Review: Naked Case Touch-Through Acrylic Case

[Ed: Wondering where you may have seen this case before? Look no further than our ongoing Smartphone Expert Round Robin! Yup, one lucky TiPb reader will be winning the Naked Case along with a shiny new iPhone 3G, both courtesy of Case-Mate! Huge thanks to them, and our new sibling store Smartphone Outlet for making all this possible! Now hurry up and read all about what you just might win!]

Need a new case that is light-weight, thin and protects the iPhone screen? Look no further than the Case-Mate Naked Case Touch Through Acrylic Case for iPhone 3G! This case is available for $34.95 from the Phone Different Store. This case totally encompasses your iPhone protecting it from any accidental damage. How does it work? Read on for more information!

Design

Case-Mate's Naked Case comes in a few different colors; black, white, grey, pink and clear. In this review, we are looking at the "clear" case. The design allows for a simple two-piece solution. The two section of the case slide together, seamlessly snapping at the bottom of the case, by the iPhone's dockng port. The top half has openings for the front sensors, power button and volume controls. It also have an elegant black outline covering the perimeter of the device. The translucent top piece is not only a protectant, but it is an electrostatic membrane that allows you to touch the screen. More on this later.

Daily Use

Once your iPhone is encapsulated by the case, it is fully protected. That doesn't mean you can drop it in water, it means that 95% is covered. There are still needed openings for the Home button, speakers, power button, etc. How does this device work on a daily basis? Let's start with the basics: the touch screen.

I have to admit I was a little leery of using a case that covered my touch screen. However, there is no need to fear, the device responds perfectly fine. The case is designed with such precision, the touch screen lines up beautifully with no gaps; even the home button is exact. Kudos to Case-Mate. The only distractor I could find is sometimes that the too screens just barely touch, So sometimes, there are sections of the case and touch screen that meet and it can leave a somewhat distracting "bubble" on the screen. To be honest though, if you touch it, it typically disappears and probably won't cause too much distraction.

I have myself trained that I use the power button to turn by iPhone on and off. I don't use the home button, just the power button. This has been a challenge because I find the the power button is recessed a little too far for my "fat" fingers. But hey, I embrace change, and pressing the home button to boot up is a satisfactory second place. 

I have found all of the other opening sufficient for what they do. I can easily access the ringer switch, volume controls, camera lens, headphone jack and docking port with ease. 

The case adds minimal bulk to the iPhone. I am not one to usually have a case attached to my phone all the time; I typically slide it in and out of a case. However, with the very thin form factor of the Naked- Case, I could still easily slide it into my pocket with no worry of it being uncomfortable or bulging out too much from my pocket (ok, no jokes here). 

Conclusion

Overall, I like this case, I really do and this is a first for me with this type of case enclosure. Sure there are a few distractors, and a couple nagging idiosyncrasies such as the Apple logo is completely obscured when using one of the colored cases. However, what is gained is awesome; a lightweight case that protects your iPhone top, front and back. The electrostatic membrane is responsive and works like a charm. All ports are assessable and is easily taken off and removed. Oh, that part reminds me of something; durability. I can't say I feel that I were to drop the iPhone on concrete the case would live to see another day, but I sure feel the iPhone will. Oh, and check out the gallery and YouTube video at the bottom ;-)

Pros

  • Solid
  • Touch screen works great with case!
  • Easy to snap on and off

Cons

  • Not dockable with case
  • Some iPhone buttons are hard to access

TiPb Rating:

4 Stars 

   

 

Chad Garrett

Software trainer, blogger and mobile technology enthusiast living in the suburban Midwest.

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There are 18 comments. Add yours.

cherryhead25 says:

I've read that this case scratches the back of the iPhone. Have you used it for a significant amount of time at all?
Also you guys do really fair comparison reviews. Any way we can see this go head to head with the Xylo T3?

miked says:

I had this case and got rid of it within a couple of weeks. First the bubbles are a major distractors and it does no go away as the article suggested. Secondly it does add to bulk to the slim iphone. The only thing good about it is that you are able to see the whole iphone sleekness form unlike other cases that cover it entirely.

Chad Garrett says:

@primechuck: sorry, no clip :-(
@cherryhead25: I have used it for a couple of weeks. Granted I removed the case cover now and again, but I still did not have any scratching issues. However, I could see how they might occur with the 1st gen iPhone due to its metal backing.
@milked: regarding the bubbles, they did go away. I am not sure what caused them.... I also found taking the case off then on would resolve them too. I really did not find the bubbles distracting. Pragmatically, it is probably similar to if you find burned out pixels annoying or not. If you find them annoying, you are likely to find the bubbles annoying I suppose. The good news is, unlike the pixels, you can deal with these bubbles.

Steve says:

This case seems alright, but I really wish Apple would just lose the ultra-glossy, impossible-to-maintain look to begin with. Give it a Mac-like aluminum case with a matte screen so we don't have to deal with this.
It's like those people who have plastic covering their nice-looking furniture – who's ever going to know how nice-looking it is?

xwarhammerx says:

This case is straight fugly...and I give it two thumbs down.

iPhone says:

Does look a bit ugly but seems functional so its probably worth a look.

xwarhammerx says:

@iPhone
I did try this case out.
Something just doesn't feel right about this case as a whole being put over something so beautifully crafted.
Its a clear/transparent case so any dust, lint, debris of sorts that get under this case is noticeable and horrible bothersome.
Grade A fugly in appearance, and overall lack of cosmetic fung shui to match the product it is supposed to protect.

Chad Garrett says:

@xwarhammerx: Remember, there are a few different colors available too. I just happened to show the clear case, but black, gray, white and pink are also available.

Mike K. says:

Works for me. I got my first iPhone last week and no problems.

Sterling says:

This case scratched the back of my phone really bad. You have to clean out the dust from inside the case frequently. I was very disappointed with this case. On the good side though, i dropped the phone on concrete a couple of times and it held up great

Roger Crowley says:

The case has very sharp ragged edges that scrape across your ear when using the phone. If you live in a climate with daily degree changes in temperature -like winter in northeast US- then moisture collects between the case and the iPhone causing condensation. Not Good! You even see little moisture bubbles that move around as you use the touch screen. Sliding the case on and off the iPhone scratches the back of the case. I would avoid buying this product.

Jason says:

I've been using this case for a month now. It does protect the phone well and I have no bubble issues. However dust and dirt get in and drive me nutts, I have to clean it out daily and am currently looking to replace it.

erica says:

bought the white iPhone last friday with this case at AT&T Wireless for $30. i am going to return it. it hurts when held up to your ear, the bubbles did not go away, the lint and dirt buildup between the phone and case is highly visible, and it is VERY difficult to remove. my coworker had to do it for me and luckily it did not scratch my phone! oh yeah... i think it adds a lot of bulk to the phone.

Vince says:

i found it helped a lot. the dust is an issue and it will not scratch the iphone back if u dont take it off tons. overall a very nice product

Lee says:

Gang- you can get rid of the bubbles. It sounds nuts but it works. DUST your hand with J&J baby powder- then take a cotton swab and dab it in the powder- then wipe the inside of your case screen and the top of your iphone screen. Use VERY little. Wipe off the excess and put the phone n the case. THe baby powder eliminates the "oil' & moisture bubbles you are seeing under the case screen.

Al Dente says:

Previously I used rubbery and hard plastic flip open cases with separate screen protectors.
Personally I like the touch through case better. It makes your phone a little bulkier but it looks very protective. I like that the top looks smooth and glossy like a bare iPhone. My case really snaps on hard. The instructions on my package for removing it didn't work for me so the only time I ever took it off I had to use a knife in the crack to pry it open. Yes there are bubbles, no amount of manipulation removes them though you can move them around a little. For me the only time the bubbles are noticeable is when my screen is all the same color; when there is anything else on the screen I don't see the bubbles from straight on but they are more visible from the side. The guy at the AT&T store said I could get rid of the bubbles by putting a anti-glare screen protector on my phone inside the case; I worry that two layers on top of my phone would make it not pick up my touch as well and the anti-glare would reduce contrast. I might try Lee's baby powder suggestion since it is easy to undo if it doesn't work.
The case does make the touchscreen slightly less responsive; it takes a slight pressure to pick up. Not entirely a disadvantage since I noticed that I don't accidentally touch something as much. Games where I have to slide my finger across the screen are a little tougher with this case.