Speck’s CandyShell case has been an iconic iPhone case for some time now, that’s why it’s no surprise to see a few copy-cats in the midst. We encourage the competition, the CandyShell is great, but not perfect. The latest CandyShell type case is by Tavik, a fashion company. Their Channel Case for iPhone 5 is an impact resistant, soft interior, hard shell exterior, snap-on case with a familiar yet somewhat unique design.
Just like the CandyShell, the Tavik Channel case is two materials fused into one snap-on case. It’s very durable and protective, and even has the rubberized button overlays we’ve come to love. The button overlays make pressing the lock and volume buttons comfortable and easy. There’s a cutout just large enough to access the vibrate toggle and three cutouts on the bottom of the case for the speaker, mic, and charging port.
The soft rubbery interior matched with the tough glossy shell is a great combination for protection. There’s a rubberized bezel that runs all the way around iPhone’s face, exceeding it by a couple millimeters. This is enough to protect the screen, but just in case, Tavik included a screen protector. The case has a bit of heft, but nothing unreasonable or impractical.
So how does Tavik differentiate their case from Speck’s CandyShell? Other than the included screen protector, there’s one fundamental difference: Tavik has grafted their signature plus sign edge-to-edge of the back and sides of the case. It gives the case a sharp contrast, but it also adds a neat matte finish to it. The glossy hard shell feels about the same as Speck’s and is just as susceptible to tiny scratches and finger prints. The rubber bezel on Speck’s CandyShells are quick to wear; Tavik’s rubber bezel feels a bit denser, so it may last a bit longer.
For protection, usability, and design–the Tavik Channel is an all-around solid case for iPhone 5. Currently it’s only available in grey on black or black on cyan blue. Hopefully we’ll see more colors shortly. Tavik prices their Channel case on par with Speck’s CandyShell, but with an included screen protector and cleaning cloth. The down-side is you can find Speck’s cases for half price on Amazon, whereas you’ll have to purchase the Tavik Channel for full price, $34.95, from Tavik.com.
The Good: Protective, Nice Design, Comfortable, Good Button Overlays, Includes screen protector
The Bad: Quick to get slight scratches and collect fingerprints, Not available on Amazon–have to pay full price