Review: Griffin Clarifi

by on November 11, 2008

Griffin’s latest iPhone 3G case, Clarifi, provides additional use to a somewhat overlooked, yet can’t-live-with-out, feature of the industry’s fast growing smart phone: the 2 megapixel camera. The new protective case sports a sliding lens that sharpens images taken at close distances. Without use of Clarifi, images taken with the iPhone 3G begin to lose their sharpness at distances within approximately 1 foot. Clarifi, overcomes this decline in quality allowing imagines to be taken at 2-4 inches – depending on the steadiness of your hand.

Griffin Clarifi Griffin Clarifi Griffin Clarifi Griffin Clarifi (Close-Up)

The built-in sliding lens is rather well designed allowing for a quick transition between photos taken with or without the lens. Although our images don’t quite match the improvement advertized by Griffin, there is a noticeable difference in images taken within 4 to 12 inches (see our side-by-sides below).

Griffin Clarifi (Lens Off) Griffin Clarifi (Lens On) Griffin Clarifi (Lens Off) Griffin Clarifi (Lens On)

While Clarifi does indeed live up to claims, its overall use to the average user might be somewhat limited. How often do your take photos on your iPhone at such distances? However, Clarifi may be a “must have” for a small, but growing, population that uses applications that allow text capture such as Evernote. Snapper, an application that scans product bar codes to aid consumers in finding the best price for their respective purchases, also benefits from Clarifi. With the increasing popularity of such applications, Clarifi may find a place in the saturated case market.

From simply a case perspective, the polycarbonate Clarifi, does leave a little to be desired. The cutouts don’t necessarily allow for the easiest of access to volume and silence buttons and the lack of a screen cover as a limiting factor could be debated. Though, the top and bottom cutouts do provide easy access to headphones and dock connectors. The shell does take away from the iPhone 3G’s aesthetics, but is sturdy enough to protect your phone from most average drops. One really useful feature is the ability to remove the bottom third of the case, allowing the iPhone to be docked in many docking products.

Notably, Clarifi comes with a $34.99 price tag, which might be a little steep for consumers simply looking for a case.

The One-Sentence Verdict™

Clarifi is a must have for select users who utilize applications that feature the iPhone 3G camera, though the case itself leaves a bit to be desired at a $34.99 price point.

Pros: Lens use is simple, unique, and effective, case provides adequate protection, can be used with docking products
Cons: Cutouts are limiting, case hides iPhone’s aesthetics, price

The Facts

4/5Product: Clarifi
Company: Griffin Technology
Platform: iPhone 3G
Price: $34.95

This post has been filed in Cases, iDevices, iPhone and Reviews