Even though there are some truly great iPhone cases available for $15 or less — we’re thinking specifically of some of SwitchEasy’s latest releases — it’s not unusual to expect to pay $30 to $35 for a high quality option. Monoprice, which made its name in low-cost cables before expanding into additional tech accessories such as cases, takes a different approach. Consider its Double Injected TPU Case ($3) and Ultra-Thin Shatter-Proof Case for iPhone 5c ($3). No, there’s no zero missing there — each of these cases can be had for three American dollars. While the latter is a so-so option, the former is actually quite nice.
Unlike many of the popular co-molded cases on the market today, Double Injected TPU Case doesn’t combine plastic and rubber. Rather, it fuses together two colors of soft, flexible plastic into one cohesive case. Specifically, there’s the main body, and there’s a band running around the outer edge. Pop the iPhone 5c into the case and you’ll see that it fits perfectly, with many of the aspects we’ve come to expect from our favorite cases: there’s coverage for the Sleep/Wake and volume buttons, a raised lip to protect the screen, and openings along the bottom edge that are large enough to fit third-party plugs.
Ultra-Thin Shatter-Proof Case isn’t as impressive, but again, it only costs $3. Instead of TPU, this one is made of a very thin piece of polycarbonate plastic. It comes in blue, smoke, or the frosted clear color we received for review. This case is designed more for scratch protection than anything else. Snapping around the back and sides of the iPhone, it leaves the bottom edge completely exposed, as well as the buttons. The case adds almost no bulk, however, and the clear version is almost invisible.
We don’t expect a lot from $3 cases, but once again, Monoprice has proved it can ship affordable accessories that others would charge significantly more for. Normally, we wouldn’t consider a case like Ultra-Thin Shatter-Proof Case, but for the price, it earns our general recommendation. More protection is better, but it’s not a bad choice for minimalists who are just looking for basic scratch protection. Double Injected TPU Case, on the other hand is deserving of our high recommendation; while we still prefer a plastic and rubber combo, this one is a great option worth considering—and not just for price conscious consumers either. It may not be the most attractive case we’ve seen, but for those more concerned about protecting their devices than accessorizing them, and who don’t want to pay a lot, it’s a great option.
Double Injected TPU Case
Ultra-Thin Shatter-Proof Case
Company and Price
Compatible: iPhone 5c