The Belkin Grip Sheer, provided by the fine folks at MobileFun, is an iPhone 5 case manufactured from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) that promises to be “super durable, yet thin enough to slip easily into your pocket.”
Priced at just $21 (£16), the Grip Sheer comes in a range of fancy colors, and boasts a high-gloss transparent finish that’s designed to look good and feel great. It also provides you with access to all your buttons and ports, and leaves a nice big cutout for your iPhone 5’s camera and flash.
So, is the Grip Sheer a case you should be picking up with your new iPhone 5?
I enjoyed my iPhone 5 in all its naked glory for about a half hour after unboxing it, but I’ve been using it inside the Grip Sheer ever since. Not just to test the case, but because I’m paranoid about scratching, scuffing, or shattering my new (uninsured) iPhone.
While the Grip Sheer does cover up your iPhone 5’s gorgeous hardware, it’s actually a pretty nice looking case. It’s incredibly thin for a start: the TPU is strong and robust, but Belkin hasn’t allowed it to get too thick, so it’ll keep your handset protected without adding too much bulk at all.
In fact, it’s so thin that the iPhone 5 in the Grip Sheer is only marginally thicker than the iPhone 4S without a case on. It’s light, too, adding hardly any noticeable weight to your iPhone whatsoever. And as you’d expect from a Belkin accessory, this case fits really well indeed.
What’s more, the lip that sits around the front edge of your iPhone looks like it’s just about big enough to protect your device from a front-facing drop on a flat surface, but it’s not too big. I have a pet hate with cases that stick out too much at the front, or come right up to the edges of the iPhone’s display. The Grip Sheer isn’t guilty of either of those things.
It also leaves plenty of room for your iPhone 5’s rear-facing camera and flash, so the light doesn’t rebound off it and spoil all your pictures. The mute switch is easy to access, too, as are the headphone jack and Lightning port.
Because of its shiny finish, the Grip Sheer attracts fingerprints like you wouldn’t believe. It’s fine if your hands are nice and clean, but as they become greasy throughout the day, they’ll begin leaving marks all over the back of the case.
It’s not a major issue, and it’s probably not as noticeable with one of the brightly colored cases. But I do have to run a cloth over the black one every once in a while.
The other thing I didn’t like about the Grip Sheer is that it covers up the sleep/wake button and the two volume buttons. It is risen in these areas so the buttons are easier to push, but they’re not as easy as I’d like. The sleep/wake button in particular is a little stiff.
Overall, I’ve been really happy with the Belkin Grip Sheer. It’s a really well built case that’s designed to protect your iPhone 5 without spoiling its slender frame. It’s not at all cumbersome, and it doesn’t get in your way.
No one really wants to put a case on their brand new iPhone, but we have to protect them somehow. The Grip Sheer is a great way to do that while preserving its form factor and keeping the weight down — especially at just $21.