I was recently introduced to Mooskins – a company that sells one-off personalised phone cases. The concept is brilliant – you upload your photo to the Mooskins website, and they send you a phone case with your photograph printed on it. They currently do cases for the iPhone 4, iPhone 3 and the Blackberry 8520, and following a chat on Twitter the company sent me a iPhone 4 case to review.
The website is really easy to navigate and includes loads of ideas, but the idea here is that you use one of your own photographs to make your phone case completely personal to you – it’ll be a one of a kind. I chose a photo of a sunset from a holiday to Cornwall last year, and went for the landscape option, but you could choose a photo of your child, husband, pet, garden, wedding, car, holiday, or whatever else takes your fancy. You upload it to the website and then have opportunity to fiddle about with the position and cropping to get things just where you want them – I went for a landscape photo but you can equally choose a portrait design, it’s entirely up to you.
Delivery is super quick – just a couple of days, which considering these are printed to order is very good in my opinion. They arrive in plastic packaging in a jiffy bag and fit through the letterbox.
When I opened my case I was impressed. It’s moulded plastic, has cutouts for all the knobs and buttons you need access to, and isn’t going to scratch or chip easily. And importantly, the case looked really good – a high quality photographic print on the case, very glossy, and perfectly finished. I chose a high resolution photograph – make sure you do the same or you will risk having a case that’s slightly pixelated. That sunset photo that brings back such happy memories can now go with me everywhere. The size is good too – some cases can be ever-so bulky, and while this is a solid case it doesn’t add much more width than the case I’m using anyway (a smoke coloured Incase snap case).
I’d go as far as saying this is one of the nicest iPhone4 cases to look at I have come across.
Unfortunatley, though, there is one very important thing missing from this review, and that is a photograph of my iPhone 4 actually in the case. I did put it in the case, and I used it for a day or so (and no, for some reason I didn’t take a photo of it that day). But then I wanted to take it out of the case. Oh dear. How tough? The case is fitted so well to the iPhone that it was really difficult to get it out. At one point I was actually really concerned I wasn’t going to get the phone out of the case at all without breaking the case or even the phone! When I eventually prized the case and phone apart I had a closer look.
The problem, I believe (and I’m no engineer), is two-fold. Firstly the case is incredibly rigid. Now that is a good thing because it is solid and therefore protects. But it also means there is practially no flex in the product – making it very difficult to remove. Secondly, there is a lip around the top of the case. I can see this had been put there to make the case fit around the iPhone really well – excellent until you want to take it off. The rigid construction paired with that lip makes taking the case off a very stressful experience. And as I like to remove my case (mainly in order to use my iPhone in my sports armband), I made the decision not to put the case back on. Disappointed because the case had so much promise.
Maybe Mooskins could look at the construction of the case I use all the time – the incase one? Pictured together below, I prefer it because it is softer and more flexible (so it goes on and comes off easily), but still protects the phone. It doesn’t look as good as the Mooskins one though.
I must also say that this issue I’ve had is with the iPhone 4 case specifically. The iPhone 3 case is different in design – it’s a split case with a bottom and top part that clip together when on the phone. I have one of these also (Mooskins sent me one of each) and have found it is much easier to use. I can’t comment on the Blackberry case as I’ve not seen one.
I stand by my opinion above that this is a brilliant concept that looks great – the photo idea is just perfect and I could see my self having a selection of these to choose from (it was difficult enough to choose which photo to use for this review one). They also make a really good present idea for anyone with one of these phones, and at £19.99 are great value when compared to other cases available. But if you’re like me and you like to remove your iPhone4 from its case regularly, then I would suggest this isn’t the case for you.
Have you got a Mooskins case? Do you love it? Have you had the same problem trying to remove it or is this just me (it’s quite possible!)? Feel free to comment below.
UPDATED Evening of 2nd August
Following this post I was contacted by Mooskins about the difficulty I had removing the case. They sent me a video they made showing how to put the case on and, most importantly for me, how to take it off again:
I tried it this evening and it does indeed work like that – you have to “unhook” the two corners first and then pull the case away from the phone. It is still stiff and you have to use this technique or you will have the same problem I did.
I’m really pleased as now I can make use of this case and recommend Mooskins fully to Splodz Blogz readers. Thanks Tom at Mooskins for helping me out here – it’s good when a company reads about a problem and comes up with a solution, and so quickly too. May I suggest, though, that you consider including a little slip of paper with some instructions on with the case when it’s shipped? Or maybe include a link to the video with the order confirmation?
Oh and of course… a photo of my phone in the case!