Review: Griffin Clarifi for iPhone 3g

An innovative iPhone case with closeup lens. (December 3rd, 2008)

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Product Manufacturer: Griffin Technology

Price: $34.99 US

The Good

  • Durable. Protects iPhone. Doesn’t get in the way of using the iPhone. Macro Lens implemented well.

The Bad

  • Screen protector may be difficult to apply. Macro lens doesn’t snap into place as well as it should. Available in only one color.

I did not see the point in putting my 3G iPhone in a case that would make it bulky and hard to use, so I looked long and hard at all the options. My search led me to choose the Clarifi case by Griffin Technology.

The Griffin Clarifi does its job of protecting the iPhone without making the iPhone harder to use. The 2-piece black polycarbonate case adds very little bulk to the iPhone. There are three large cut aways, one on the top for the power switch and headphone jack, on the side for the volume controls and silence switch, and on the bottom for the speaker, microphone and dock connector.

Clarifi photo

The top and bottom feels rubberized and some users note that the mid-section is prone to scratching; but the job of a case is to protect the iPhone surface, and it does just that. In addition, the Bottom piece slides off easily if you want to place your iPhone in a dock.

Clarifi screen

The Clarifi also comes with a clear screen protector that covers the entire front of the iPhone. The protector has cutouts for the speaker and the home button. These cutouts are used as guides when placing the screen protector.

The Best Feature

The Clarifi case comes with a bonus, a Macro, or close-up lens for the iPhone camera. The iPhone camera suffers from blurry sight at close distances and the Clarifi helps sharpen the camera's close up focusing ability. The Clarify changes the focal distance from the camera's normal 18 inches down to 4 inches. This correction is done with an integrated lens that slides over the iPhone camera lens for close ups. This lens slides out of the way for normal distance pictures.

Clarifi screen

A macro lens helps when taking pictures of bar codes, pictures of notes, credit cards, receipts, business cards, document text, and other scraps of paper, or any other close object you want to add to your photo arsenal. Griffin Technology notes on its site that the phone works well with iPhone applications, such as the bar code scanner, Snappr and Evernote, an application to store business card data.

I am very satisfied with the usability and durability of the Clarifi. It does its job without getting in the way, plus it is price competitive with other cases, but includes a very useful sliding close-up camera lens. I recommend this product as a wonderful holiday gift for any iPhone 3G owner.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor. Dec. 3rd corrected minor word problem.

by Barry Porter


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