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****the search is on****
There are literally hundreds of different cases, sleeves and socks available for the i-phone and whilst many users will opt for vanity or individuality over functionality and protection I'm afraid I am the sort of person who will go for the latter. The only way to keep the i-phone looking like new is to wrap it up in bubble wrap and never use it, but what is the point in that? Obviously there is a trade-off between protection and functionality and compromises have to be made since having your i-phone in a totally protective case but still being able to get to it quickly to take a call, or use it to its full potential just isn't going to happen.
****The decision is made****
In my search I was after a case that was still going to allow me to use my i-phone but offer the maximum possible protection. It soon became evident that a silicon sleeve was the best option but with so many to choose from I admit I was stumped, however many hours research soon led me to the iSkin Revo 2 case.
****A tool for the task****
This case has been specifically designed for the i-phone, which is clearly evident as soon as you slip the i-phone in it. Getting the i-phone in the case is a challenge in itself and I found there was a bit of cursing as I had to stretch parts of the case further than I really wanted to in order to get the i-phone in. Once the case is on the fit is very tight and there is no sagging nor are there 'ruffled' bits anywhere, unlike other silicon cases I have tried.
Putting an i-phone in a case is obviously going to increase the dimensions, the extent of which is obviously dependent upon the type of case. This case has made my i-phone about 40mm wider, 30mm longer and 10mm deeper, which is quite a lot but not as much as some other cases would add. I would be lying if I said I didn't notice the substantial increase in size but I soon got used to it, besides it protects my i-phone which is all that matters.
Like many silicon cases this one consists of strategically placed holes that leave the speaker, camera lens and silent switch exposed, enabling all of these features to be easily accessible with the case on. The headphone jack and charging/docket socket are covered with a removable flap so these features can be used when needed, but are fully protected when not in use. The on/off switch, home button and volume controls are all fully and permanently covered whilst the i-phone is in the case.
The removable flaps over the headphone jack and charging/docking socket are the best I have come across on any silicon case. The fit over the respective parts is tight but easily moved out of the way, and once you are finished the flap simply springs back to cover up once more. This feature is not unique to this case and is incorporated in many cases, however the flaps are usually fragile and fail to spring back in to place or they become disfigured with use and the fit gets looser and looser. I can confirm this has not happened with this case which is good.
I must admit that I was a bit concerned when I saw the volume control, home button and on/off switch permanently covered as I thought these features would become redundant when the case is on. These fears were immediately alleviated as it is easy to get to all the buttons (due to the excellent fit of the case) and all are still responsive and do what is asked of them, so no sensitivity issues here then.
An anti-scratch thin screen film is also included with this case, which is a nice feature although multipacks of them can be bought for a couple of pounds from Ebay or Amazon. The screen film is specifically cut to fit the i-phone screen and the fit is spot on. Installation, however, is another matter. Installation is supposed to be easy as the thin film is simply pressed over the screen and rubbed to make it stick and eliminate the air bubbles. No liquids, glues or solvents are required. I have put these films on many different gadgets including satnav systems, other smart phones and media players and this was the most annoying install I have ever done. No matter how hard I tried I could not get rid the air pockets. Some air pockets/bubbles are inevitable (unless you're very lucky and get it perfect) but I found loads once this film was installed. Needless to say it was promptly removed for a second try, which was unsuccessful and resulted in the film being thrown in the bin. The film is supposed to be able to be removed and installed several times but in reality this is not the case. When the film is removed you're going to 'dog ear' one of the corners and it will never fit properly after that. My only solution was to purchase an additional film which was not only much easier to install but the end result is fantastic.
In addition to the protective film this case is supplied with a hard plastic protective screen that simply clips over the front of the i-phone. This screen is designed to protect the screen from dust, debris and scratches and it does this job very well, although the screen can't be left in situ whilst operating the phone which is a bit of a shame.
The screen protector fits the i-phone screen perfectly, which since this case was specifically designed for the i-phone is to be expected, and there is a nice tight fit to ensure it remains in place. Even after several weeks use and much "screen off, screen on" action the fit is as tight as it was when I first got it and the screen hasn't stretched, contorted or been adversely affected by use, so a big thumbs up there.
I am in two minds over the additional protective screen as sometimes it is a god send and other times it is very frustrating. During the times when you don't actually need to operate the phone, such as using it as an i-pod (where the tracks and volume is adjusted via the headphone switch) or using the i-phone as a satellite navigation device or GPS training aid (where you only need to see the display) the additional protective screen is fantastic.
However, when you actually need to get to the phone relatively quickly, such as taking a call, removing the screen is a bit cumbersome which can waste time and ultimately result in you missing the call, which is most annoying.
Whilst using the phone the screen can, supposedly and according to the manufacturer's instructions, be clipped securely to the back of the i-phone out of harms' way. Great in theory but this is totally flawed in practice. Whilst the screen can be clipped to the back of the i-phone it is not securely held as the silicon case makes for a very loose fit, and the screen often pops off the phone if accidentally nudged which is no good. In my experience you're far better off laying the additional screen down or simply holding it to ensure it stays safe whilst you're using the phone.
The back of the case is ridged and textured around the perimeter to ensure the i-phone doesn't slip out of your hand whilst using it. Again, this is a great feature although it does bring with it another problem with dust. The ridges not only attract but also hold dust particles, fluff and a whole manner of other nasty things, which can make your i-phone look a right mess. Since I have a black case this problem is increased as black shows up every little particle/mark and blemish. This problem is overcome by wiping the case with a damp, lint free cloth on a regular basis. This is a bit of a pain but given the overall protection of this case I am more than happy to do this. Unfortunately I am unable to comment on how much this is a problem on the cases of other colours in this range.
****The ultimate in protection?****
This case doesn't offer the ultimate in protection but then no silicon case will, and for that you are going to need a hard case. That said a silicon case will protect from gentle knocks, scrapes and blemishes caused by general use but they are not going to protect the i-phone from heavy knocks, falls from great heights and any other 'one off and unfortunate' events that may occur.
Personally, I find a silicon case is more than adequate for my needs but then I have always been careful with my mobile phones and have never given them too much hard, but then I guess I am lucky in that I work in an office environment. I have friends who really abuse their phones and then moan when their case doesn't do what it is meant to and write it off as useless. You need to appreciate this silicon case will not make your i-phone bomb proof, shock proof, water proof etc and that you still need to look after it. What it does do is ensure that your i-phone doesn't suffer from unsightly scratches and blemishes.
Unless you are familiar with iSkin and know they are a manufacturer of i-phone accessories and can see the symbol on the back of the case it is extremely difficult to tell that this case is concealing an i-phone, which I think is one of its best features. I don't want every Tom, Dick and Harry (or any potential thieving scum) knowing I have an i-phone and with this case it looks like I could be using anything, meaning I use my i-phone anywhere and everywhere (well almost) safe in the knowledge my gadget is unidentifiable. I appreciate the i-phone is seen as a status symbol and many users want the world to know that they own/are using one so if you are one of these individuals this case would not be of interest to you.
****The financial damage****
The price of silicon cases varies greatly and I have seen them for as little as £0.99 on Ebay right up to around £25 and this case is one of the more expensive ones. In my experience you do get what you pay for although there must be a price where the product can't get any better no matter how much more you pay. I admit that I opted for this case because it was recommended by a mate and it has rave reviews. I paid £22.95 (including delivery) for mine and whilst I appreciate it is very expensive for what it is the protection is great, it has kept my i-phone clean and free from scratches and has done everything I want it to. Some may think I am mad to pay so much but given that a replacement i-phone is a minimum of £350 on PAYG I think this case is a definite investment.
****Would I recommend it?****
I think the Revo 2 is a great case and I would highly recommend it. Whilst it is not the cheapest silicon option available it is a superior product that fits very well, protects your i-phone from scratches and blemishes, conceals the fact you have an i-phone but also allows you to use all the features of the i-phone whilst it is in the case.
The requirement to clean the case is a bit of a pain although it is a small price to pay for the protection you get. The additional hard screen can be awkward at times but you can always dispose of this if it is no good, after all put an anti-scratch protective film over the screen and away you go. The hard screen, however, does offer that little bit extra which I find ideal in specific circumstances.