Speck’s $35 CandyShell Flip for iPhone 5 has one primary and two ancillary missions in life. The first is to protect your iPhone—something it does with extreme elegance. The second is to enable you to use the iPhone while it’s docked in a cradle accessory without having to remove the case. But the case also functions as an independent iPhone stand—an unofficial use, but I’m betting that most users take advantage of this ability at some point.
This CandyShell model features an impact-resistant, hard polycarbonate plastic cover that’s designed to easily slide in and out of pockets. The matte surface is smooth to the touch and a pleasure to handle. Inside, a TPE-based rubber coating—which is actually molded together with the hard shell—fits snugly around the device. The case has rubberized button overlays and cut-outs for the iPhone’s back camera, speakers, ports, and sensors, while a thin raised bezel helps protect the touchscreen from other surfaces that might cause damage if you lay the iPhone facedown.
The CandyShell Flip adds slight bulk to the iPhone but is a tad more flexible than some of the other CandyShell models. And removing it from the iPhone requires a bit of muscle—and technique (Speck’s website even features instructions on how best to do this). Moving the flip part of the case out of the way also takes a little effort, but luckily the case’s soft rubber lining prevents it from scratching the delicate outer shell of the phone.
While you can certainly leave the case on the iPhone while charging it, the back flip-up panel makes the case convenient to use with a dock-cradle accessory, and that’s the most practical reason to buy this model. But you might also choose the CandyShell Flip for its good looks and perky personality. This model comes in nine sophisticated tri-color combinations that lend a chic appearance to your iPhone.
Even if you don’t plan to use Apple’s 30-pin-to-Lightning adapter to dock your iPhone, you can still take advantage of the case’s protective attributes. In fact, you never have to flip up the bottom, unless of course you want to use it as a stand. This last feature is not advertised: Flipping out the bottom for a stand is the only point at which the body of your iPhone is exposed to a potentially dangerous surface. Plus, it’s probably not the steadiest stand around. But it works in a pinch, and if you use it on, say, your desk, you might be able to get away without buying a separate stand.
Whether or not you plan to dock your iPhone, the CandyShell Flip for iPhone 5 is a handsome and efficient protective case. If you want a smooth, shiny cover with a tiny bevel to protect your Retina display from contact with other surfaces, this case fits the bill—and your iPhone—nicely.