The iPhone lineup is considered by many to be one of the sleekest phones on the market, with its aluminum build and a sleek profile. Most smartphones nowadays have one weakness that their price tag can’t fully protect against, and that’s their durability. While in years past phones could take all kinds of beatings, today’s devices seem incredibly fragile, yet house a powerful beast that is capable of delivering an HD experience and internet capabilities to the palm of the hand. I, having an obsession border lining on obsessive compulsive disorder with relation to scratches and dents, found a lot of intrigue with Caudabe’s latest lineup of phone cases.
As a bit of backstory, Caudabe started from the ground up with a group of smartphone aficionados who wanted to alleviate the frustrations of the mobile accessory marketplace. The Caudabe cases are built with the minimalist in mind, and adhere to the highest quality standards worthy of a flagship device. A wide range of iPhone users balk at the idea of putting a case on their device. Cases often add bulk to the device, removing that sense of prestige in owning a highly sleek device. Caudabe sought to appeal to those specific users who wanted a phone case that offered scratch and dust protection, while at the same time serving towards those unique individuals who could not place a phone on the device. Enter the Veil and the Veil XT lineup from Caudabe.
Caudabe was kind enough to send multiple units of their iPhone lineup, mainly in the form of the Veil and the Veil XT cases. The Veil and the Veil XT both have impressive specifications, marketed as the thinnest phone case you will ever see, coming in at 0.35 mm thick. The case will wrap around the entirety of the iPhone, except for the screen. Both models pay attention to little iPhone-related details. One such example is the iPhone 6’s camera, which protrudes slightly from the back of the phone. The team at Caudabe rectifies that issue with a minor ridge cutout that is just high enough to protect the camera. Other examples of detail findings are its matte feel, which hides finger prints and protects from the occasional scratch and bump. It truly felt natural in the hand once the case was applied. The case feels like air when attached to the phone, and impressed a lot of my colleagues who loved that thin-form factor.
There are two major differences in the Caudabe Veil and Veil XT, though. The Veil costs $14.95, in comparison to the Veil XT’s $20.95 price tag. The difference between the two that warrants a five dollar price hike is their protective value. The Veil does not have a protective cutout for the bottom portion of the phone, where the speaker grills, Lightning port, and headphone jack are present; the Veil XT does and provides full protection coverage on all four sides of the device, in comparison to the Veil’s three-sided protection. This four-sided protection is, to me, more worthwhile because of its all-encompassing protection. Don’t get me wrong, I love what the Veil does by itself, but when I focus on the resale value of my device I’d like to keep it consistent.
The cases themselves look admirable. With a range of colors from the gender-neutral gray and white colors (Wisp/Arctic) to the brighter colors (Blue, Fuchsia, Aquamarine, and Pink), Caudabe appeals to a wide variety of phone users. For disclosure, Caudabe sent over units of the Blue (Veil), the Arctic, and the Wisp shades (Veil XT units). The degree of translucency for each case still shows all the major details of the iPhone, with almost impeccable precision in the cutouts for the necessary ports and buttons. I noticed that for my Veil unit, the bottom cutout still had a bit of sharpness to the edge which slightly bit into the hand; a minor sanding sorted that issue quickly. What may have been an incredibly minor production mishap for this particular case does not mean it applies to every case. It’s still as lovely as ever. The ever-famous Apple logo is still visible on the back of the phone, with a small detailing of the Caudabe logo on the bottom back of the case, which looks really cool with the antennae lines running on the back of the device. The ridge of the camera has just enough of a lip to protect the camera, and sits almost flush with the device. The lip extends mere fractions of a millimeter over the camera.
The Wisp and Arctic cases look fantastic in their own ways. Being an owner of a Silver/White iPhone, the Arctic case truly stands out and brings out the beautiful white color of the front bezel. The Wisp, while nice, looks great on a Space Gray device. The Blue version of the Veil case shocked me the most though. The blue wasn’t a dead or faded blue. It was a very deep blue, akin to a sapphire, which brought out a nice and visually pleasing aspect to my iPhone. I would personally love a red version of that case. I think it could be a great addition to the lineup, as we approach the holiday season. It also could align well with Apple’s very own Project RED.
In terms of real-world usage, this is where things can get a bit murky for some. I take pride in my ability to take care of my devices. My devices can be used for years at a time, with incredibly minor scratches that often are not visible unless heavily scrutinized. The Caudabe cases have a very minor, hardly noticeable lip that covers the front of the device, so that when the device is lain face down on a table or a surface, the display is not scratched. It’s a huge plus and a shock that the cases managed to have that despite being 0.35 mm thin. The cases themselves, when paired with the phone, feel incredibly light and add an insignificant amount of weight to the device. It has a noticeably different feel from the slightly thicker cases in the Spigen lineup, and feels amazingly sleek in the pocket. When wearing some slim-fit jeans, the device hardly stands out and does not leave that rectangular imprint in the jeans quite as much as other manufacturers.
That being said, I do have a minor quirk with this case, and that’s with its fall protection. The fall protection is entirely subjective because it often occurs by nature of freak accidents, which unfortunately happened in my testing of the case. The buttons do protrude, much more so than in any other case I have experimented with in the mobile accessory marketplace, which is saying something, because a lot of the cases recess the buttons so deeply in the case, or have their own separate buttons. The cases protrude but are near level with the thickness of the case. This level-ness, for lack of a better word, is the case’s weak point, as falls that land on the buttons, from a small height, could cause damage to the device. In my tests of the Veil and Veil XT cases, the iPhone fell out of the pocket of my shorts from about seat height onto a hard flooring. The impact was located at the power button, and caused it to jam, which resulted in a small trip to the Apple store. That, and the Wisp Veil XT case got a small, approximately 2 centimeter crack near the power button. This situation was an accident, and it happens to the best of us. They’re called accidents for a reason.
Also, a point of note is that when installing or removing the case, the owner needs to be careful in how they do so, as excessive force can cause the material to bend ever so slightly, resulting in that light-whitish color that you see when plastics bend. Personally, I’d keep the case on as long as I can, because subjecting it to a lot of removals could unintentionally distort the plastic, resulting in a slightly weakening fit for the case. In the photo off to the side, it’s near the top parts of the phone, where the buttons and power switch meet. The damage is minor but still entirely usable.
All things said, even with my minor mishap, the cases are entirely enjoyable and enjoyed a few swaps with my Spigen lineup of iPhone cases on days where I feel like I’d need to be fashionable, or days when I feel like a bit of daredevil. It’s steadily becoming my go-to case. Their protection is sound for the price point and the cases themselves feel like they’re very high quality products worthy of being placed on Apple devices. The price point is also great, considering that Caudabe has a no-hassles, one-year product warranty — if the owner ever feels dissatisfaction with the case, all they need to do is send an email to the Caudabe support team with pictures and an explanation of the issue, and they would have a new unit on the way. Also, the fact that I mentioned that I sustained damage during my test runs should not be the deciding factor in your case purchase; I certainly won’t be the first to have this issue, nor will I be the last. At a price point of $14.95/$20.95 for the Veil/Veil XT line, this case is as good as you can get if you are seeking a minimalist protection that displays the natural beauty of your iPhone. It’s the best hybrid out there that mixes protection and beautiful aesthetics, and that’s not a compliment to dole out lightly.
Gamer Professionals would like to thank the team at Caudabe for providing units of their new iPhone cases for review.