The Minisuit Smoke Skin Circle for iPhone 4 ($15) is a transparent plastic case that suffers from bad design and bad looks. There’s little about this case that should interest an iPhone owner other than its affordable price.
The Minisuit Smoke Skin is made out of a rugged material called thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). The material is slightly pliable but has more in common with hard-shell plastic than it does with the more common silicone rubber. The case is transparent and decorated with a semi-transparent pattern of concentric cicles, which come in 6 different colors (pink, blue, black, green, orange, red, and whitish clear).
MiniSuit Smoke Skin Circle iPhone 4 Case
Art of the iPhone’s Rating:
★★★★★ (1 star out of 5)
Review Summary: The Minisuit Smoke Skin case has an unappealing aged look to it and makes using the iPhone’s sleep/wake button hard to use.
The main reason we can’t recommend the Smoke Skin Circle is that it makes the iPhone’s sleep button very difficult to press. The case covers up both the sleep and volume buttons with its own raised areas of plastic. The problem is that the material is so inflexible, it takes too much pressure to push and activate the iPhone’s sleep button through the case. It hurt our fingers to do so. While the volume buttons are not affected quite as much, they still are much more difficutlt to press with the case on.
The case offers only average protection for the iPhone. The material is stiff and not conducive to shock absorption. On a positive note, it does have a thick rim that sticks up above the iPhone’s screen, which should take the brunt of an impact should it be dropped on that side.
We liked the durability of the case. TPU is known as a tough material that resists abrasions and tears well, and is also oil and grease resistant. After putting the case through heavy use for a week, the case came out scratch free.
In terms of style, we didn’t find the Smoke Skin Circle’s aethestics appealing. The transparent material arrived with almost a slight yellowish, aged look. The circular pattern is neat, but not neat enough to rescue the case from a cheap look. The case leaves a clear circular area on the back so the iPhone’s Apple logo is visible.
The case has a stiff, vinyl-like feel that we were indifferent to. It lacks the stickiness of cases made of similar materials, but its smooth surface only slightly improves the iPhone’s grip.
A fatal flaw ruins Minisuit Smoke Skin Circle ($15), as the case makes the iPhone’s sleep button much too hard to press for everyday use. The case is average in most other areas, with the exceptions of fit and affordability, leaving very little to compel an iPhone user to consider the case. Our rating: 3.5 out of 10, not recommended.