Cases have always been the one phone accessory I cannot control myself over and, when the Speck case that Xiang Wei lent me started to literally come apart a few weeks back, I decided it was time to get new cases. Inexplicably, that extended to my iPad too.
The first case that I got was at a pasar malam (i.e. night market which, ironically, was bustling during the day). I’d always thought about trying a flip case but never actually got one because I thought having to continually flip it open would be too troublesome.
Now that iPhone 4 accessories are so cheap, though, I decided to give them a try. Went around searching and finally found a flip case I liked that only cost S$10.
Pros: the front and back of the case are made of very nice, classy-feeling material and look great (to me) as well. Plus, the sides that encase the phone are made of this studded rubber that allows a great grip and is much better than the usual cheap plastic that are used for such parts.
Cons: although the outside is really nice, the inside isn’t that great. The insides of the encasing part (which are the visible parts when you look at the phone full-on) are made of this reflective plastic that not only looks cheap, but isn’t even level in some parts! Plus, the opening for the charging port is so tight that my chargers kept disengaging upon the slightest contact.
Of course, once I find a case I like (after weeks of searching) and finally pay for it, I would, by the laws of the universe, find another case I like right after. That night after getting that case, there was a sale on Qoo10 for this series of UAG cases and, including shipping, the whole thing would only cost me S$10!
Got a bit of a shock when it arrived because I thought it was supposed to be metallic but turned out to be plastic instead. That isn’t a bad thing, though.
Pros: the plastic used for the case is not some cheap, glossy material but a decently high quality matte plastic which gives the phone a nice look and heft (without adding too much weight, as a metallic one would no doubt have). Also, the ports are nicely spaced (no disconnecting chargers!) and the covers for the different buttons have a nice, solid click to them.
Cons: because the plastic used is so matte and smooth, the phone actually tends to be a little slippery and almost dropped out of my hands a few times. Plus, the encasing part is so tight that my screen protector (which is one of the best and most adhesive ones I’ve used) has bubbles in most of the corners which are impossible to adjust away.
Since I was on a spree, I decided to get a case for my iPad Mini as well. Although the official Smart Cover I have for it is still amazing and perfectly fine, the smart-cover-compatible shell I got for the back wasn’t holding up. It’s obviously one of those shells they make before the iPad is even officially released and thus the size is actually a bit off. Over months of usage and trying to make the Mini fit into the too-small shell, it has cracked in several areas and keeps detaching from my iPad.
I originally wanted something that was a bit more colourful and vibrant but I couldn’t find any online that I liked and thus I settled for a safe, more mature-looking one (that matches my Kindle).
Pros: the case has a nice, solid, decently high-quality feel to it and, unlike with that errant back shell, my iPad Mini fits comfortably and snugly into this one. Plus, the part that actually encases the iPad, is made of a much better quality matte plastic than the usual shiny cheap ones that such cases usually have.
Cons: the case makes the whole device heavier and fatter (although it also gives it more protection) and, while the front cover can be adjusted for different viewing angles, it’s nowhere near as flexible or stable as the Smart Cover.
The case also came with a free matt screen protector (which I haven’t used yet since my Mini already currently has one but which I’m quite thankful for) and a stylus which, sadly, isn’t all that great with connecting with the screen. But hey, who can complain about freebies!
Overall, while none of the cases I got are perfect, they each have things I like and at those prices (S$10 for each of the phone ones and about $17 for the iPad Mini one), I don’t think I can complain much.