Wednesday, August 3, 2011

TECH: Uncommon iPhone Case Review + Enter the Uncommon $250 iTunes Giveaway ENDS 8/15

Laura using the Uncommon iPhone Case at BlogHer in San Diego
Laura Terbrack, tech goddess, is back with a iPhone case review from a company called Uncommon. Check it out...

When Jackie from Free Is My Life asked me to try out the Uncommon iPhone case she had received, I wasn’t jumping for joy at the idea. The problem had nothing to do with the case, but more to do with me. I’ve had the iPhone 3GS for just over 16 months and it’s never been in a case before. Not sure why, but I’m not a case type of person. Trying to keep an open mind, I decided to test it out anyway, just to see what it would be like.

Customize Your Heart Out!
The first thing that jumped out at me about the Uncommon case was the design. It’s not your typical solid color case. The Uncommon website has a tool where they let you customize your case. You can upload your own image or choose from Uncommon’s collection of artwork, which contains hundreds of different images. Jackie had picked a design called Day Owl, which looks similar to the picture shown below:

Day Owl
When I was browsing, the design that spoke most to me was one called Butterfly Blast Off. I wasn’t as enamored with the butterfly as I was the black/white coloring and the beautiful detail in the image. I could totally see something like this being on the back of my iPhone case:

Butterfly Blast Off
Something important to mention about the case design is that Uncommon is not merely putting stickers on the case and sending it out. They use a proprietary printing process to actually embed the image within the case, so that the image maintains its high-quality presentation while being durable.

Functional Details
A nice detail of the Uncommon case is the ease of putting the case on the phone (and also removing it). The case comes in two pieces, with the larger section covering about four-fifths of the iPhone, and the smaller bottom section covering the last one-fifth. Being able to remove that bottom piece really comes in handy when I want to put my iPhone on my iHome docking stand. Most continuous cases won’t give you this type of flexibility, which I appreciated.

The Uncommon case feels like it was built to withstand damage. The plastic shell, with the raised edges near the front glass, seems like it would do a decent job of protecting the iPhone if you happened to drop it. I can only say that the case seems like it would do a decent job because I wasn’t willing to test out my theory with my own iPhone. If anyone wants to send me his or her iPhone 3GS to test out, I’ll be more than happy to put my theory to the test!

The only problem I’ve encountered the entire time I’ve been using the case is the covered buttons built into the case to help protect the power button/volume buttons. The volume buttons worked fine, but I had difficulty getting my iPhone to turn off using the covered power button. I had to push very hard to get the iPhone to react, which slightly annoyed me. When I visited the Uncommon site, I was happy to see that this same model of case (the Capsule) had been modified for the iPhone 4 and gives direct access to the phone buttons – a smart move by Uncommon.

So…Should You Buy It?
If you are looking for a case for your iPhone that stands out from the rest, Uncommon is a great place to start. They offer customizable style and functionality - a combo that is not readily available for other iPhone cases sold in the marketplace today. The only thing stopping me from ordering a case of my own (available on the Uncommon web site starting at $34.95) is my hope that the iPhone 5 is right around the corner. When it does hit the marketplace, rest assured that I’ll be visiting Uncommon to design a cool case for my rad new phone!

Uncommon Facebook Giveaway
Uncommon is doing a giveaway on their Facebook page right now for a $240 iTunes Gift Card - YEAH! Click here to like them on Facebook and enter!  The contest ends on August 15th.

Disclosure: Uncommon sent FREEISMYLIFE a complimentary iPhone Case in order to try out the product and write this review.  This was not a compensated review.

Laura Terbrack is a wife, mother of two and a self-professed tech goddess. In addition to her busy job as an IT professional, Laura is has her own blog called "Laura in the Motor City". Follow her on Twitter at @lauramotorcity.
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