As a general rule, we don’t cover shell-style cases, the hard pieces of plastic that snap onto the back of iPhones. Usually, they offer only minimal shock protection, and leave the top and bottom edges of the device exposed to damage. Many claim the designation of thinnest or lightest case, and often they may boast unique designs, but as a whole they’re interchangeable and forgettable, and not worth your money. Itskins’ Zero.3 for iPhone 5 ($18) is a step above the standard shells we’ve seen from so many companies, although still limited in the total amount of protection it offers. Each case comes with a piece of screen film, a cloth, and a squeegee.
Zero.3 comes in six translucent colors: clear, red, pink, purple, black, and yellow. Instead of hard plastic, it’s made of a semi-flexible material that the company says a combination of silicone and plastic. When Itskins describes it as ultra slim, it’s right: the case is only 0.3mm thick, and weighs three grams, making no appreciable difference to the dimensions of the handset. Its design matches that of the iPhone 5, with flat glossy plastic over the top and bottom glass portions, and matte material over the aluminum core. Thankfully, the case includes coverage along the top edge, although the bottom is fully exposed. The Sleep/Wake button, rear camera setup, side switch, and volume buttons each poke through their own holes, which are just slightly off-center, but not enough to interfere with their performance.
When it comes to cases this thin, one can’t expect a high level of protection. They’ll prevent scratches and digs from small bumps or falls, but likely won’t be of much benefit when it comes to serious abuse. Compared to other shells, Zero.3 is a nice option, and covers one more edge than most, which is appreciated. The inclusion of a screen film and low price are also benefits. If you insist on a shell, this one should be toward the top of the list, but we’d still steer most users towards something a little bit more substantial. That’s why it earns our limited recommendation.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPhone 5