I’ve never been a big fan of cases for the iPhone. I’ve always felt that it’s a crime to hide the beauty and sleek design of the iPhone behind a huge case. So when I was asked to review a case from Snugg, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. Asked to choose a case for review, I immediately noticed the bamboo iPhone case they offer for the iPhone 5. I ran this case through the paces for a little over a week to see how it performed and better yet, to see if it could make me a case convert.
As the company’s name implies, the first thing I noticed about the bamboo iPhone case was how snug of a fit it is. The bamboo is lined with a felt-like material that helps keep the case tight without scratching the phone during installation and removal. The case goes on with two interlocking pieces, each with its own cutouts for buttons, speakers, and ports. The bottom, while tight, slides off easily enough to facilitate docks or larger headphone cables (more on this in a minute).
Design-wise, this case is beautiful. The bamboo finish is lightly polished, giving you a more natural feel than you would expect with a regular plastic case. The grain is beautifully light and terminates at either end with the tell-tale spots of real bamboo. The cutouts for speakers, ports, and buttons are smooth and cut exactly where they need to be. There are no rough edges anywhere on the case. There’s even an extra cutout to make the power button more easily accessible. All in all this is a really beautiful case.
The bottom half of the case slides off easily for use in docks and to fit cables that are larger than the ports allow for. I slid this off at least 5 times a day for the entire testing process and I haven’t noticed a single bit of slip or loosening due to the removal and re-installation of the bottom half.
Cost of this case is $29.99 from TheSnugg.com and is available for the iPhone 4, iPhone 5, and the iPhone 5S.The only color available is the blond natural bamboo color, which is fine because it looks amazing.
There aren’t a lot of bad points to this case, but rather a few minor annoyances that are worth noting. First, the hole left for the headphone cable is only big enough to fit the stock iPhone headphone connector. If your headphone jack is any thicker, or if it bends, it just won’t fit. This is the reason I go to test the removal of the bottom half so much, as I had to do that every time I plugged my iPhone into my car. The Lightning connector attaches just fine and the stock headphones do as well. As long as you use the original headphones you should be fine.
I made sure to show this case to as many people as I could to get their initial impression, and the one overall comment I got was that it was too smooth. A few people worried about dropping the phone because of the smoothness of the bamboo case. I personally don’t see an issue with this but if you’re prone to dropping things, this might be an issue for you.
The only other issue with the case is the alignment of the top and bottom halves. The alignment is not as perfect as I would like it to be, with the right side sitting slightly off center. If you run your hands over the seam on the back you can feel a slight ridge as well. Mind you, this is nothing bad enough to not use this case, but the perfectionist in me notices.
All in all these are very small, nit-picky issues and other than trying to find an issue with the case, can easily be overlooked.
So, the question is, should you buy this case? Well, if you’re looking for a unique and beautiful iPhone case, I would strongly recommend it. The fit and finish of the case is great and minus a few hairline scratches in the rear, the case looks as new as it did the day I received it. Bamboo is a renewable resource, making the case a green choice, too.
For the price of $30, I’d say go for it. I’m done with the review and I still have the case installed on my phone, so for someone like me who hates cases to still be using it should say something good.
Snugg makes a lot more than bamboo iPhone cases. They offer a variety of cases for everything from Kindles to various smart phones to an assortment of tablets. Check them out at the following locations to learn more and to get a case for yourself.