Review: Macally Clear Flexible Protective Case for iPhone 5c
Macally’s accessory lineup runs the gamut from keyboards to cables, and it's always had lines of new cases ready for Apple's devices. For the iPhone 5c, it has released a handful of protectors including Clear Flexible Protective Case ($10, aka FLEXFITP6-C) and Hard-Shell Case with Stand ($20, aka KSTANDP6). The names aren’t subtle, each giving you a good idea of what each case is all about; the first is made of very plain, translucent TPU, and the other is mostly hard plastic with a built-in kickstand.
Clear Flexible Protective Case isn’t the absolute least expensive protector we’ve seen so far — that distinction belongs to Monoprice’s cases — but it’s unquestionably at the low end of the price spectrum. It’s directly comparable to Case-Mate’s Gelli and Case Scenario’s Keith Haring Crystal Case, minus the rear designs. Instead of being totally clear all the way around, there’s a frosted layer that softens the hue of the iPhone underneath. The opening for the vibrate switch is just slightly larger than the mechanism itself, and below that are responsively clicky volume button covers; it’s surprising, by contrast, to see that the Sleep/Wake button is left unprotected. Port openings along the bottom edge are large enough to support almost any headphone and Lightning plugs.
Comparatively, Hard-Shell Case with Stand is more complex. It also uses rubber, but only around the outer edge. The rest is clear, hard plastic, already a popular choice for the colorful iPhone 5c. Volume button coverage is almost identical to that on Clear Flexible Protective Case — that is to say, quite good — and there’s the added benefit of equally clicky Sleep/Wake button protection. All three are pleasantly tactile. Right in the middle of the case is the kickstand, running horizontally across the back. About 1.75” long, it lifts up at the right edge, and holds your iPhone in landscape orientation, about 50° off your table or desk.
As a simple and inexpensive option, Clear Flexible Protective Case is worthy of our strong general recommendation. It’s missing the Sleep/Wake button protection we’d expect, but otherwise keeps your iPhone safe, while exposing the color and not limiting accessory compatibility too much. At only $10, it’s a good choice. Hard-Shell Case with Stand earns the same rating. Compared to a case such as Griffin’s Reveal, it adds value with the kickstand, but it’s not as elegant or attractive.