iSkin Solo FX
The search for the perfect iPhone cover can best be compared to the quest to find the Holy Grail. The iPhone with it’s distinctive shape and capabilities cannot possibly been contained in just any case. It deserves to have an equally cool container to protect it from the elements and the occasional drop from a pocket or desk.
Since purchasing the iPhone 3G when it was first released in 2008, I have gone through no fewer than eight cases. Each time I buy one I think this will be the one that will finally meet all of my criteria while still being stylish enough to carry.
Invariably though I find myself disappointed. With some cases they are too bulky turning the iPhone into a brick-like dimension. These cases do bring back a certain amount of nostalgia reminding the user what cell phone form factors used to be in the 1980’s.
Other cases are sleek and smooth but offer very little protection to the iPhone turning the user into a nervous wreck as they are afraid of dropping or damaging their phone. You can usually spot these users as they look like they are handling a core of Uranium 238.
I’ve tried several of the ice cream magic shell equivalent of cases. You know the chocolate coating that you pour over ice cream and it turns into a hard chocolate shell. In the case of iPhone cases these usually have the word “shield” in their names like GhostShield, InvisiShield, ArmorShield, etc.
The problem with these types of cases is that while they may protect the iPhone from scratches they have a tendency to peel off leaving the edges of the iPhone unprotected. They can also get expensive if you have them installed by the dealer with each charging between $10 and $20 per application.
What I needed was something with a non-slick surface that would protect the back of the iPhone with perhaps a removable face cover. I want the case to be stylish but not too thick. My quest to find such a case led me look at the iSkin product.
iSkin has long been associated with cases for the iPod market and I have used them in the past for my music player. I went to their web site and was intrigued by the iSkin Solo FX.
The iSkin Solo FX is a silicon-based case that gives the back of the iPhone protection with a silicon cover that comes in several different colors. They have added geometric shapes into the silicon giving it a unique look.
I purchased a Solo FX in the color Passion which is a translucent red. I have to admit, I was a little reluctant thinking my iPhone would be dressed in Passion Red but it was the closest thing to Arizona Diamondbacks Sedona Red so I guess it is fitting that it would be called Passion.
The cover came with two different front covers. One is a clear cover that protects the iPhone face while still allowing it to be touch sensitive. The second cover was a mirror finish. It is kind of cool giving the iPhone an almost stealth look.
For those of you who are international spies, the mirrored finish makes a great accessory that you can use to look around corners to make sure you are not about to walk into a terrorist cell ambush. Think of it as a national security preserver.
The iSkin Solo FX is relatively simple to install. You simply slide it on and roll the edges over the corners of the iPhone. There are openings for the headphone jack, the camera lens, the mute button, and the dock connector on the end.
The on and off switch and the volume controls are covered but the silicon is thinner there allowing you to press the buttons. The case does not add a lot of bulk to the phone and does provide a non-slip surface that makes it easier to hold in your hand while in use.
The opening for the docking port is adequately sized to allow easy connection to the cords. It is a much better than the touch Vibes case iSkin makes for the iPod Touch. That case requires you to manipulate the case and move the docking cord around to finally get a good dock connection.
The iSkin Solo FX has semi-transparent circle shapes in the back of the case. When you add the iPhone the black back of my iPhone shows through giving it a classy geometric pattern that other cases do not have.
The one negative I have with the iSkin Solo FX is that the dye used to create the case does have a tendency to bleed onto the back of the phone. If you have a black case that is not a problem but with the white iPhone you could end up with a pink back. Fortunately for me I still have an Invisishield on the back of the phone so the dye came off with the removal of the Invisishield.
The dye problem is not just with the red color. I bought my wife a blue cover and my daughter has an aqua color and each of them have also bled onto the iPhone case.
Overall the iSkin Solo FX has been a good case. I hesitate to say it is the perfect case. Although you can buy a separate belt clip it is not included with the Solo FX. The iSkin product line is also relatively expensive with the Solo FX listed for $32.99.
Fortunately iSkin offers discounts and sales fairly regularly so you can get it for less if you are willing to be patient and wait for it to go on sale. Delivery is quite fast, all of the covers I have ordered from iSkin have come via US Postal Service and are packaged quite well.
You should also remove the cover once and a while and clean the inside of the case and the iPhone. Dirt can sometimes get inside and could rub between the cover and the iPhone scratching the back. I have never had that happen with my iPhone or my iPods but it could so be forewarned.
This same problem can occur with any case and by no means is a flaw in the design of the iSkin Solo FX. If you are looking for a slim silicon case that gives your device a stylish look without adding a lot of bulk take a look at the Solo FX.