Pinlo Slice Smoothie Case for iPhone 4/S Review

Pinlo's paper thin iPhone cases are beloved by many for their minimalist thin design. Pinlo's dislike towards bulk continues with its latest case, the Slice Smoothie. The case with the delicious name isn't eatable, but it is ready to encase your iPhone at only 1.0mm thick. In a sea of TPU cases, the Slice Smoothie tries to differentiate itself from the rest by offering interchangeable frames that add a touch of colored trim. But will it blend? That is the question.

Out of the packaging, the Slice Smoothie case comes with a screen protector, two additional plastic frame pieces in two different colors depending on the color of case you go with, and just for the fun of it, black and white home button cover stickers with a jelly bean-like raised feel.

The Slice Smoothie is similar to Pinlo's Slice 3 case only that it's much more interesting and less boring to look at. You can find the Slice Smoothie in five different tropical 'smoothie' colors, each color comes with two sets of frames made out of very thin and bendable plastic in various colors. The idea is to create a mix and match, fun customizable case using these interchangeable frames.

The Slice Smoothie is comprised out of three pieces, the case itself and front and back plastic frames which snap into grooves made in the case. Getting this case on the iPhone takes a little more than your ordinary TPU case. Removing the front frame is necessary in order to easily slip the iPhone inside. It takes a bit of stretching over the last two corners of the case to get that front frame seated in place. I wouldn't call this a hard installation, but as far as these types of cases go it's only a matter of taking those extra few seconds to get things put together. After that, switching between the rest of the frames can be done without having to remove the case.

Being that these cases are so very thin, you can actually see thru them. Each color is semi-transparent with a frosted matte finish around the back that not only looks good but feels great to hold. That frosted matte finish is also seen around the front of the case. The Slice Smoothie feels good in the hand with its ultra-slim profile but doesn't offer much grip. Unlike some tacky silicone cases, the Slice Smoothie's grainy textured surface along with its ultra-slim profile attracts no lint or dust and can seamlessly slide into any tight jeans pocket. While the back facing camera cutout has no black outline, I was surprised to find out that using the LED flash at night did not affect photos with color or white wash-out.

One note about these plastic frames is that they aren't designed to provide support or additional tightness in the fit of the case nor do they stiffen the surroundings of the case because of how thin and flexible they are. I will say that even with that, the case itself is rigid enough and capable of holding itself together and provides a snug and form-fitting fit around the iPhone without the edges starting to sag on their own.

Unfortunately there are some small issues with the Slice Smoothie case. Buttons aren't easy to press as they should be, and I've found the sleep/wake button to have lost its tactile feedback completely though still functional. Because of the two plastic frames running along side the antenna band, the cutout for the headphone port is very tight and will only fit the slimmest of 3.5mm plugs. The same goes for the bottom dock connector cutouts.

Although the Slice Smoothie is too thin to pass of as a drop protective case, it has all the right elements of providing all-around protection. There's a decent amount of a rim that goes around the iPhone's screen that keeps the screen from getting scratched when faced down.

At just 1.0mm thick and a $28 price tag, the Slice Smoothie is an insanely thin TPU case and is sure to be a likeable one to anyone who seeks a very slim case that offers some interchangeable color fun that's unique to Pinlo. It's only a shame that it falls short in having perfect tactile buttons.