Review: Belkin Grip Candy Sheer
Within a week of the iPhone 5 being released, retailers started selling cases and other accessories, beating preorders and general availability of the iPhone 5 itself. One of the first cases on store shelves was the Belkin Grip Candy Sheer, a minimalist $25 rubbery case.
Available in a variety of bright color combinations, the Grip Candy Sheer is quite a bit like Belkin’s prior cases made out of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) that have come onto the market over the years. Belkin was one of the first third-party case manufacturers for the original iPad and the TPU Grip Vue fit very well, matching every button and port with proper placement and cutouts. The current effort is just as precise and fits the iPhone 5 well.
Belkin’s color combinations are quite interesting, with a translucent back & front edge, opaque sides, and translucent buttons. The color combinations thus far include (opaque ring/translucent back) Gravel/Blacktop (gray/black), Gravel/Reflection (gray/teal), Glow/Blacktop (yellow/black), Fountain Blue/Purple Lightning (blue/purple), and Hazard/Blacktop (orange/black). All of the translucent parts are the same color, and this seems to be the actual color of the TPU material. The opaque portion is merely a layer of solid color. The case itself is one single part, and is just the right balance of rigidity and flexibility.
Belkin has made the cutouts for the Lightning port, headphone jack, speaker & microphone, and mute switch very precise and they’re big enough to be comfortable, but not too generous. On the back, the camera cutout is a bit on the large side, probably to prevent any flash interference. The camera cutout has a black ring around it to further help against this issue. The cutout opening ducks just a bit below the glass/aluminum line, arguably more a problem with Apple’s design.
In all, we’re pretty happy with this case. Our test unit was the Gravel/Reflection combination, and looks a bit more like the original iMac’s Bondi Blue color (especially with the white/silver iPhone 5) than the light blue on Belkin’s product information. Our advice would be to check out the various models in person if you’re not sure. With its good design, low profile, and price comparable to other options, there isn’t much to complain about. If Belkin offers more color combinations to suit the tastes of various users, the Grip Candy Sheer will be a winner.
The One-Sentence Verdict™
If you’re looking for a very minimal case that is readily available at retailers, Belkin’s Grip Candy Sheer is a very good choice.
Pros: Precision cutouts, good feel, bright color combinations
Cons: Would’ve bene nicer with a screen protector or a tad cheaper, color combinations not for everyone