Dating back to the iPhone 3G and 3GS, Griffin’s Reveal has always had the same design: a clear plastic back combined with rubber to protect the device’s edges. The company has modestly redesigned the iPhone 4 version to fit the iPhone 5, and surprisingly, it’s arriving at a slightly lower price point of $20 — a rare and welcome change. Uniq Creation has also decided to try its hand at the style with Back to Basics, also offered for $20. The concept is the same but the execution is slightly different. Mixing see-through and opaque materials, the looks of both companies’ cases will appeal to those who want to show off their shiny new iPhones while still protecting them.
There’s really not much to Reveal. The back is one continuous plate of clear, hard plastic with a single opening for the camera and flash lined with black to prevent diffusion.
Reveal’s rubber has just enough give to make it easy to wrap around the iPhone 5 while covering all three buttons along the edges. There are rounded rectangular openings along the bottom edge for the headphone port and microphone, Lightning port, and speaker. It emphasizes slimness, which we really like, and the eight color options are also appreciated.
Back to Basics shares most of the features listed above. It’s almost exactly the same dimensions, although the rubber is rounded rather than squared off—we actually found this design a bit more comfortable to hold. The camera hole isn’t quite as tall, and the openings along the bottom are a bit tighter.
There are a few bigger differences between Uniq’s and Griffin’s cases, though. First, Back to Basics only comes in two colors. Somewhat cleverly, Uniq calls the black version “Black to Basics” and the white version “White to Basics.” Each comes with a cleaning cloth and screen film, which aren’t included with Reveal. Finally, the words “BACK TO BASICS by Uniq” are printed on the back of the case, appearing between the iPhone’s Apple logo and name. For some, this extra branding may be a turn off.
Both cases have the same weaknesses: the clear backs trap and show dust and other impurities, and the plastic easily develops scratches that mar the iPhone’s clean appearance.