Review: SwitchEasy Colors, Monsters, Nude, Numbers + Play for iPhone 5c
Colors, Monsters, Play
SwitchEasy has a reputation for releasing quite a few cases whenever Apple debuts a new device. With the introduction of the iPhone 5c, things are no different. Today, we're taking a look at five of its latest offerings: Colors ($15), Monsters, ($20), Nude ($15), Numbers ($13), and Play ($18). Some are remakes of existing cases, while others are new to the company's lineup. Between these options and others the company has recently introduced, there should be something to fit almost any need. Each case comes with a screen film set, and in a variety of colors.
Having appeared for several previous iPhones, including most recently the iPhone 5, this edition of Colors offers few surprises. It’s made of a flexible silicone rubber material that wraps around almost all of the iPhone, including the bezel underneath the screen. An integrated Home Button protector appears in a complementary color. In addition to full button protection, removable port covers are included. The fit is perfect, the buttons depress with a satisfying click, and the material is smooth enough that the case will easily slide in and out of your pocket. Coming in nine solid colors, there’s likely a hue for any user.
Next is Monsters, a take on the iPhone 5 case of the same name. It’s very similar to Colors, but instead of using a completely flat back, each version is enhanced with one of five 3-D face patterns molded into the colored rubber. Coming with the same pack-ins as Colors, Monsters offers an equal level of protection and access, while adding some character for users who want to stand out from the crowd.
We generally don’t like or recommend plastic shells—particularly when they cost as much as regular cases—and for that reason, Nude is our least favorite of the bunch. With that in mind, however, it’s important to make clear that SwitchEasy has added more value to its shell than most rivals. Coming in yellow, green, pink, blue, or clear, the hard plastic protector easily snaps onto the back of the iPhone 5c. Unlike most shells, it’s a bit deeper than the handset, which means it provides a protective lip around the screen. It also covers a good portion of the top edge, leaving only the Sleep/Wake button exposed; the side volume buttons are unprotected as well. Along the bottom is a single long opening, but it can be protected with one of two plastic plugs that are included.
Numbers is SwitchEasy’s least expensive iPhone 5c case, and while it’s simple, it’s one of the best. This one is made of a plastic polymer material, giving it a firm structure but plenty of flexibility. Coming in eight colors, including a frost white, it’s incredibly easy to install and remove the case, yet it wraps around to protect almost every bit of the iPhone’s plastic body. After installing the screen protector, the only portions left exposed at all times are the Home Button, rear camera, side switch, microphone, and speakers; the last two have only small openings around them, enough to let sound in or out without leaving extra plastic unprotected. Both the headphone and Lightning ports are protected by integrated stoppers. They flip out of the way when access is needed, but are otherwise unobtrusive and very welcome.
Last is Play, which is very much like Numbers but with a few upgrades. The material is similar, although it has a slightly rougher texture. Play offers the same level of protection, including clicky buttons and built-in port protectors. What it adds will be valuable to some people, but not everyone. First, there’s the kickstand on the back, which is nice for watching videos, but a bit hard to pull out if you don’t have long fingernails. Then there’s the included wriststrap. This likely has the most narrow appeal, but it’s removable, so those who like it can use it, and those who don’t, don’t have to. Whether you’ll want to pay extra for those features will determine whether Numbers or Play is better for your needs.
With this group of cases, SwitchEasy has cemented itself as a brand that produces great products at affordable prices. Numbers earns our rare A rating. At only $13, it’s incredibly protective, very attractive, and simply a smart case; we’d recommend it to anyone at that price. Colors, Monsters, and Play all are worthy of our A- rating. The first two rubber cases offers extensive protection, affordable prices, and, in the case of Monsters, a really unique look. Play has all the qualities of Numbers, with extra features for a higher price. The only product here that doesn’t earn our high recommendation is Nude; it comes in at a B. While one of the better shells out there, it is still just a shell, and lacks button protection as well as the full-time edge protection we expect.