With only two main varieties of smartphone on the market (iOS/Android), it has become more difficult to choose a case than the phone. Many of us fall securely into either the Apple camp or the Android camp and very few will change. Although crazy, some people leave their phones unadorned and in the buff. As a worry-wart, I am not comfortable with that choice. Preferring Hulkbuster style armor for my phones, I have preferred to utilize more event proof cases like those by Catalyst. Still, others may desire a lightweight, conservative case. For those, I would highly encourage you to learn more about the cases from Case-Mate.
The Case-Mate Barely There Ultra Slim Case for iPhone X/XS arrived in a flashy 4 1/4 inches wide by 7 inches tall by 3/4 inches wide retail case. My attention was immediately drawn to the 3 inches wide by 5 3/4 inches tall clear window showcasing the Case-Mate red iPhone X/XS case. Better than a simple image, direct product visualization allows the user to fully understand the product. To add to the packaging display, Case-Mate provided a black, 1-inch, cardboard circle along the top right of the window. The black circle with white/red font detailed the ultra-slim “LESS THAN 2mm THIN” design. The clear-plastic window was rimmed with a 1/32 inch silver border, “CASE-MATE” along the top, and “New 2018 iPhone 5.8 & iPhone X” along the bottom. All in all, Case-Mate hit a home run with the cover.
The left and right side panels contained the CASE-MATE name/logo, displayed in an attractive metallic-silver font. I loved the use of the flat white background with silver 3 inches long by 3/16 inches tall title/logo. The top panel contained a prominent black hanging tab, while the bottom panel provided an SKU and some of the typical product labels. The back panel utilized the same silver font and white background. The upper 2/3 of the panel listed the “Barely There” product name, “The ULTRA SLIM CASE,” and three icons: Amazingly Thin Profile, Lay-Flat Screen Protection, Anti-Scratch Technology. The bottom 1/3 of the case provided information about the Lifetime Limited warranty (1–888–988–5358), listed the Case-Mate website, and Twitter/Instagram/Facebook logos. The company provided a clean, concise, and informational picture of the product. Having reviewed numerous cases, I was pleased with the packaging and clearly understood the product.
Removing the product from the packaging proved to be quite easy. I gripped the lower black nylon pull tab and slid the inner tray downward. The 0.67-ounce, red, ultra-slim case rested within the lower tray and was easily lifted out of the packaging. Measuring 2 7/8 inches wide by 5 5/8 inches tall by 3/8 inches thick, the case lived up to my expectations. As noted above, the packaging stated that the case was less than 2 millimeters thick. Measuring the backing in American Units, I found the case to be 1/16 inches thick (.0625 inches or ~2mm). To maintain the lightweight status, the case had a 2 3/16 inches long by 3/16 inches tall cutout along the top and bottom of the iPhone. Additionally, I found a 7/8 inches long by 1/4 inches tall power button cutout, a 1 1/2 inches long by 1/4 inches tall volume toggle and volume up/down button cutout and a 5/8 inches wide by 1 1/8 inches tall camera cutout. The cutouts were precise and fit my phone perfectly.
I was initially skeptical about the thin case, but this feeling abated quickly. I slid the right side of the iPhone X (volume/toggle side) into the case and then snapped the left upper, followed by left lower, corner into the case. At just over 1/2 an ounce, the case did not add much heft to my iPhone X. There was no mention of drop proof rating on the packaging but it did protect my iPhone X from a series of 5 falls onto my hardwood floor from a height of 24 inches. I dropped the phone onto each of the corners, onto the face and onto the back. I was pleased that my screen/backing remained uncracked and that the backing/side material prevented scratches to the finish. I do wish that the camera was recessed a little, but that would likely have added to the overall weight. If the cardinal color is not your favorite, you can navigate to the Case-Mate website and purchase the case in black, blush or clear.
This case was not designed for a rugged lifestyle, but rather for an austere feel. As the cost of phones escalates, the need to protect them becomes ever more important. I found nothing wrong with this case, in fact I was immensely impressed with the craftsmanship. Additionally, I was pleased with the ability to charge the phone wirelessly through the case. If an ultra-thin, lightweight basic case was your aim, the Barely There case could be your unicorn.