Sunday, 8 June 2014

Review: Mr Nutcase Executive Flip Case for iPhone 5

The opportunity to review a Mr Nutcase phone case really appealed to me for three reasons. Firstly, my phone is always being nabbed by my toddler and despite her very best intentions it almost always ends up dropped, and we don't have carpet anywhere downstairs in our house which means my phone, which still has 7 months to run before I can upgrade, looks a state. Secondly, I am incredibly clumsy, even when sober. Thirdly, anyone who follows me with any regularity will know that I love photography and take a lot of photos. A lot of photos. So many photos that I'm constantly switching my backgrounds about because there's another image that I love and can't stop looking at. First world problem.

I've had a couple of other cases for my phone but there's been fundamental issues with both. The first was just a pouch and I lost it all the time. In fact, I think I stopped using it because I lost it. Good. The second was a photocase, with one image on the back and a rubbery enclosure which saved the corners but didn't protect the screen when it was in my handbag etc.

The first thing I noticed when I browsed the Mr Nutcase web page was that I was going to able to include lots of images on the case, not just one. Big tick. I could also choose an executive flip leather style case that would protect my phone from all the stuff that rattles around in my handbag. And from my clumsy self. Another big tick.

The third thing I noticed was the wide variety of devices that were catered for... Apple products, Nokia, HTC and more! 

So I set about designing my case online. You choose which images you'd like to use and upload them before dragging them onto the template to create your design. The designing was a little fiddly to start with but I soon got the hang of it (I didn't realise you needed to press and hold the zoom button, for example and was clicking it repeatedly wondering why it wasn't doing anything). You're reminded that you need to ensure that the images fill the whole space to ensure that you're not left with any empty gaps on your case and you can move the image around so that you capture just the part of the image you want in each frame. Point to note here is that I was designing a solid panel - the front of the flip - but the template allowed space for the camera hole, which is in fact in the back of the case, so I ofset an image to compensate for the hole and then it looked a bit odd when it arrived, however the lovely people at Mr NutCase let me reorder my case and tell me that this is a little kink in the design of the website which is being fixed at the moment. Once you've finished designing you can preview your item before ordering. Simples!

The delivery of my case was really speedy and first impressions were excellent. Sturdy, an excellent fit for my iPhone 5, well made, and the image quality is good despite the slightly textured nature of the case. I've already had several comments that it's an unusual case and lovely that I can have so many images on too. I agree. The magnetic closure on the case is strong enough to keep it shut but not so strong that I can't flip it open one handed - vital with a small baby in my arms a lot of the time. The case doesn't impede the volume buttons or the camera at all. Overall, I'm really happy with it and am seriously considering a case for my iPad too.

There are a few things that I feel could be improved though. Firstly, the case is currently only available in white. That's fine, I was told that was my only option but I can see it getting grubby quickly in my back pocket of my indigo jeans, toddler fingers, general use, and some bright colours or some more exective options would widen up the demographic who might want to use such a case. Secondly, it would be nice if the website could identify if you haven't quite used the frame completely and double check that you'd intended it to be that way before going on to preview; I've ordered two cases and despite me checking carefully I've still ended up with tiny white border on a couple of the tiny images that I just hadn't detected on screen. I know that's my fault but other websites that I've ordered personalised items from in the past have flagged similar issues up. Finally, I'd prefer it if the case flipped up, not down. Maybe I'm being really picky, but there's two reasons for this: Firstly I can't charge my phone without the case being open which I just find a bit niggly (this might well be to stop the phone overheating while charging, I guess, but I have a similar design of case on my iPad and I can charge it shut, but secondly, I find it hurts my hand a little using my phone with the flip in the way, presumably because the case cuts in to the heel of my hand and my thumb is having to stretch a bit more. It's fine for a quick text or a phonecall, but if I'm writing a blog post, or an email, or browsing for longer than a couple of minutes I end up taking the phone out of the case and popping it back in after. It's easy enough to do, but the flip being at the top could solve that. Just personal preference I suppose!

Looking about online I'd say Mr Nutase's prices were pretty competative. Photocases for an iPhone from Photobox (my "go to" place for things like this!) normally retail at full price for £22 compared to £15 at Mr Nutcase while they do offer multi-image designs, they don't offer the flip case design that Mr Nutcase do. They also seem to have a much more comprehensive coverage of lots of different makes and models of devices.

So, overall I love my phone case. I've got eight of my favourite pictures of my beautiful daughters on the case and it's protecting my phone in its entirety for £20, which beats the excess on my insurance in the event of it being dropped. The price is competative and it's completely unique to me, and I feel like I've got a good quality product. Mr Nutcase would make an ideal one stop shop for gifts for family, perhaps if they've recenty become new aunts/uncles/grandparents and the like. Their customer service has been great. I'd give it 9/10 and that's purely because for me, I'd like the flip the other way around but it's not the end of the world that I can't close my case while charging or I have to pop it out for extended use.

And the good news is you can have a Mr Nutcase case for your device too! Use the code "Thanku10" at the checkout to receive 10% off your order. Hurrah! 

Mr Nutcase supplied me with a case for free for the purpose of review, however all words and opinions are my own.

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