Both cases are silicone and use raised pieces to give it an almost 3D appearance. The silicone pieces use different textures to really make the cases come alive. For instance, our Bubbles the Monkey has a smooth face and a textured grainy body. Similarly, Xing has altering textures and even little panda ears that protrude from the top of the case. The silicone is light and yet plenty protective. It covers iPhone’s face by a couple millimeters which helps keep the screen unscathed.
In-hand it’s comfortable and grippy. It won’t easily slide out of your hand, but at the same time it won’t easily slide in or out of your pocket. The case is stretchy and iPhone is easily inserted and removed. The only downside to a stretchy silicone case is that over time the tight fit becomes looser and iPhone sneaks out of the case one corner at a time. This is also how dust and pocket lint sneaks into the case, potentially scuffing up your iPhone.
Each case comes with a silicone charm, Bubbles comes with a banana and Xing comes with a paw print. While the charms are fun looking they’re also unnecessary. Luckily, there’s a break in the metal ring so you can remove the charm and the ring without breaking the case. This will leave a small hole on the bottom of the case. Should you choose, you can probably use the metal ring to make your own iPhone necklace. The silicone feels strong enough to support the weight (although no guarantees!).
It shouldn’t be surprising that we instantly fell in love with our animal cases. The cutouts and button overlays are all perfect and it even supports all iPhone 4s and 4S’s. The bottom cutout is large and will support most iPhone docks. Case-Mate has all sorts of fun ‘animals’ including a penguin, owl, fish, monster, frankenstein, and a mummy. At $24.99, Bubbles the Monkey and Xing the Panda Silicone Cases by Case-Mate, cost slightly less than the average case, making them a very worthy purchase. For fun, durable, and protective cases that really pop, look no further.
The Good: Great Design, Different Textures, Comfortable, Protective, Easy to Insert and Remove iPhone, Good Cutouts and Rubberized Button Overlays, Charm is Removable, Variety of Animals
The Bad: Removing Key Ring and Charm leaves a Small Hole, Over Time Tight Fit becomes Looser, Dust and Lint can Sneak Under the Case