Whether or not people actually want to mix and match pieces of iPhone cases may be debatable, but that hasn’t stopped companies from producing plenty of options over the years. Griffin’s Separates for iPhone 5/5s ($30) is the latest such case, so named for the fact that it’s made up of two pieces that are meant to be swapped between multiple units. No extra parts are included with a set, though; you either have to trade with others who have purchased their own Separates, or buy multiple cases at full price.
The two pieces that make up Griffin’s case are a hard plastic backplate and a combination polycarbonate/TPU border. Currently, there are 15 different options available on Griffin’s website, ranging from dogs to polka dots, and flat colors to more abstract designs. With the exception of the solid colors, each case has at least some transparent portions, allowing the back of the iPhone to show through. It’s a nice collection of options, with something for everyone.
The border is a nice combination of the two materials. Plastic runs along the center, with rubber on the outer edges and covering the buttons. It’s slightly thicker than most borders, though, adding a little bit of resistance when pressing the buttons and possibly blocking some accessory compatibility due to ports that are deeply set back.
Judged as a standalone $30 case, Separates is a very nice option with enough variations that almost anyone should be able to find one he or she likes. The idea of swapping out the backs and frames, however, doesn’t make a lot of sense as it’s currently offered. Unless a group agrees on buying multiple units together, or one person invests in a handful of cases, it’s hard to imagine the concept taking off. But since the case is otherwise very good, and the option is there, Separates earns a strong general recommendation.
Company and Price
Company: Griffin Technology
Compatible: iPhone 5/5s