I have tested many, many cases in my short two year term as a hardware review editor. The one genre of case that I have seen overdone, rinsed and repeated, is the simple clip case. Almost every iPhone hardware company as one. The generic, little flimsy, thin-as-possible case that is just there to keep your phone from getting scratched up.
The trouble with these simple, small, thin cases is lack of detail and, really, passion. Companies seem to pass the thin do-nothing case as their last item at the trash can’s bottom. They just produce it because it is a cheap, quick way to make a buck from people just wanting a simple solution. Native Union is here to correct those notions and is really killing it with their Clic…
Clic for all
Until CES 2014, I had never heard of Native Union. Now, a few months later, I stumbled across a very respectable collection of Native Union Clics in the Stanford, CA Apple store. Thankfully, I have been enjoying the Clic Color for about three weeks. My ongoing impression of the case is no different than my pleasant surprise at CES. The Clic fits the iPhone perfectly; it actually clicks when installing.
Unlike some other cases the Clic is not an afterthought. It is currently the only iPhone case Native Union distributes and they are really, really good at what they do. I would always rather a company focus on their primary item and truly perfect it. The Clic very intently hugs the iPhone forming a precision fit. Maybe it doesn’t ‘hug,’ rather exists in harmony next to the iPhone.
A rubberized, soft touch finish coats the plastic case. All ports are easily accessible and the mute switch and volume buttons are protected, but easily activated. The headphone jack is operable, but really large 3.5mm jacks will not work, as the case corner is too closely tailored. Any of my headphones, however, work perfectly.
On the face, the side bumper extends just far enough to prevent the glass from touching when placed upside down. The edges on the bumper and back meet at an almost geometric 90 degree angle. I really like this because it keeps the iPhone shape part of the design, instead of rounding them off like most other cases.
Clic Color comes in eight different colors. I personally own the marine blue. Clic Metal is a hybrid of wood and matt metal. Combinations in the metal grade include: walnut/black; walnut/brass; cherry/rose gold; cherry/stainless.
Clic Wooden is only rated by color, not by woods. The wood is not quite as pretty as the Clic Metal cases, having seem them all at CES and several more recently at the Apple store. Colors include terra-cotta, white, jade, black, and aquamarine.
If you are interested in a wooden case that includes a bit of color pop, Clic is for you. Same for metal lovers that are also looking for a natural inclusion. I’m really happy with the Clic Color, but really have my eye on the Wooden and Metal series cases. Here is the best part, the Clic Color retails for $19.99 and can be found on Amazon. Clic Wooden is a step up at about $48.
My only complaint is the Native Union logo on the Clic Color is not recessed flat into the case back like the burned-in logo on the Wooden and Metal series. Really, if you have ever considered a small, thin, barely-there case that is still elegant and beautiful, check out the Native Union Clic case line. I have never kept a case on my iPhone longer than the Clic Color, and I have a lot of cases.