SwitchEasy is notoriously known for its innovative, out-of-the-box way of thinking when it comes to iPhone cases. Alas, our most recent run-in with the company's Shades case has not impressed us one bit. This time we've got our hands on a more familiar case design rehashed from the past and it's now even better than it ever was when we first reviewed it for the iPhone 4S. It's called the Melt case and it's available for both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. A dripping, melting, visually catching case that won't cause a mess on the carpet but it will have people questioning why you put your case inside a microwave. If you're on the lookout for a truly unique iPhone case, you'll want to check out our full review of the Melt case after the jump!
The habit of including a boat load of accessories with each and every case has seen its end. SwitchEasy won't include a nifty little stand or Apple Dock adapters like it did with the Melt case for the iPhone 4S, but it has included not one, but two screen protectors with the Melt case for the iPhone 5s. A cleaning cloth is still a standard. SwitchEasy also lowered the price of the Melt case which now can be had for $25.
The company's bold case designs and unique combination of odd colors that form a two-tone color scheme has not died down one bit it seems with the Melt case and a handful of other new case releases for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c - notably the daring Hero case exclusively made for the iPhone 5c. Most are put off by the elaborate color combinations that scream out for attention, and for those of you who like to keep it on the lowdown, the Melt comes in a stealthy all black flavor too. On the other hand, the Melt case is best served with extremely contrasty colors to show off its true design that makes this case worth looking at in the first place. Colors like metallic gold on pink, white frosting on orange, bubblegum pink on blue and of course, watermelon green on pink.
All deliciously looking color options that are super garish but in a good way we think. And if you've got more than one Melt case, you can actually customize it with your very own unique mix and match two-tone color combos.
Unlike its predecessor, the Melt case for the iPhone 5s is a hybrid between two different types of materials and is a two-part case. The outer layer being made entirely out of hard polycarbonate with a glossy, UV scratch-resistant coating to help keep those colors looking as vibrant and slick as the day you received it. While the interior layer is actually now a TPU polymer casing proving better shock absorption. After having spent enough time using the Melt as a daily case with my iPhone 5s, I must say that I'm really impressed by how perfect the finish has held up against getting scratches and scruff marks. It's as good as any case SwitchEasy makes that features a glossy scratch-resistant finish.
Instead of a slider-style design, the iPhone 5s version of the Melt case works by first snapping your iPhone into the polymer case first which is flexible, and then overlaying the hard polycarbonate exterior shell over it which simply slides over the TPU as if you were putting on a jacket. The Melt's polycarbonate outer shell provides a great hybrid coverage protection around the back, top corners and edges as well as reinforced rigidity towards the sides of the iPhone leaving the bottom of the TPU uncovered by design which also means that the Melt doesn't offer unified protection around the iPhone.
The two parts come together nicely with minimal visible gaps in-between the two materials. Part of the glistening melting plastic texture was designed to slide above the bottom part of the case which features a matte textured finish to form a very distinctive and almost realistic look of the color dripping down. There are also no obtrusive logos that take away from the unique design of the Melt other than a small, minimalist side logo at the bottom of the case.
Around the bottom portion of the Melt case is where you'll find SwitchEasy's new attention to detail in the way of perforated audio pass-through ports and integrated headphone and Lightning connector port covers which help keep them ports clean and protected without using separate pieces that often get lost and are just not as convenient to use as these integrated flap covers. So in that regard, we're really happy with SwitchEasy's transition from including extra parts to an all-in-one solution.
On the side, the Melt's TPU covered volume buttons are easy enough to press, however, the sleep/wake button is much harder to activate and has little tactile feedback. Also, reaching the silent switch requires a fingernail due to the tight opening. There's certainly a huge difference in user experience between cases like the Seismik by LunaTik which has all the right integrated control buttons and switches, to cases like the Melt and many others like it that have very little form and function details built into their designs that merit high praise.
Around the back, there's more to it than just paint dripping or plastic melting or what ever you think the Melt case looks like. Two different types of finishes are found on every Melt cases with the top most dominate side of the design having a glossy finish that really brings out the dripping paint texture and all of its three-dimensional surface to life while the bottom half of the case is finished with a matte and grainy texture. And I think both of these different elements are what make the Melt still one of the more unique plastic cases we've reviewed. It looks so good you'll want to lick it from the bottom till you reach the top.
The Melt case actually fells very good in the hand and surprisingly not slippery as you would have thought mostly due to the polymer-made bottom half. You don't get much in the way of grip, but the small amount of TPU between the glossy polycarbonate gives you a little something to grab so it doesn't feel all slippery in the hand. Those protruding drip patterns around the back of the case definitely add some heft to the case making it feel not so much as clunky as you might think, but the Melt is not your streamlined slim case that feels like it's a part of your iPhone. With that being said however, the Melt's extraordinarily different looking design does amount to it having unique charm that is what makes you want to use it as your protective case. It does feel a little awkward to hold which is why we don't think it's the most practical case we'd pick to use as our daily grinder. But as a secondary case you can alternate with, the Melt is fun to use.
In fact, the Melt's TPU material in particular does feel cheap and unrefined compared to other similar cases we've reviewed at this price range and even far below it, notably from the liked of Spigen and Magpul. While I wouldn't say it degrades the overall quality of the Melt case, it simply does not impress one bit as far as how well cases have devolved these days.
The Melt surprises us with eve more awesomeness when looking at where most of us look at 99% of the time, the front of the iPhone is complete with the Melt's signature touch unlike other boring cases that all look pretty much the same when looking the front of the iPhone. But because the dripping part of the case overlays ontp of the glass, you won't be able to use any tempered glass screen protectors with the Melt case on. Come to think of it, it now looks like a little monster's mouth. There's also an acceptable amount of lay-on-the-table design around the front of the touchscreen and glass surface.
SwitchEasy's Melt case is your ticket for attracting people's attention, plain and simple. And even though it isn't 100% perfect, we like it and think it's good enough to recommend if you're someone who is looking for a distinct hybrid case that's also protective and not just all about being stylish. It's an interesting case with a fun dual-textured and irresistible melting theme, and one that also offers front to back eye-catching attraction not many cases can pertain to .