Category: Case with kickstand
Model: NXE Recline Case for iPhone 4
TiP Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 4 (Verizon/AT&T)
Summary: Of course, Apple would never mar the sleek exterior of its iPhone with hardware trifle like a kickstand â€” no matter how much people wanted it. So it fell to accessory makers to figure out how to integrate it. NXE’s version, the Recline, offers dual mode orientation, excellent build quality, a form factor that fits both types of iPhone 4s and a price less than its competitors.
Review: When the HTC EVO 4G first came out last year, the phone geeks and various other technoratti got busy checking out the 4G support, 4-inch display, and Android vs. iOS talking points, but it was something far simpler that mesmerizedÂ many an everyday iPhone userÂ â€” that little built-in leg on the back side.
Of course, Apple would never mar the sleek exterior of its iPhone with hardware trifle like a kickstand â€” no matter how much people wanted it. So accessory makers tried to figure out how to integrate it. Some created standalone items, while others stashed it in the back of an iPhone case.
I took a closer look at one such product, the NXE Recline for the iPhone 4, and I have to say â€” I’m impressed. First of all, I love the design â€” an all-black soft-touch exterior with an eye-popping color stand? That’s just sweet.Â Everywhere I went, onlookers kept asking me where I got it. (Of course, if you’d prefer something more understated, you can forego the red or pink color detail and just get a black case with a black kickstand, also offered.)
Thanks to the soft-touch, almost-rubbery feel, the case is joy to hold in the hand. And the construction is solid â€” it feels very durable for a hard case that hardly has any girth. In fact, I can hardly believe how slim this is for such a solidly constructed case, despite the fact that they also fit in a soft velvet interior. The only thing that some people might miss are raised edges (to protect the front, when laying the phone screen side down). Personally, I never liked those anyway, so I’m pretty happy about the build quality, looks and hand-feel of this. All the ports are open, so there’s nothing getting in the way of iPhone controls or audio.
But the Recline’s real reason for being is the kickstand. So let’s talk about that for a moment.
In terms of usability, the one thing that’s always bugged me about many other similar kickstand cases (like the Scosche Hybrid Case, $34.99, the iLuv Fusion Case, $34.99, the iKit Chrome Flip Case, $34.95, and even cheap after-market items) is that they often only work in one orientation â€” landscape mode. That’s great for watching YouTube clips and other video, but have you ever FaceTimed with someone in landscape when they’re holding the phone vertically? It’s painful. I also prefer to have the phone standing up on my desk with Skype in portrait mode, and I can’t do that with some of these other options.
There are a few accessory designers out there who figured out that some of us want portrait mode, and NXE is one of them. The Recline can prop up the phone in both orientations, making it far more useful for more people.
That’s not to say it’s perfect, though. Standing straight up, this isn’t the sturdiest stand around. There have been times I set it up on my desk, and without even touching it, it topples over a moment later. Ideal? No, it’s not. But it is resolvable â€” I just had to finesse the kickstand so that it’s in the most stable position (which is oddly not one of the spots where the protruding leg wants to rest). As for landscape mode, it’s absolutely stable. And it even stands the device up at more than one angle, so if you’re tall or short, or are resting the phone on different surfaces at different heights, you can still have maximum viewing comfort.
At first, I was a little worried about the hard plastic leg. The quality doesn’t seem as good as the rest of the case, and I was worried that over time, it would start to weaken or even break off. Those fears were laid to rest though, now after three weeks of using the Recline. I’ve been pulling the kickstand out constantly, and it’s still performing as well as the first day I got it.
Three other worthwhile notes: It’s compatible with both Verizon and AT&T iPhones, so if you get fed up with one carrier and go to another, you can take this with you. Second, the leg folds back in to fit flush with the rest of the case, which also helps it feel so nice in the hand. And finally, despite feeling like an expensive accessory, it actually costs less than many of its competitors, at $29.99. Add the fact that they’re offering free ground shipping to the continental U.S. right now, and it’s a great deal.
So I’m giving this product a thumbs up. If you need both a case and an iPhone stand, I think this is one of the best combo products on the market right now.
Are you using a separate stand or kickstand case? Do you recommend it? Let us know in the comments section.