Oh by the way, maybe #GoldIsBetter, but #SilverIsSleeker!
I love using the iPhone without a case. Sure, it's taking a chance without any major drop protection on the phone but with Applecare+ and a minimal expense to replace a busted or damaged device, it's worth the risk. I usually go for the minimal scratch protection of the the Ghost Armor matte skins. Here are some pics:
Oh by the way, maybe #GoldIsBetter, but #SilverIsSleeker!
I have been a fan of Ghost Armor (GA) products for quite some time. Ghost Armor offers high quality skins for many of today's tech devices, including the iPhone and many other smartphone devices. In the past, I have used GA skins in combination with iPhone bumper-style cases and without.
I have been pretty happy with my SPIGEN Saturn case and have been using it for a couple of months. That being said, I took off the Saturn the other day and was reminded how nice the unadorned iPhone feels in the hand. How it feels in the hand versus protection is an important choice for some. I have always preferred minimal protection from my cases and a svelte feel in the hand.
With a new iPhone 5s due for September, I think I am going to go the rest of the way with my iPhone 5 with a full body, matte skin (minus the screen protector). I had the skin re-applied this weekend. GA has a kiosk out at a local mall and charged me 10 dollars to re-install the product. That warrantee re-installation price is predicated on the fact that you return all used (removed) skin plastic back to GA. Their warrantee re-installation pricing is dependent on the number of pieces needed to be replaced. A full body matte skin cost me 10 dollars ,while a screen protector alone would be 5 dollars.
With the GA matte skin on the back and sides of the iPhone 5, the phone is definitely less slippery in the hands. While the skin is definitely bare minimalist in terms of protection, it will prevent scratches and other small dings. It should be noted, I did pay for Apple's AppleCare+ which does cover 2 incidences of accidental damage with a 50 dollar deductible for each occurrence. Not too bad. Even with the full body skin on, the iPhone 5's famous (infamous?) chamfered edges are still exposed and will chip if dinged hard enough. I guess I'll take a chance.
Ghost Armor has a lifetime warrantee to go along with their very liberal replacement policy. For those of you that like DIY, or have real steady hands, products can be ordered directly from the GA web site and returns can be processed via mail. The company also has kiosk locations throughout the U.S. in various malls. I have been to locations in NY, NJ, and Florida. The install process performed by the professionals employed at the kiosk use the wet (spray) method and then a heat process which dries the moisture and sets the skin in place.
A full body matte set for the iPhone 5 costs $24.95. Considering the quality of the product along with a great warrantee and support policy, the price is well worth it. Just be aware that your protection is extremely minimal without the use of a case. At least with the Ghost Armor in place, I have some level of protection and no bulk at all. The iPhone the way Jony Ive intended, well, almost.
Ghost Armor Site
The search for the perfect iPhone 5 case continues. Next stop on the case express is the ThinEdge Matte from Caze. Caze has redesigned the bumper style case previously available for the iPhone 4/4s to be even more svelte and low-profile to match the design of the thinner and lighter iPhone 5.
The ThinEdge is a bumper style case that wraps around the metallic antenna band and is held together by a single snap on color piece of plastic that Caze provides in two colors for the black case, red and a slate gray. One the the two sides are attached via the snap on piece, the bumper forms a tight seal around the phone. The bumper is a very nice smooth feeling matte plastic. It's not too slippery and provides the extremely thin iPhone with enough grip to feel comfortable in the hand. In terms of protection, this type of case is primarily for anti-scratch with some very minor drop resistance. Let's put it this way, I wouldn't want to test this bumper against the rigors of an over 3 or 4 foot drop on to concrete. The fit and finish of this case is really nice and I am impressed with the quality for a case that was less than 30 dollars. While I am not a big fan of the button cutout on the side of many thin cases, the overall look and feel of the ThinEdge Matte make up for the button inconvenience. Volume button presses need to be a concerted effort pressing hard to activate the click necessary to perform the action. I suppose with a case that fits something as thin as the iPhone 5 there's not many choices available to make a structurally sound encasement of the phone. Same situation holds true for the power button.
One of the things I found odd with this case is that there is a small amount of "lip" on the back for a lay on the table protection but the front of the case is pretty much flush with the screen. I haven't tested the case with any rear or front screen protectors but I plan to re-apply my Ghost Armor matte rear skin to see if the case causes any bubbling or peeling. The Caze comes with both a front and rear shields but I found the quality of those just run-of-the-mill quality. The bottom of the ThinEdge completely covers both speaker areas and provides a port adapter big enough only to fit the standard Apple lightning cable. Unfortunately, neither the 30 pin adapter nor the 30 pin cable adapter fit the opening. If you are totally in with the Lightning cable, this case is a really nice choice for minimal protection that compliments the iPhone 5. Initially I was disappointed regarding the cable connection options. As much as possible I'll use the Apple cable to charge the phone and use Bluetooth to connect in the car. As more Lightning enabled docks and cables become available, they will make using this case less of a compromise.
Overall, I would rate this case very high in terms of quality and looks. If the Caze accommodates the rear Ghost Armor skin, I'll keep it on for the long-term. The Caze is available to order from their website and is available in black, clear, orange, pink, silver, and white for $22.90 USD.
* Update contains new pics of the Silver case I received from Caze.
Caze ThinEdge Matte
One of the things I love about the iPhone ecosystem is the multitude of choices in the marketplace for cases, skins, and other items to change the look of the device. The iPhone accessory market is no doubt one of the largest for any device. A couple of months ago, I changed my phone to match a white look with skins from Lucky Labs, iCarbons, and the SGP Ultra Thin Air case.
Today, I am going back to black with a new combination. This time, it's (once again) a nice case from SGP called the Linear EX in silver and red. The Linear EX has been on the market for the iPhone 4 and 4s for some time now. It's basically a take on the Apple bumper but with more options. I chose the Mix-and-Match series which allows you pair different color top and bottom pieces to create the look you want. The satin silver and red appealed to me so I went with that combo. The Linear EX is also offered in styles with a back plate cover as well. Speaking of the back plate, I chose to go with a skin. My buddy Darren showed me the Ghost Armor matte black skin on his iPhone and I instantly knew I wanted it on my phone. The matte back is great for resisting fingerprints and gives a classy sheen to the back of the phone. I combined the Ghost Armor with the Linear EX and the results are below.
Once again, I keep thinking, "is this the last color/case combo that I will have until the release of the next iPhone?" Hmmm, maybe. Or maybe not. With that being said, I really like this look and feel and as always when I change the look of my phone, it always feels a little like a new device. Until the next time, that is.
Yeah I am fickle. I don't always use a case on my iPhone 4s but when I do, I want the least bulky option available. I have always been a fan of SGP (now SPIGEN) cases and have usually been very happy with their case quality and asthetics. On a whim I decided to shed some of my side iCarbon skins and go with a new SGP Ultra Thin Air(UTA). The case has always been a favorite of mine offering some amount of protection and very little bulk. It just feels good in the hand and gives the razor edge 4/4s form factor a bit of a curved and more comfortable feel. Another great feature of the UTA is the volume cutouts on the left side of the case. The cutouts for each volume button are rounded and resessed such that your finger (usually your thumb), feels comfortable pressing each button. Nice touch, no pun intended.
I purchased the white pastel version that looks great with my front iCarbon skin. The pastel version is a glossy plastic that does not feel overly slippery or uncomfortable to hold. As with my past experiences with the UTA cases, the fit is very tight with no creaking. I have decided to keep my back skin on to keep the white on white look thru the UTA's back cutout. Even with the back skin on, the UTA fits just fine.
As with most of the thin, snap-on type cases on the market, the UTA offers no real protection on the top and bottom of the case. But to be totally honest, it would take a severe drop directly on either the top or bottom to damage your outer band. The UTA does have a small lip that extends over the phone on the bottom, top, and sides to prevent contact from being made. The lip on the sides of the phone give the case a lay-on-the-table design so you don't have to worry about putting the phone screen side down on a table.
Overall, the SGP Ultra Thin Air offers mimimal protection in a great form factor. That's exactly what I want in a case and as such, is the reason why I continue to purchase them for my iPhone 4s.
The Ultra Thin Air is $21.99. You can find it and other great cases at the SPIGEN SGP store.
As an avid tech fan I look forward to sharing my tech experiences both personally and professionally with those that have similar interests and passion for technology.