Note: The unit for this review was purchased by this writer, and was not provided by Case Mate.
I have been meaning to purchase a case for my iPhone 4 ever since I bought it months back. Then, I got the Zagg Invisible Shield which I thought was good enough and so decided to prolong the purchase of a case. Recently, however, the back shield started to peel off and my 1 year old nephew decided it didn’t look good that way and tore it off the phone. Alarm bells rang inside my head and I knew it was time for that case again. After rummaging through the various brands and case models, I zeroed in on one which I thought would be just perfect for my budget. Case Mate’s Gelli case was my pick, and after playing with it for a few days, I am pretty happy with the purchase.
The Gelli Case is available in a variety of colors, such as Pink, Blue, Tomato Red, Grey, and Clear. Of course, I went for the latter. I would just look odd carrying a tomato red phone in my hands. The case is made of thermoplastic polyurethanes which, Wikipedia tells me, is resistant to oil, grease and abrasion. Case Mate claims it’s lighter, softer and more resilient than silicone and rubber cases. Having a general dislike for anything silicone (unless it’s used in other places *wink*), this description sounded just about right for my needs.
The Gelli Case has a fashion kick to it as well. The Clear version has a soft white checkered design, though the colorful versions feature a ‘bubbles’ pattern. Thankfully, the pattern material is inside the case, so it does not interfere while holding the case. The case is slim and does not add to the weight or height of the device, and the smooth finish makes it easy to slip in and out of the pocket. The thermoplastic feels great in the hands and gives solid grip-ability to the phone; however, due to the ‘plastic’ nature of the material, it might get slightly slippery in wet hands.
The case completely engulfs the phone, with just about perfect cuts for all the ports. However, I must say that if use headphones with a fatter base of the 3.5mm jack, it might just not fit. I also found the lock and volume buttons indistinguishable. They are slightly dented but not enough if you are fumbling in the dark or using it without looking. The volume buttons also needs an extra bit of push due to the thickness added. Another complaint I have with the case is that the lip surrounding the connectivity port is slightly loose and I fear it might twist and loose shape after some time. Of course, it is the effect of the cut required, but it could have been hardened a bit.
Also, oddly, and somewhat amusingly actually, I have found that a lot of dust gathers around the cuts of the case. For example, today I found the camera area brimming in tiny dust particles, and they weren't getting cleaned away because that part of the phone was not touching any surface! This is an added bit of unexpected trouble that I would have to deal with as well.
In conclusion, I would say the Gelli Case was a decent investment for AED 55. It might not protect my phone from major crashes but it offers a sleek and compact design that I cannot compromise on. There are a few minor quibbles but they not showstoppers to overlook the quality for price that it offers.