Review: Findables FlexStand and FlexWrap for iPhone 5
Findables isn't just selling the creative protective cases FlexStand ($30) and FlexWrap ($30) for iPhone 5 -- it's betting heavily on QR codes and social sharing as distinguishing features. Each of its cases has a QR code printed on it, allowing people to share personal or business information digitally when scanned. Both designs are very reminiscent of Speck's CandyShell family, combining plastic outer layers with rubber inside. FlexWrap is the more basic of the two, while FlexStand has a vertical hinge in the center. This allows you to pop off one side of the case, and prop the iPhone up with a stand. Both cases come in a variety of colors.
FlexWrap will look familiar to people who have seen a basic CandyShell, or any of the co-molded options inspired by Speck released over the years. The case is a single piece beginning with a plastic frame, using rubber on the inside to protect the buttons, the edge around the screen, and two strips of the back. When you place the iPhone inside, it fits tightly and securely. As fans of clicky buttons, we’re very happy with how well the rubber protectors perform. Findables was also practical, making the bottom edge of the case dock- and third-party cable-compatible by having one long opening. It’s contoured to the holes and ports though, so it’s clear the company tried to offer as much protection as it could without limiting usability.
FlexStand is highly similar to FlexWrap, using the same materials and offering around the same quantity of protection. The big difference is that it can fold in the middle, with one half of the case acting as a landscape-orientation stand—the company shows the left side being used. It takes a bit of wiggling to get the case away from the phone, but otherwise works just fine. The only other design change is along the bottom edge; instead of one opening, there are separate holes for the speaker, Lightning port, and microphone/headphone port.
Once the free Findables app has been downloaded, and an account is set up, users have the ability to create three different profiles: business, social, or lost. The first two both allow you to include information such as name, phone number, and biographical information, while business includes a digital business card in vCard format. Lost mode, on the other hand, allows you to set a message along with a phone number and email address. If your iPhone is lost or stolen, you can change the settings in the app so that when the case is scanned, this is the message that appears. Any QR code scanner can be used to access the information, which will be presented as a URL that can be clicked.
The idea of embedding personal information into a physical case isn’t a bad one, but we’d question just how much people will actually use it, particularly as QR codes seem to be on the way out. However, if this feature is considered merely as a bonus that adds a little extra value to the case, it certainly doesn’t hurt anything to have the code there. As for the cases themselves, they’re good options, but neither blew us away. FlexWrap is just a notch less appealing than Speck’s CandyShell, earning it a strong general recommendation. As for FlexStand, it’s not the most intuitive way to make a case into a stand, but it works, and merits the same B+ rating.