Due to a huge backlog of iPhone 3G cases that have swamped our offices in the last couple of weeks, we’re reviewing a whole bunch today in abbreviated fashion, starting with eight rubber designs from seven different companies. Though we’ve separated the reviews for their individual products, our top pick of the bunch is linked here: SwitchEasy’s Colors. This review covers Uniea’s U-Skin for iPhone 3G ($20).
As with our review today of Capdase’s Soft Frames, first impressions meant a lot in our testing of U-Skin, and they weren’t very positive: straight out of the box, these rubber cases just looked cheap. Perhaps it’s that we’re not tuned into the Chinese aesthetic, but the use of cheap metallic plastics and rubbers is just a turn-off in our book, and Uniea’s choice to produce U-Skin in three metallic colors—including an especially garish gold—just struck us as wrong right out of the gate. The only other distinctive touch here is a molded in rear texture with what appear to be horizontally running drips alternates between extruded and embossed to provide grip. We haven’t seen any other rubber cases with this texture or metallic colors, so if you’re looking for these sort of things, maybe U-Skin will satisfy you.
But maybe not. Like the Soft Frames, the U-Skins have a certain flimsiness that doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in their protective abilities, despite the fact that they each include a clear screen protector and cover most of the iPhone 3G’s body—holes are left only for the headphone port, bottom, ringer switch, camera, and face, with the screen film covering all but the ear speaker and Home button.
The flimsiness comes from slits in the case’s sides, designed to accommodate a flip-open bottom that is compatible with the iPhone 3G Dock and other accessories; should you need to fold it open, you can do so. We like this feature, but the fact that it makes the case’s sides so unstable is unfortunate.
Our overall feeling on U-Skin is that it’s in the same sort of nothing special category as the Capdase Soft Frame, but with somewhat smarter protection and a slightly higher price tag. Overall, it’s still in our “okay” rating category, and offers plenty of room for improvement, but it’s not an awful case, just a bit tacky and cheap-feeling.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPhone 3G