iSkin’s iPod cases have been among our favorites, so we’ve been looking forward to the company’s Revo for the iPhone. Although the $40 Revo is the most expensive silicone “skin” iPhone case we’ve yet seen, it offers a number of unique features.
The silicone-skin part of the case–available in black with light-blue, pink, yellow, dark-purple, dark-red, or black accents–protects most of the iPhone’s body, leaving the screen exposed; the sides and corners of the case are thicker for added drop/shock protection. The surface of the silicone is slightly textured for a better grip, and iSkin says the case’s silicone includes “embedded antimicrobial protection” and is “anti-dust coated.”
The case provides an opening for the Receiver speaker–large enough to not obscure the sensors around the speaker–on the front, as well as openings for the camera lens on the back; the speaker, microphone, and dock-connector port on the bottom; and the Ring/Silent switch on the side. These openings provide the necessary access, although I found the Ring/Silent switch difficult to use with the case on; I had to work my fingernail into the opening to flip the switch. The iPhone’s headphone jack is also accessible, but protected by a rubber flap that you lift up when connecting your headphones; the flap feels sturdy, although I can’t tell you how it will hold up after several months of use. The iPhone’s Volume, Home, and Sleep/Wake buttons are covered by the case, but tactile ridges let you “feel” for these controls and use them through the case.
The case also includes three unique accessories, two for added protection and one for privacy. The first is a clear, scratch-resistant, polycarbonate shield, which iSkin calls ViSOR, that clips into grooves on the sides of the Revo to provide significant protection for the iPhone’s screen. (Obviously, you can’t use your iPhone’s touchscreen with the ViSOR attached.) A nice touch is that these grooves also let you clip the ViSOR onto the back of the case, where it sits flush, for storage when you’re using the phone. The second protection accessory is iSkin’s silicone Port Cover, which plugs into your iPhone’s dock-connector port to keep out dust and dirt. It’s a good idea in theory, but I found that the Port Cover fell out occasionally during everyday iPhone use.
The third accessory is a touch-compatible film that restricts the viewing angle of the iPhone’s screen. With this film applied, you can see the screen clearly from head-on, but turn the iPhone approximately 30 degrees to either side and the screen appears dark and blurry. It’s a neat idea, although it has a couple limitations. First, the film affects–slightly–the clarity of your iPhone’s screen. Second, the privacy feature works only in one plane: when viewing your screen normally, the view of the screen from above or below is unaffected; when the iPod is horizontal, the film doesn’t affect the view from the sides. Still, for use on a plane, train, or other environment where people will be tempted to check out your iPhone, the film works well.
The Revo’s biggest drawback is that, like all cases that offer significant protection, it adds bulk to your iPhone’s svelte figure. But if you’re OK with that tradeoff, the Revo is an excellent protective case.–Dan Frakes