Review of the iSkin REVO for the iPhone
The iSkin REVO for the iPhone is the first non-acrylic case that I have had the opportunity to use since the launch of the iPhone. The Acrylic cases that I have reviewed are mostly designed to keep your iPhone looking good, but do not offer much more in the way of protection. Their see-through design and minimalist approach help to show off the iPhone in all it’s splendor and offer some scratch and ding protection, however the inherent design of these cases allow for some tiny dirt particles to get between the case and the iPhone, reducing the scratch protection to some degree. The Acrylic cases from Belkin and iSee also do not offer protection for the screen.
The iSkin REVO offers the best protection for the iPhone that I have seen, while still providing full access. The case is made of a premium grade silicon material with an embedded antimicrobial agent (Microban) which helps to inhibit growth of microbes. The revo case protects all areas, best parental control apps, ports, and controls and includes a privacy screen filter that not only protects the screen from scratches but also makes the screen harder to see from the side while remaining completely visible for you, the user. The iSkin revo also includes a clear polycarbonate ViSOR™ that fits over the screen area and is designed to offer another layer of protection when throwing the iPhone into a handbag or pocket. The ViSOR snaps on the front to cover and protect the iPhone’s screen area and will snap on the rear of the case into a recessed area specifically designed for it when not being used.
Great Protection for the iPhone and the User
iSkin sent me the revo blade (Black/Blue) to review and I must admit that I am very impressed with it’s design and fit. iSkin pulled out all the stops to make sure that every part of the iPhone was protected. The case even helps to protect us iPhone users by embedding an antimicrobial agent into the rubber so that the case will inhibit the growth of microbes. Sounds silly, but think of the places you use your iPhone. Personally, my iPhone gets used everywhere – at the gym, to catch up on the news when nature calls, while having lunch or dinner, in the car, at the beach – so germs are around. It’s nice to know that the case was designed to inhibit the growth of these microbes.
Headphone Jack Protection
Unlike other rubber cases, the iSkin completely covers all buttons, allowing through-the-case access to the power/stand-by and volume buttons. Even the headphone jack is protected by a sturdy rubber flap that keeps dust out while still allowing access (see photo on right). The only opening on the side of the case is the one that allows access to the ringer/silent switch. By reducing the amount of exposed holes to just one – the revo will do a better job of keeping dust and debris from getting into the case – thus protecting your iPhone from scratches that could occur when grit gets sandwiched between the case and the phone.
In the Box
The iSkin revo includes the premium grade silicon case, a screen protector and privacy shield, and the ViSOR™ polycarbonate protective shield (Photo #2).
Placing the iPhone into the Case
Inserting the iPhone into the iSkin revo is simply a matter of placing the the iPhone into the case – bottom first – then stretching the top of the case over the top of the iPhone (Photo #1).
Screen and Privacy Protector
As you have already read the iSkin case includes a non-adhesive screen protector that also provides privacy from people who may be sitting next to you. When viewing the iPhone from the front the screen protector allows full viewing, but when someone tries to glance over at your screen from the side, the screen appears almost dark gray or black – reducing visibility.
Since the screen protector is a one-way privacy shield you’ll find that the screen appears darkest from the sides when using the iPhone in portrait (vertical) orientation. When holding the iPhone horizontally, the privacy screen reduces the viewing angle from top to bottom rather than side-to-side, allowing you to still share videos and photos with others who may not be viewing the screen from directly in front.
Photo #3 shows the iPhone with the screen protector laying next to it. Photo #4 is an example of how dark the screen becomes from an angle when the privacy / screen protector is on the iPhone (the screen doesn’t get completely black, however the camera wasn’t able to capture the subtle image coming through). The tags/tabs that are pictured on the screen protector actually peel off. The tabs are instructional aids to let you know which way to apply the screen protector.
ViSOR Polycarbonate Screen Guard
The iSkin revo provides two levels of screen protection. The first, mentioned above, is the non-adhesive screen protector / privacy shield that provides scratch protection while allowing full use of the iPhone screen. The second level of screen protection is the ViSOR screen guard which provides for extra screen protection, but only for travel use (in your pocket, handbag, etc.). When the ViSOR guard is placed over the screen (Photo #6) you are not able to actually use the touch screen, however the see-through design does allow you to view the screen – important because it allows you to see caller ID information or to view a video.
When not is use you can store the ViSOR screen guard on the rear of the case (Photo #8) where it fits snugly and blends seamlessly thanks to a specific area designed to house the guard (Photo #9).
Note: The ViSOR guard is a huge fingerprint and smudge ‘magnet,’ but does a good job of staying scratch free. After a couple of weeks of every day use, the ViSOR guard on my iSkin revo has only a few very light scratches.
The iSkin revo is the most comfortable case I have used for the iPhone. It feels thinner than the previously reviewed Acrylic cases yet feels much more rugged. The rubber around the revo’s exterior features a very subtle texture that enhances the grip when holding the iPhone. The texture also helps to prevent the iPhone from sliding when placed up against an object at an angle (for viewing) and finally, the case features an anti-dust coating to prevent dust and lint. This seems like such a small feature, but it does work and helps to keep the case looking new.
The Ultimate iPhone Case — almost!
The iSkin revo is the closest thing to the ultimate iPhone case you can get and would truly be worth the rather high $39.95 price tag if only it included a few features:
Removable Belt Clip
Integrated or removable stand similar to the Belkin Acrylic Case to allow angled viewing of music videos, YouTube videos, or video podcasts.
I am not a huge “wear-it-on-the-belt” fan, but I know many users like to wear their phone on the belt as it keeps their pockets free of bulk, so the revo case may not be right for these users. The design of the case makes me feel as if iSkin could probably find a way to add a pivoting stand – maybe in lieu of the ViSOR screen guard – on a future version or to release an add-on accessory for the current version.
The protection that the revo case offers is second to none as it covers the entire back, sides, and control portions of the front. iSkin then includes extras to protect the rest of the iphone; screen protector / privacy shield, removable, and easily lost. rubber insert (See photo to right) to keep the bottom dock connector free from dust, and the ViSOR screen guard to keep the screen safe from hard objects such as keys, coins, and other sharp objects that may share space with it.
The price of the iSkin revo would have initially prevented me from buying the case. At $39.95 the case isn’t cheap, however neither is the phone that it protects. If you consider that the revo only costs about $10 more than other cases that do not offer the silicon rubber protection, the screen shield that doubles as a privacy screen, the antimicrobial agent and anti-dust coating to keep the case looking good and free of germs, and the ViSOR screen guard to protect the screen further – you will realize that it is worth the extra $10 investment.