I’ve kind of been on an iPhone accessories binge of late. So, I thought I’d share my buys with you and let you know what works and what doesn’t. I’m a pretty good judge of what’s going to work with my iDevices before I buy something, so only 1 of the cases I bought is bad. I think everything else I’ve bought is some degree of awesome or another.
Let’s get to the shopping show. All of my links go to iPhone 5 accessories, but all of the accessories are available for the iPhone 4 and 4S.
My absolute favorite case just arrived a few days ago. I’m starting things off with the best of the best. The Gumdrop Drop Tech Designer Series case is the BEST case I’ve ever owned. It’s also 1 of the most expensive of the accessories I have bought at $45 (thank you credit card companies).
However, the price is certainly worth it if you’re looking to protect your iPhone from falls, dust, and pretty much anything else.
Every single opening on your iPhone is covered with the Gumdrop Drop Tech. It either has a rubber button on top of it (including the Home button), or it has a little flip-top opening that protects it, like the speakers and charging port.
It is really 2 covers in 1. The inside cover (the pink part) is really a hard case that encloses the whole of the iPhone protecting it from danger, and the outside cover (the blue part) is a rubber, shock absorbing, protect-from-drops machine.
I don’t know about the integrated screen cover. I didn’t see it in the package. I actually forgot to look for it because I never use those. I already have a Zagg InvisiShield screen protector on my devices.
There are many available color combinations for the Gumdrop and you can also get just black or the like with the regular Drop Tech series that is available through this link, as well.
The Gumdrop does feel a bit bulkier due to the outer layer’s ruggedness, but it still fits in my small hands very well.
All in all, my Gumdrop is here to stay on my iPhone. I guess the best really was saved for last, in this case (excuse the pun).
The first case that I got was the SwitchEasy Colors for iPhone 5 case. I really liked it a lot. For 1 thing, it is relatively cheap at $20. iPhone 4 and 4S cases are even cheaper.
I discovered the problem with my SwitchEasy Colors case pretty soon after using it. It is made from a “Jelly”-like rubber. Unfortunately, that rubber does not keep its shape and it stretched out and didn’t stay put pretty soon after using it.
Other than that, it was almost perfect. It comes in a range of bright, beautiful colors. It has a cover for the ports, a wipe to clean your screen, and a few more things. But, the stretching just made it unworkable for me.
The next case I got from Zazzle.com. Zazzle offers the most unique cases you will ever find. In fact, some are 1 of a kind. That’s because people design their own cases and Zazzle makes them. You can, of course, see what other people have designed and order that, if you don’t feel that creative. That’s actually what I do.
I got the Elegant Steampunk case this time. You can either order the normal case, which has a cloth backing and plastic frame. Or, you can order the hard plastic-backed case with a much sturdier frame for about $5 more. Cases start at about $35 and depend on the design you order and some other zany algorithm that Zazzle must have.
If you’re looking for something fun, unique, crazy, or specific, Zazzle is definitely the way to go. The cases that are $5 more are definitely worth the price. I’ve had both and the 1st 1 broke easily. The 2nd 1 is much, much sturdier.
My only problem with the Zazzle case is that I found the buttons hard to press for the power button and volume buttons, which are covered by hard plastic. But, that is a small price to pay for a 1 of a kind case.
The next-to-last case that I bought was the Incipio Duo. I purchased the Duo that looks blue in the photo above. I say looks blue because to me, it looks more like greenish-blue in real life. That could just be a variation, the light, my eyes, or something else. But, it’s the only thing I don’t like about the Duo. The Duo costs about $14 on Amazon, making it the cheapest case to buy, as well.
Everything else about the Duo is exceptionally nice. The Duo is almost the opposite of the Gumdrop composition. It has a soft, pliable, absorbent inner layer, and a tough, plastic outer layer that feels a bit silky. You put the inner layer on 1st, just like the Gumdrop, and it goes on just like the SwitchEasy. Then, you just pop the outer shell over it. The buttons are all covered only by the inner shell, so they are nice and soft to the touch.
I really, really like the Incipio Duo, and it comes in many other color combinations as well. I really liked it until I got the Gumdrop. Now, the Duo is kind of dead to me. But, it’s really not the Duo’s fault. The Gumdrop is just that good.
My next set of purchases was extremely reasonably priced. Many of you have probably heard of the OlioClip (If you haven’t, they’re a 3-in-1 lens set that clips onto your iPhone to turn it into almost a real camera). It’s almost $70 and is pretty famous as far as accessories go. I really didn’t want to pay that much for lenses though. So, I looked for a cheaper alternative and found an abundance of them on Amazon.com.
The clip that I got by BrainyTrade is really very nice. I read a ton of reviews and many said that this was just as good as the OlioClip at a fraction of the price ($10). Frankly, I almost always go for the original on something and am not often swayed from a purchase because I could get a bargain somewhere else. However, in this case, I made an exception, because I could see that a little piece of plastic and a little piece of glass should not cost $70.
I love the clip! It takes some awesome photos. The fish-eye and wide angle lenses are my favorite (my mother hates the “bubble” look of them both, but I don’t mind and actually like it). The macro lens is quite amazing. I haven’t done much of that type of photography and may have to do more of it now.
The only thing that I don’t like about the clip is that I have to take my iPhone case off to use it. The clip slides on tightly to the top of your iPhone. Fits like a glove, which is good, but there’s no way to fit it over a a phone case. Whether or not that is worth the trouble to you is up to you. I think at this price, it’s hard to say no if you’re a photographer or someone who just enjoys taking a lot of shots, especially unique ones.
The other lens that I bought came from Amworkstation via Amazon, as well. It is a telephoto lens that amplifies the “seeing” power of your camera by 2 times its normal strength. That may not seem like much, but it makes a considerable difference with many things. Not with everything. You’re not going to be able to see across a football field, but you will be able to take a photo across a room and get a much clearer shot.
Now, this same exact lens is available by MANY different companies on Amazon at many different prices. You could get 1 for much cheaper, but I tend to go a little above to get a better product when I can (thanks again credit cards).
I can tell you again that it is hard to notice the difference when you take a shot even across a large roadway or of a sign that’s far away. But, shots inside the house especially turn out really well and I’m very happy with the lens.
This lens attaches to the camera via a metal ring that you stick onto your phone. The ring is “pre-stickied” by the company and just sticks right on around the camera lens window. Then, you just put the lens on. The magnetic hold is very strong between the ring and the lens. I’m never afraid that it’s going to fall off. The only problem is taking it off the ring. Make sure you slide the lens sideways when taking it off instead of just pulling. Just pulling will bring the ring off, too.
Not to worry though. Amworkstation includes 2 rings in case, like me, you pull it off too many times and ruin the stickiness with the 1st ring
All in all, I am really happy with both my purchases in the lens category. I may have gone with a slightly less expensive telephoto lens, but this 1 is really quite fab.
Okay, now this item is kind of off-the-wall and a little counterintuitive. You may think, “why does she need a phone to talk on the phone,” or, if you’re younger, you might think, “what is that thing supposed to be”? But, I like it.
What “it” is is a handset to make talking on your iPhone easier for those of us who don’t like holding a touchscreen against our face or having to hold the iPhone slightly away from our face for a long conversation. I’m not going to link to any specific handset, because they come in many colors and many styles. The photo above is just 1 of the many. You can even find 1 locally I’m sure at many stores these days. I’m told they’re quite popular right now.
Good handsets often have a button to control volume and sometimes to answer and hang up calls. Some even look like entire old phones with a body that the iPhone sits in. The handset connects to the iPhone through the headphone jack on your iPhone.
Now, I unfortunately just found the 1 I really want and would’ve ordered if I had seen it. It is pictured at left, just in case you didn’t already know from previously in this post that I like steampunk. Mini lesson: THIS is totally steampunk! I really, really want it, but the credit card companies will probably say no by now. And, as this is the end of this post, you can probably see why they would say that after viewing all my purchases. However, in my defense, it was research, it was fun, and I got some good products.
That’s it for me today. Until later, …