I recently received word from iSkin that their iSkin solo for iPhone 4 has been through a makeover with several improvements. As I own an ‘older’ version in my stable of iPhone 4 covers, I requested the new and improved version for a review.
iSkin makes a wide range of iPhone and iPad covers, cases, and sleeves, as well as keyboard protectors. Both the iSkin solo and solo FX SE are one of the latest cases to incorporate Microban antimicrobial treatment. This helps to both prevent bacteria from growing on the case and to retain its bright colour.
Speaking of colours, both the solo and solo FX SE are available in Vive (the translucent purple featured in this review), Carbon (translucent black), Cosmo (translucent pink) and Bondi (translucent blue). I put the two cases together and compared them, feature for feature.
First off, the case passes my test for launching iTunes/iPhoto when a standard 30-pin connector/USB cable is attached. The mic portal holes are now perfectly rounded to match the ports on the iPhone. You can see the difference between the two designs in the photo below.
The vibrate on/off switch area access design is also more streamlined: a tad narrower and less boxy in shape.
I had hoped that the volume controls would now be exposed, but iSkin merely switched up the design, bringing the volume up and down buttons closer together. I can access the volume controls more easily in the new model, as the area contains less definition, making it touch-friendlier.
The same definition is given to the power on/off switch area at the top, while the earphone jack hole is minimally smaller. I discovered another difference in the case’s rim: the two small notches located at each corner of the top are no longer.
Why they were there in the first place is something I never figured out. The case looks much sleeker without it.
The rear camera hole has been updated and now includes a dark molded ring around the edge of the hole, to help avoid photo flash glare. I also noticed that the side texture is easier to grip than in the earlier model.
I still like this simple, well designed case for the one big feature that protects my phone the best: the beveled front! I’ve often been asked what to look for when buying an iPhone case, and my top two must-haves include this and the iTunes launch upon connection, mentioned above. If a case passes these two markers, I’m game to give it a try.
The iSkin solo also comes with both a screen cleaning cloth and an LCD anti-static cleaning wipe. The handy little soft cloth stays inside my bag for use on the go.
If you’re looking for a hard case, this won’t fit the bill. If however you’d like something flexible, easy to put on and remove, and to keep clean, the solo is a great choice.
Kudos to iSkin for improving upon an already successful, easy to maintain case. All iSkin products come with a lifetime warranty. The iSkin solo retails for US $29.99, while the fancier, patterned iSkin solo FX SE costs $34.99. I’ve seen both models in stores around Vancouver.
Disclosure note: I was sent the iSkin solo for the purpose of writing this review: cmply.2