We’re used to traditional cases for cell phones. They fit into the case which protects the phone and gives it a little bit of style. I’m going to tell you about Exofab’s Gel Guards line, a case that sticks on your iPhone. Let’s take a look.
To be honest, it’s really hard to classify what the Exofab is. I call it a case, but it’s a much different animal than you’re used to. In fact, the Exofab is actually a set of advanced stickers that you apply to the surface of your phone to create a gel barrier to keep it safe. It comes in six main parts: a single large panel sticker on the back, upper and lower front stickers, and three of them that make up the edge. There’s also two optional round buttons buttons that fill in the Apple logo on the back and the button on the front. They’re designed exactly for the phone and leave room for every opening on the iPhone. You have access to buttons, the headphone jack, the SIM card tray, and even the iPhone logo on the back. The fact that it’s not a single piece offers a lot customization possibilities. You get two sets of the side guards, one mirroring the front and back and another that’s in a contrasting color. You also get three buttons a piece for the large rear hole and front home button. The cases come in a variety of colors and the buttons and side guards often even more customization options. It should be noted that the smaller front button will cover the TouchID sensor on the 5S making it unusable.
The adhesive used is from 3M and it’s pretty amazing. It’s strong enough to securely stick to your phone with no sliding at all, but it leaves no trace behind when you take it off, not even a patch of stickiness. The self sealing gel is pretty remarkable as well as it lives up to it name. I used a large nail and made sure it punctured the material as far as it could go. There was a mark to be sure, but the gel was completely smooth with no sign of a hole just as soon as I pulled out the nail. If you’re wondering about these being punctured and a liquid material coming out, don’t. It simple won’t happen. I’m reasonably convinced these will hold up as long as you have the phone. The material also gives you a good grip.
As for installation, use the included wipe and cleaning cloth, and line up the the holes. There’s also a screen protector if you want it. It’s really that simple, peel and stick… for a cell phone case. If there’s a real drawback to this design, it’s that a lot of accessories are designed for a naked iPhone. The Exofab is going to take a little more time to remove than your standard case.
Pricing and Availability.
The Exofab costs in the $28-38 price range with the standard price being $35. The color selection is pretty good and there’s even glow in the dark Gel Guards available. You can pick up additional side guards for $8 and button sets for $3. This would be a little more expensive than a snap-on gel case, but it offers a lot more personalization for the price. The Exofab is also available for the iPhone 4/4S and the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5.
If you’re looking for a fun light duty case replacement with a lot of personalization potential, you might want to look at the Exofab in lieu of a traditional TPU case. It’s well fitted, easy to put on, and leaves no trace when you’re done with it. At around, $35 it’s also pretty affordable. It won’t protect it like an OtterBox, but the gel material is no joke and lives up completely to it’s self-sealing billing. For these reasons, I would definitely recommend this, especially if you have kids with an iPhone.
- Form fitting
- Lots of color and customization options
- Easy to apply
- Good grip
- Offers a decent amount of protection for this class of case
- Adhesive is extremely strong, leaves no residue
- Gel material is absolutely self-healing
- If you have an accessory that requires no case, it can be a little difficult to remove