if you are looking for a total protection solution for your iPhone, this is not it. While there are some nice touches like the car mount and kickstand viewing belt clip, the slightly loose hold the case has on your iPhone means active users whose iPhones may be prone to jostling should look elsewhere.

Belkin’s Acrylic Case for iPhone

Price: $29.99

Pros: Nice looking, has a kickstand belt clip for video viewing, car mount

Cons: Not an overly secure fit, case feels a bit too easy to pop open, no screen protecting sticker like some other cases

2 Responses to “Review: Belkin’s Acrylic Case for iPhone”
  1. Neil says:

    I have used this case since the 29th. I find the case to fit snuggly and snaps together firmly.

    However, I am replacing the case because the kickstand is too easy to “kick out” when using the belt clip. Thank goodness the iPhone is tough. I have had at least 4 drops from waist height because the belt clip is not tight enough and the kickstand can open, allowing the phone to fall. Only once did the case pop open when dropped.

    If the belt clip was not crutical to my use, I would otherwise be very pleased with the protection the case has provided.

  2. Nick Bates says:

    Unfortunately, it has already been widely reported that this case IS what causes the most scratches on the iPhone’s chrome bezel! Without the case, as long as you aren’t dropping the iPhone all the time, it can live pretty much scratch free (had mine since day one and not a scratch on it; No case, I just put it in my pocket…)

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