Review: Case-Mate Recyclable rPET Case

As many of you probably have read here before and will continue to read, I call Portland Oregon my home. Most likely everyone out there has also heard that we are all pretty much a bunch of hippies and nerds (Nerpies?). I wouldn’t really classify myself as a hippie, but when I heard Case-Mate had an iPhone 4/4S case made out of recyclable materials, I really wanted to give it a shot. Who wouldn’t want to protect their iPhone while helping out our beautiful planet? So a few days after I read the Press Release, I had the case in my hand.


Upon pulling the case out of the shipping envelope I was already impressed. The rPET case has a gorgeous translucent glossy finish that looks slick by itself, but once paired with the iPhone, it really took my breath away. There isn’t much to the case itself, very minimal design, simple and extremely light weight.

The rPET holds close to your device and will showcase your iPhone more than any other case I’ve used. I have said it before, I am not a fan of iPhone cases. They take away from the pure beauty that is Apple’s design. But I can say that the rPET doesn’t do this at all. The lightweight material adds barely no weight to the iPhone and doesn’t cover up the gorgeous design with bulk and unnecessary flim flam.

I loved the way the rPET case felt in my hand. With no bulk or weight really being added, I didn’t feel like I was compromising the design of the iPhone. But with this simplistic design does come some cons. I wouldn’t really want this thing to drop from more than a foot or so off the ground. After holding this in my hand for two weeks, I don’t think I would be 100% trusting of this absorbing tall or lengthy abuse.

The case also didn’t fit as snug as I’ve used in the past. There were times when holding my phone I thought it was going to launch right out of the case. If you hold the phone and wiggle it, you can feel the iPhone slide up and down in the case. Now, after extensive testing, your iPhone will not - I repeat - will not fall out. It just doesn’t fit snugly within the case, but trust me, it has a grip and won’t let go.

The case is made out of PET bottles, and if you ever messed around with a bottle before, you’ll know that stress can be put on the plastic, which usually causes it to turn white. This is exactly what happened with this rPET iPhone case. After plopping my 4S in the case, and taking it out a couple of times, I noticed one of the bottom corners started turning white. This wasn’t there when I first received the phone, and I can only imagine that is what caused it.

I do have a white iPhone, and the white blemish on the corner wasn’t horribly noticeable and I barely noticed it. But I can assure you, it’ll probably happen. I used the GoogleTron and read some reviews, and others had the same issue. But depending on the color you choose, you might not even notice it.

Speaking of these colors, the rPET comes in Lipstick Pink, Tangerine Tango, Lime, Turquoise, Black and White. And each case is made using only 1 recycled water bottle.


Based on design, this case is perfect - for me. I love the way it feels in my hand. I can barely notice it, and that is what I like. I did drop the phone a couple of times, at a short height and it did a great job at absorbing the fall.

But the cons are still there, stretching the case will most likely yield a white blemish. And a constant fear of the phone falling out because of the slight wiggle might always remain in the back of your mind, but again I stress, it will not fall out! But I honestly think these two things shouldn’t detour you from spending $30 bucks to protect your iPhone and help save the planet.

Case-Mate keeps up with their ‘Barely There‘ theme and really does a great job with this little product. I honestly can’t think of a reason to not pick up one of these cases. If you hate bulky protection, but still want to feel a little confident you won’t have a bunch of cracked glass, head on over to Case-Mate’s website and grab yourself one of these guys!

Gadgetsteria’s Rating: 4/5

Thanks to Case-Mate for the review sample!