Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Review: Griffin Reveal iPhone 5 Case

This Griffin clear-back case gives you decent iPhone protection for a very low price while also allowing you to show off your phone, but only if you don’t mind the bulk. I got the black one for my black iPhone 5.

The Griffin Reveal retails for $10 to $20 at different retailers, which is on the lower end of good quality cases. I got mine at a store for $14.99.

The price is good for the protection you get, but the overall aesthetic quality and feel of the case is not the best. It is available in a few different colors, including blue and pink. I purchased this case because I wanted something that would not cover up the design of my iPhone. But for many different reasons, I use the phone without the case on when I’m not outdoors.

First of all, the case does not help you “show off” the phone while protecting it. The white iPhone may be better visible through the transparent back, but the back of the black model gets completely hidden by the glossy and thick plastic backing.

This case should have been a bumper instead, because it does a very good job of being one. The ugly, thick back plastic is absolutely not needed. The rubber sides protrude above the surface of the front and back of the phone, thus protecting it from scratches caused by sliding the phone around on surfaces (note that iPhone 5 fairs well against scratches in everyday use). But a bumper would not protect it against drops on gravel or mud.

The case makes the phone a lot easier to grip. You can count on the texture of the rubber to stop it from slipping down when you are holding the iPhone. And it is hard rubber. Even taking out the phone and putting it back in requires some force. It fits very snugly.

Back of black iPhone 5 is not visible in most lighting conditions
The biggest reason I like to use my phone naked when possible is that the case is a huge dust magnet and makes it very very hard to wipe the screen off. And I hate dust on my gadgets. The rubber material used to make the “bumper” part easily attracts dust and because it is not smooth, you can’t easily wipe it off. Plus, the protrusion over the screen surface makes it extremely difficult to clean your iPhone. If you live in a dust-prone area, keep in mind that you will not be able to clean off all the dust that gets caught near the edge of the screen without taking off the case. And then there will be more dust.

Overall, I don’t recommend this case very highly unless you’re looking for basic protection at a low price and you don’t care about the looks of the case. For white-iPhone owners, this case may do a better job, because the back of the phone is more visible.