Review: iLuv Selfy for iPhone 5/5s
Selfy for iPhone 5/5s ($50) is the first product in a new ecosystem of accessories from iLuv. Also available for iPad Air, iPad mini, and other devices, the concept is the same between them all: a black or pink plastic and rubber case comes paired with a Bluetooth remote that slides into the back of the protector when not in use. As the name implies, the remote can be used to take pictures. More accessories that can fit into the back of the case are promised for the future, including a handlebar mount and mini tripod.
Remote aside, Selfy is actually a pretty good case. Its hard plastic back provides structure, while the rubber border has some give, allowing for relatively easy installation and removal. This material also ensures the buttons underneath click as they should, without diminished tactility. The openings along the bottom edge are appropriate for this kind of case, with one providing access to the speaker, another for the Lightning port, and the last for the microphone and headphone port. Both port openings are large enough that they’ll work with most plugs.
One of the downsides to Selfy is its thickness. To accommodate the remote, the case’s back is a dome, rising to 0.7” at its thickest point. The 3.7” long, 1.2” wide Bluetooth controller easily slides in and out, clicking in place for a secure hold. It is very light, and has a single button, along with one LED light. The button replicates the functionality of the iPhone’s physical volume control, which can be used for snapping photos. This means Selfy works with iOS’ built-in Camera app, rather than requiring third-party software. The idea is you’ll set your phone up, assemble your friends, and snap away.
iLuv’s system is made up of nice hardware. The practicality, however, is questionable. To snap a picture, you’ll have to find somewhere to lean the iPhone or stand it on its edge, and then hope the shot is properly composed. In most circumstances, it’s probably easier just to ask someone walking by to take a picture. It’ll probably be faster, and turn out to be a better shot. The solution is 2/3 of the way there; a built-in stand would make this a much more practical accessory. The potential for expansion and overall quality of the shipping hardware are nice, but they don’t make up for what’s lacking, and for that, we can’t recommend Selfy.