I normally won’t do reviews on iPhone cases if only because I find most of them — quite frankly — crap. My main issue with most of the iPhone cases out there is that they don’t allow me to take pictures with the built-in flash. While, yes, the case does have a hole to allow the flash to function, the hole is either not big enough or isn’t formed well enough. This means that the flash causes light bloom on the image and there really isn’t much you can do to edit it in Photoshop. This requires that you either remove the case or modify the case while you’re trying to capture a photo quickly, which seems stupid to me.
I would suppose that it’s not so bad if you’re using a hard case that joins near the top of the iPhone. I can hear all the other smartphone users saying “Get an Android or BlackBerry or Windows Phone 7 and you’ll not get those problems.” Apart from the silly one in the middle, that is never going to happen. I am happy with my iPhone — end of story — and until Google or Microsoft give me an Android or Windows Phone 7 to test, I’m sticking with iPhone.
This pack doesn’t add all that much extra bulk to the iPhone and the case is covered in a satin-like black finish. It’s very comfortable to hold in the hand and it doesn’t feel like you’re holding an extra battery and an iPhone. There is a centimeter of extra bulk at the bottom of the case for the dock connector, an arbitrary mini USB connector, and an on/off switch. The case connects at the top of the iPhone from just below the camera. I am very pleased to note that the people at bornonthestreets.com have made or chosen the right design so that you can take pictures with the case on. There is no light bloom from the flash, and I am extremely happy with that.
The back of the case houses four blue LEDs that tell you how full the device is and lets you know when it’s charging. Besides the four LEDs is the button used to check the power level of the battery. If you are right-handed, there is a nice little feature on the upper right-hand corner of a set of four ridges that your thumb will quite happily grip on to. This case does seem to be quite well made and certainly has a nice feel to it. There are holes for the 3.5 millimeter headphone jack — and noise cancelling microphone — as well as the volume and mute buttons and the sleep/wake button.
This device is charged via an arbitrary mini USB connector. It’s not really a big downside considering that I can’t think of a better way to charge the device. You can either charge the phone and the battery pack or just the battery pack because the case has an on/off switch. This system could get quite confusing and could quite easily get forgotten about. I like the idea of the on/off switch because it means that you can keep the case connected at all times. However, I don’t think there will be a perfect solution to this problem.
The actual battery function of the device is good. It can fully recharge your phone from 5% or lower and it can last a little bit longer although I’ve never actually pushed to see how far it will actually charge. The battery compartment doesn’t heat up as much as my Juice Pack did when I had it for the iPhone 3GS. I am perfectly happy to say that this has been one of my better buys and I’m certainly happy with it.
The Ultra Slim iPhone case from bornonthestreets.com is a case that I am happy with. There doesn’t seem to be too much added weight and the charge can be turned on and off at your discretion. This case I got at 50% off thanks to Groupon. The original price is £39.99 and I think that I would pay that for what is essentially another battery that is cleverly disguised as a case.
The downside to this case is that the switch has to be on if you want to charge both the phone and the case. This could cause problems if you forget to switch the case back to the off position. I have done that before but I only managed to waste about 10% of the battery. The top of the case — as much as it is well-designed — can be a little bit fiddly to get back into place. The fit of the case at the joining point isn’t completely smooth, but that’s just a nitpick on my part.
What do you think? Would you buy it? What’s your favorite case for iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone 7?