Incipio Stowaway Case
Platforms: iPhone 4/4s
Price: $34.99 Get it here
The Incipio Stowaway Case is a solid plastic case with a silicone core. The plastic is Incipio’s rigid Plextonium material. The outer shell has a small door that stores three credit card sized items inside. The door also doubles as a kickstand for hands free viewing. The case comes in six different colour combinations, ranging from the extremely discrete black plastic and black silicone to the eye catching grey plastic with neon orange silicone.
The Plextonium frame feels extremely good in the hand. I tried scratching at the plastic and was unable to make a scratch. Therefore I am not really sure if there is a slight matte rubbery coating on the plastic or not, but it feels very smooth to the touch with the very slightest bit of grip. The plastic almost completely envelopes the silicone core, there is only some exposed silicone at the very bottom, top, and a little bit over the volume button area. This case to easily slide into the pockets.
The silicone core is very thick, providing excellent drop resistance. Cheaper silicone has a terrible tendency to become lint magnets. I have yet to have any issue with the silicone used in the Stowaway. In fact, it is one of the less sticky silicone materials I have encountered in iPhone cases. It does not seem to lose shape or get stretched easily, another sign that high quality silicone was used in the construction of the case.
The installation of the case was extremely easy. I simply had to disassemble the case, slip the silicone core over the phone then snap it into the plastic frame. The fit was perfectly balanced between ease of installation/removal and secure construction.
The top of the case is left uncovered by the Plextonium material to provide access to the headphone jack and access to the power button. The profile of the power button is replicated on the silicone, thus it is extremely easy to find the power button in the dark or inside a bag. The headphone jack is one of the smaller jacks I have encountered in a case. However, the silicone is stretchy enough that I found that it held onto larger headphone plugs better than slimmer ones that was just a little too big to be plugged in. Smaller plugs that were designed for iPhone cases will have zero issues with the case. However, the bigger plugs will be a bit of a crapshoot. It may be big enough to fit or it may be just small enough that the silicone will push the plug out.
The volume buttons are also replicated in a similar fashion like the power button providing easy access in the dark. However, due to the extreme thickness of the silicone core, accessing the vibration switch can be a little trickier. There is plenty of room for smaller hands, but if you have fatter fingers, getting in to flip the switch may become a little challenging.
The case is extremely thick at 0.70 inches or 12mm. This is definitely not a case that will fit in the pocket of your favourite pair of skinny jeans. For the same reason, this case is extremely dock unfriendly. Short of having a custom made dock designed for this case, you will be stuck using a sync cable to keep the phone powered. There is an extremely large hole provided for sync cables, so even older sync cables will be able to squeeze their way into the case.
There is a very generous lip on the front of the case. This does a great job of lifting the front of the phone off a table to prevent scratches to the screen. The generous lip manages to stay out of the way during gaming and texting. I had no issues touching the very edges of the screen where it met the silicone lip.
The case comes with a free Incipio Vanity Kit which contains a cheap crystal screen protector, cleaning cloth, and application card. Although the screen protector has some small issues of seeming hazy at certain angles under a few specific lighting conditions and the quality of adhesive used. It has a tendency to bubble on the edges easily, but considering it is a free pack in, I can’t complain too much.
The credit card slot in the back fits three credit card sized cards, with enough room to slip in an emergency twenty dollar bill between the silicone core and the first card in the stack. However, unless the case is filled to capacity with three cards, using the kickstand will result in the cards falling out of the case. The door to the slot has a pronounced indent that makes it very easy to access the cards. Those of us who keep our fingernails trimmed close will have no problems opening the storage area. I had zero issues with accidently opening the storage area in regular use as there is a slight raised area that keeps the door closed. Shutting the door also provided a very satisfying click. The door hinge seems sturdy enough to be used a kickstand without any issues.
If you are looking for a case that will help you shed a little bit of bulk by allowing you to keep your wallet at home, the Stowaway is a great option. It can easily fit three credit cards and a spare bill or two tucked in there for good measure. The case is also a great choice for the clumsy iPhone owner as it is extremely well protected. However, if you have an iPhone dock you are particularly fond of or you prefer a sleek and slim case, this is most definitely not the case for you. At $34.99, it is reasonably priced considering the high quality of the materials used. The case slides easily into the pocket without becoming a lint magnet due to quality of silicone and the plastic feels great in the hand. I highly recommend this case.
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