SwitchEasy Tones Review

The SwitchEasy Tones (starting at $13, Amazon) is a hybrid case for the iPhone 5/5S, 5C, and 6 with a low price point and a distinctive, two-tone design. The case is constructed with a combination of hard polycarbonate for the back plate and rubbery TPU on the sides for added shock absorption and grip. This mixed-material case is celebrated in SwitchEasy Tones reviews for being easy to grip, sturdy, and pleasantly soft to touch. A reviewer at tech site Gadgetmac, who tested the 5S and 5C cases, notes that the texture resists scratches.

In a review on Amazon, a professedly clumsy New Yorker reports that his phone has suffered no damage the several times he's dropped it on city sidewalks. Other reviewers praise the fit of the case and consider it well made. The SwitchEasy Tones covers the buttons on the edges of the iPhone, for comprehensive protection, but preserves the buttons' tactility and doesn't impede use of the device, reviewers say. An assortment of accouterments -- two adhesive screen guards, a microfiber wipe, and protectors for the headphone jack and power jack -- add value and help set this case apart.

The SwitchEasy Tones has been one of our top picks in the past and remains an attractive choice, but more recent reviews call its durability into question. Too many users report that the case breaks apart after a short time and The Wirecutter warns that it doesn't last if you repeatedly take your phone in and out of the case. According to its website, SwitchEasy offers a two-year limited warranty, but the company warns that misusing the product might void the warranty. Several disgruntled Amazon customers tell of poor customer service when they tried to make claims on the warranty. Whether or not the company honors its guarantee, the inconvenience and apparent risk of a broken case are strikes against this model.

That said, there are more positive than negative reviews of the SwitchEasy Tones, and ultimately Gadgetmac rates the case as recommended. Although it no longer ranks as the best cheap iPhone case in our estimation, it's still worth a mention.

Gina Martinez

Gina Martinez is a freelance writer who teaches college-level composition and literature courses and has an M.A. in English. She lives on the cheap in New York City with her majestic lapdog.

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