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Clarifi, Elan Form, Prices & Scores

Griffin almost gets it right with the Clarifi, finished as it is in a combination of glossy and matt black, but we'd have preferred if Griffin had gone the whole hog and made the entire thing glossy. Nonetheless, this is still a smart looking case.

The glossy/matt Clarifi has a sliding lens for reducing the focusing distance of the iPhone's camera

The slider on the back is actually a very crude lens that you can slide over the iPhone's camera, letting you focus it at much shorter distances than normal. For instance, if you want to take a photo of a business card you can do so from 10cm away rather than the 30cm+ you'd normally have to use. It's a neat little system that proved genuinely useful rather than being relegated to a gimmick after five minutes. It's a bit more expensive, but we think the extra is just about worth it.

Finally we come to the Elan Form range. These again use the same case design but are finished with a real leather backing. Bemusingly, we received the bright pink version, the plastic parts of which are actually brown, and there's no two ways about it; it's hideous! Truly vomit inducing…

You need a strong stomach to appreciate the pink and leathery Elan Form

Okay, so if you're blind or really want to make yourself stand out as being whacky we can forgive the colour scheme but what we can't get passed is the poor build quality. The leather backing is well stuck down but it just doesn't marry up to the edges properly, with noticeable gaps all the way round. All told, we think these are ones to avoid.

All these hard-shell cases offer ample protection for your iPhone 3G without adding too much bulk or weight. And if they get scratched or broken, buying a replacement isn't likely to break the bank. However, we feel Griffin has missed a rather obvious trick here by not offering a range of much simpler cases based on the Nu Form design and with a choice of glossy colours.

Pricing and Scores

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