So the Ballistic case is too rough and tough for you. No worries. I myself found that while the Ballistic case was fantastic at protecting my iPhone from life’s more extreme situations, I simply couldn’t carry that around in my pocket day in and day out. It’s far too big and clunky. But today is another day with two more new, unique iPhone 4 cases from iSkin. For those of you who haven’t heard of them — they’re great. They offer several different stylish and useful cases that span the iPhone lineup. But past victories don’t always translate into current ones. How do two of their newest iPhone 4 cases — the Revo4 and Solo — stack up? Jump inside to get the low down…
For the more minimalist case connoisseurs in the crowd, the Solo will probably be more up your alley. It’s not, however, “super” thin (read: useless) as are some other plastic “cases” that would make even those protective plastic wrap-like films go “Dayuuum!”. Just take to heart that it’s thin while still retaining some degree of protection from minor drops and slightly more serious scratches.
For the review today, I’ve got the clear-colored “Quartz” iSkin Solo in my possession. For the record, if seeing your beloved iPhone peek out at your through the translucent Solo isn’t to your liking, you can always pick from one of 4 other colors — Carbon , Vive (purple), Breeze (light blue), and Cosmo (pink). The colors aren’t necessarily your standard palette. Then again, some may find the slightly less common colors a plus. Whatever floats your boat I say.
As far as fit, feel, and protection go, the iSkin Solo is a good little case. I personally tend to prefer softer more “squishy” cases. While you surely wouldn’t want to sleep on a bed made of countless Solos bound together in one mass of “phthalate-free” polymer, it is a softer case that will absorb minor shocks and bumps. With that said, one feature of your typical squishy case that the Solo lacks (and I love) is the lint sucking disease that sadly plagues a great number of softer cases. The polymer that iSkin uses just works — it’s soft just like it should be for shock absorption and hard enough that little small colonies of lint don’t develop on your iPhone. It’s the best of both worlds really.
Those looking for any type of screen protection will be sorely disappointed — the iSkin Solo doesn’t offer any. Though if you really reach, you can say that the raised lip on the case does prevent the screen from coming into contact with the surface it’s sitting on when placed face down. So in reality, it does have a tiny bit of screen protection. Those seeking more will definitely want to pick up a separate screen protector of some sort.
The Revo4, like previous Revo designs, continues on a winning recipe. The unique material that makes up the Revo4 is softer than that of the Solo, yet is one of the least grippy, grippy cases I’ve held. Now, I realize that sounds weird and may not make sense. Let me try to explain: You typical soft case (like the Revo4 — which is considerably softer than the Solo) absorbs shock like a champ. It also mows down on your pocket so much that after a year of use, you’d probably have a hole from that lint monster in your pocket. While the Revo4 does attract a fair bit more lint than the Solo, it’s not nearly as bad as other soft cases.
Another aspect of soft cases that tend to put people off is the pocketability of it — or in reality, the lack thereof. Besides eating lint, soft cases like to cling to deep chasms of clothing (such as your pocket) like it’s December 21st 2012 — they’re not moving anywhere. It makes it a pain to constantly put your phone in and out of your pocket. Not so with the Revo4. It willingly enters and exits your pocket with ease, never giving a fuss.
Where the Solo kind of let us down (lack of screen protector) is made up with the Revo4 — partially. You see, I don’t necessarily consider the Revo4′s screen protector all that useful or practical. The overall design is ingenious — it snaps into place on the front of the phone and can also be flipped around and snapped around the back of the case. The only issue I have with this is that you must take the screen cover off if you want to use the screen. You can’t touch through it.
To some, having to remove the screen cover every time you take your phone in and out of your pocket or simply want to use your phone will be a massive pain and not worth the trouble. Why not just leave it off? In my case, I just leave the cover on the back of the phone as it acts a tad bit like a spine of sorts, giving the backside a little more stability.
One other area I have to mention is price. The Solo retails for your typical $30. I still say that’s high for any case that’s made of plastic and rubber polymers. But hey, I don’t write the checks. The Revo4 on the other hand is a tad higher at $39.99. Now, $39.99 is pretty expensive for a phone case that in my opinion, isn’t that heavy duty. I see the Revo4 as on the same playing field as your Incase Sliders and other similarly designed cases. Beyond $40 you start encroaching on the heavier duty Ballistic and Otterbox type of cases. Is the Revo4 worth that extra $10? It’s hard for me to say yes or now. It depends — is it worth it to you?
So which one would I choose to live with day in and day out? For now, my vote goes to the Revo4. Even the screen protector isn’t all to particularly useful and eats more lint than the Solo, I find the overall feel, fit, and look of the case to be more to my liking. Honestly, however, you can’t go wrong with either case. They’re both fantastic iPhone 4 cases, and what I’d say are two of the better ones on the market.
Be sure to check out the gallery below. I’ve included a comparo shot that showcases the different sizes of the Revo4, Solo, and Ballistic case. For the latter, you can read up on it in my Ballistic iPhone case review.
**A special thanks to Max Borges and iSkin for the review units