Company: BodyGuardz/NLU Products
Compatible: iPhone 4/4S
BodyGuardz MyKase for iPhone 4/4S
We first took a look at BodyGuardz' MyKase for iPhone 4/4S ($30) back in October 2011, and now the plastic slider case has become distinctive in a few ways. Not only does it include interchangeable backplates so you can combine the black or white case with a black, white, or yellow accent, but the company has recently started to offer customized, printed photo or art backplates at $20 a pop. Having finally gotten our hands on one of those plates, we're ready to render an opinion on MyKase as a whole.
The case itself isn’t meant to be the star, and it’s not unlike many sliders we’ve seen in the past. Coming in either glossy or matte plastic depending on the color, the bottom portion slides off to allow the iPhone to be inserted or removed. This removable piece also helps with docking, although the case can make an electronic connection with many Universal Dock-equipped accessories. One long opening along the bottom allows for access to the speaker, microphone, and Dock Connector—only Apple-sized plugs will fit—with another on the side for the silent switch and volume buttons; two more are on the top for the headphone/noise-canceling mic and the Sleep/Wake button. A small strip of rubber lines the inside to add a bit of a buffer, and the case forms a small protective lip. Really, it’s all pretty standard stuff.
Included with each case are the three backplates mentioned above. They can easily be swapped by pulling off the bottom cap and then sliding them in or out as desired, fitting flat against the case. We can’t imagine a lot of people buying the case simply for the included plates; the big deal is the customized ones. Creating your own plate is pretty simple, and handled entirely through BodyGuardz’ website—you pick a photo, align it, and submit it for printing, paying the $20 charge via credit card. When the finished product arrived by mail, we found it to be good, not great. The most noticeable thing is that it’s quite a bit darker than the colorful, complex photo we submitted, though we also found the color saturation to be lower, and combined with the freckled rather than smooth inking, we weren’t totally jazzed about the image.
While it’s cool to be able to truly personalize a case with your own image, MyKase wouldn’t be our go to—that distinction belongs to Uncommon’s Capsule Case, which arrives fully customized for $10 less. While they share a similar structure, the quality of Uncommon’s images is a bit better. With that in mind, MyKase earns a limited recommendation. It’s a fine enough slider case, and while the individualized features are cool, they’re not quite good enough. Some will prefer the ability to swap rear plates in and out though, and for those users, this case will be a good choice.