Review: iSkin Claro for iPhone 5/5s
Despite sharing its name with an earlier iPhone 5/5s case from iSkin, this Claro ($25-$35) is a different style of protector. Whereas the last one was a plastic shell, this is a TPU case with a fully transparent back layer running between the frosted panels at the top and bottom ends. On its own, the $25 version is a very good clear case, but an upgraded $35 package is somewhat noteworthy. The $10 premium adds iSkin's GearCare Accidental Damage Warranty Service, which includes one piece of the company’s Titan screen film, plus a one year accidental damage warranty, good for up to five repairs, or a single replacement. We don't rate warranty or repair services, so our review focuses primarily on the $25 version of Claro; it's up to you whether to try the optional service.
Clear cases have always been somewhat popular, and we saw a small bump in the number of them with the release of the iPhone 5s and its gold variant. iSkin’s is two layers deep. The main body is soft rubber material, which is then covered with an anti-scratch, anti-stain, oleophobic finish. It looks quite nice installed on the iPhone. The Sleep/Wake and volume buttons also work very well. They’re easy to find without looking, comfortable to use, and provide pleasant tactile feedback. We tested the case with a random assortment of Lightning cables, and almost all fit without issue; only the largest plug didn’t. We had no problems with headphone plugs.
From 12 months from the case’s date of purchase, GearCare offers “repair/replacement of the covered Product if your case, screen protector or other device protector fails to perform its intended functions and your mobile device is damaged as a result of that failure.” Notably, the total cost of repairs and replacements is capped at $500. To enroll an iPhone, you must follow the instructions in the owner’s manual, and register the device with iSkin. Then, if there are any issues, a $50 service fee is charged for each incident, which is to say that you will have paid $60 total for your first repair or replacement. The list of exclusions bars claims for vandalism, normal wear and tear, accessories, batteries, and liquid immersion. Under some conditions, Apple’s $100 AppleCare+ warranty may provide more coverage, but it’s also more expensive, with a higher per-issue replacement fee.
At $25, Claro is worthy of a strong general recommendation. It’s a very good case at a fair price, and it’s a smart choice for those who like to show off the color of the iPhone 5 or 5s. We aren’t rating the warranty service, but the base version of the case earns a B+ rating.