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SM Apple iPhone Hard Back Case

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      22.05.2010 10:32
      Very helpful



      For the price it's worth it, even if you immediately throw the screen protector away.

      Gadgets are incredibly expensive these days, so it's important that you take the utmost care of them, to, not only keep them in pristine condition, but to also save yourself a wad of cash if you accidentally damage them. Phones in particular are a gadget that often get mistreated, they go everywhere with you, therefore opportunities to cause accidental damage to them are rife. Currently, one of, if not, the most expensive phone on the market is the iPhone and with insurance being so expensive these days, more and more people are opting out, preferring to risk it, with the mindset that if they look after their phones then the need for insurance is minimal. If you're one of these people then keep reading, as I have just the thing that can keep your beloved iPhone safe from harm.

      Being one of those smart/stupid (delete as appropriate) people who decided to opt out of insurance, I made it my aim to scour the internet far and wide until I found an accessory worthy of my prized possession. Ok, so Amazon and Play.com were the extent of my search, but in that search I found a hidden gem. It's from Amazon and will set you back £4.99. This little darling will protect your entire iPhone, from the back to the front. You see, it not only contains a back cover, it also includes a screen protector to protect you from those devastating scratches.

      The above picture may be a little deceiving to the untrained eye, you'll probably be racking your brains asking yourself if the back cover is actually in place. Infact, it is. I'm, personally not a fan of all these multicoloured, celebrity/brand endorsing covers and the worst culprit of them all, the 'rubber' like covers, I mean, seriously, how is rubber supposed to protect your phone? No, I wanted something a bit more conventional, yet hardwearing and so I opted for a duplicate iPhone back cover. What can be better than one iPhone back cover, another, identical one, of course!

      *** The Cover ***

      As aforementioned, the back cover is identical to the iPhones back cover. As my iPhone is black I bought the black cover, however, there are white covers available at around the same price from Amazon too. The cover is suitable for any iPhone (2G, 3G, 3GS) and sits comfortably around the iPhone. When I say that the back cover is identical, I really do mean identical. It has all the Apple labelling, and the writing and codes on the bottom are exactly the same as the real model. The only thing that may differ on the back cover is the memory size, my back cover states 16GB, however, my iPhone is only an 8GB. I don't believe there is any choice over what yours states, but, really, what does it matter?

      The back cover, does, as you'd imagine, protect the back of your iPhone, it clicks comfortably into place on the back and it protects the entire back surface and all the corners (possibly the most important places). The cover leaves spaces for all your buttons/orifices (camera, USB socket, volume keys etc), making them easily accessible even with the cover attached. Have you ever taken a picture, only to later realise that your finger is covering half the picture? This cover doesn't suffer from that as it doesn't obstruct the camera in any shape or form, leaving you free to snap away until your heart's content. Using the USB to charge/sync your phone is just as easy too, the cover stays well away from the socket, and when the phone is lying down charging, the cover doesn't elevate the phone, leaving the USB in an awkward position.

      Placing and removing the cover is extremely simple, as with a lot of cases, it simply clicks into place and hugs your phone tightly, meaning that there's no risk of it falling off. Removing the cover is also relatively easy, although, on first go you're likely to be a bit wary of damaging your phone. However, the case does remove very easily, with minimal force and leaves no scratches/marks on your phone. Surprisingly, when I noted the similarities of the actual iPhone back cover and this back cover, it even goes down to the texture and feel of the cover. The back cover itself may not be quite as shiny as the iPhone cover, however, it's just as smooth to the touch. Lacking some of the shine isn't necessarily a bad thing though, as it means that you can get a better grip of your phone, which lessens the risk of it slipping out of your hand.

      The cover is made from hardened plastic, meaning that dropping your phone is no longer a problem (although, it's not something I advise doing purposely). I do try to take good care of my iPhone, however, the odd drop is going to happen no matter how careful you are, therefore, it's good to know that you've got a bullet proof vest protecting you at all times. As the case hugs the corners, there's no risk of dents and scratches to the corner of the phone, and of course the entire back is covered, however damage to the screen is sometimes inevitable, whether or not you use a screen protector. It is good to know though, that if you do accidentally drop it, the chances of the phone being damaged are very slim.

      Highly recommended.

      *** Screen Protector ***

      Now onto the screen protector. Screen protectors and I have had somewhat of a love/hate relationship, ever since the days of my first touch screen phone all those years ago. I've found them to be a bit of a novelty item that, once they begin to bug me, I will remove and more often than not, throw in the bin. I'm very meticulous when it comes to protecting my phone and the screen protector is *the* most important thing you can buy to protect your phone. A back cover is all well and good but if you get a scratch on your screen, it's going to hinder the use of your phone in everything you do.

      When buying this back cover and screen protector I was optimistic that it would do the job. However, once applied everything went downhill and I found myself with a useless screen protector. The instructions are extremely limited and basically tell you to clean your screen with the cloth provided, before removing the tab on the protector to reveal the sticky side which you place down on your phone, trying to avoid any air bubbles.

      The instructions may sound simple, but believe me this is a real task. The protector doesn't bend, therefore it becomes almost impossible for you to start at one corner and stick the protector down slowly, in which to avoid air bubbles, because due to the stiffness of it, means that it pretty much just sticks anywhere and everywhere. Leaving you with air bubbles galore, forcing you to begin the agonising ordeal again only to have the same thing happen. Once finally placed onto your satisfaction, you'll discover that the protector leaves gaps where the speaker and back button are. This was expected, however, there are gaps around the edges that don't stick to anything, meaning that these places collect dirt and dust (imagine leaving a piece of sellotape on the floor). Within 3 days I had removed the screen protector several times to get rid of the dirt from under it, but, alas, the same thing happened again as soon as I placed it back down again. Forcing me to permanently remove it after just under a week.

      The feel of it isn't any better. It doesn't alter the responsiveness of the touch screen, however, it's very gammy to the touch and makes your fingers stick when sliding up and down the screen.

      Suffice to say I won't be recommending the screen protector to you. If you're in the market for a good screen protector try the PhoneDevil Crystal Clear Edition (see review), which will set you back around £5, but is worth every penny.

      Not recommended.

      *** On The Whole ***

      As the pair go, I do recommend you buying this set. Not, of course, for the screen protector as it is fundamentally useless. However, the back cover is priceless and is undoubtedly worth the £4.99 price tag on its own. If you do buy this, throw away the screen protector and try PhoneDevil, but if you're just in the market for a back cover, this one comes up trumps and is well worth looking into.



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