Review: Case-Mate Gelli for iPhone 5c
With Gelli ($15) and NGP ($20), Case-Mate and Incipio are respectively taking modestly different approaches to similar style iPhone 5c cases. Without touching them, the differences may not be totally obvious, but once you do, they become much clearer. Both are competing in the budget market, with Gelli taking the obvious edge there. However, price isn't the only factor, and NGP has attributes that many users may consider more valuable.
Both cases are made of flexible plastic materials, but have distinctly different finishes. Gelli is glossy and grippy, available only in clear, with a frosted back, while NGP has a very smooth matte finish, and comes in six translucent colors. Incipio has been running this line of cases for years, so anyone who’s come in contact with one of them in the past will have a good idea of how it feels.
Despite the fact that these cases arrived before the iPhone 5c was available in stores, both fit the handset properly. Because the material is flexible, installation and removal is very easy; it’s just a bit smoother with NGP because of the material. Each case offers a small protective lip to keep the screen from touching your desk or table when it’s placed face down, and includes button coverage. The Sleep/Wake button is dampened on both cases, and the volume buttons are softened on Gelli, but not to a degree where usability is effected. Incipio’s case leaves the volume buttons’ clickiness intact though, and it’s a small detail we appreciate.
On their bottom edges, Gelli and NGP have the same three openings, and they’re almost identical. Each has an oval for the speaker, a second for the Lightning port, and and then a snowman-shaped holes for the microphone and headphone port. Because of Apple’s design guidelines, docking is limited, but both cases should support almost any third-party Lightning cable or headphone plug.
Although they’re very similar cases, we do prefer NGP over Gelli. The material is, as it always has been, really impressive stuff, based on both look and feel. Compared to cases from SwitchEasy, it is lacking somewhat in protection—there are no film or port covers—but it’s still quite a good case, enough so that it earns our strong recommendation. At the same price point, Gelli would otherwise fall a step lower, but because it’s $5 less, it’s worthy of the same rating. If you’re willing to spend a few more dollars for a case that’s still affordable, or prefer colors, go with NGP. Otherwise, Gelli is a very good option for the price.