Getting Uncommon – An iPod (Hard-Shelled) Custom Case Review

iPod Touch Capsule Case from UncommonI finally got it. My Uncommon iPod Touch capsule case — the only hard custom printed case I could find over the web. Yay!

It was pre-ordered in May. It was expected in July. It didn’t arrive until September. What took so long? Well, according to an email…

The ship date for the Touch cases has been pushed back to late June due to some delays in perfecting the product. We pride ourselves on creating obsessively engineered blank canvas accessories, and we’d never send you anything less.

This email came early June, when I expected it mid-July. After I read it, I expected it by the end of July. And… to my disappointment, it did not arrive well after that date.

Although I appreciate the delay came from legitimate reasons (I would much rather wait a bit longer and receive a better quality product than get it immediately at sub-par standards), I did not appreciate the lack of communication from Uncommon. It took multiple calls or emails to the customer service department to even get an idea of when I could expect my case. And even after a couple of them, their ETA was wrong — I wasn’t even notified of that either!

Despite my disappointment from very unacceptable service, the product lives up to my expectations.

It arrived via UPS ground (for $8.25) in a small white box. That white box was branded with the Uncommon name — impressive.

Inside the box, was a foil heat sealed pouch… also branded with the Uncommon name. The pouch was also resealable (like a ziplock bag!). Was that why the product was much pricier than other cases? Impressive, still — or perhaps the product branding genius had too big of a budget to work with on this project?

Rip the pouch open and there was my customized case, that very same art I designed more than three months ago. Yay!

A placement holder was snapped into the case. When you opened it, there was also a coupon for another Uncommon purchase and an Uncommon sticker. A hefty attempt at word of mouth marketing?

The case seemed a bit flimsy to me at first glance. It’s definitely not as sturdy as my Griffin case. But… on the inside of the case, there’s a felt pad to protect your iPod from impact and (I’m guessing) scratches accumulating on the inside.

There’s even a cute puffy logo telling you to, of course, get uncommon. Overkill on the branding? It also states the product was designed in the USA, but the product, itself, is made in China.

The product snugly slips onto my iPod. Great fit. I’m guessing the bar code is for internal inventory purposes at the Uncommon factory?

There are even some nice accents to the case that I didn’t expect. A few pop-up tab buttons are located on the side of the case and on top for the volume and power keys.

The word, uncommon, is also debossed near the bottom opening. I think it’s sort of classy… shows more towards the worth of your product, maybe?

I’m not sure if it’s due to the printing process or some other factor, but the bottom portion of the capsule case is not flush with the top portion. Before even attaching the case, there was a noticeable flaw on the edge of the case — the two parts were not flush.

After inserting the iPod into the case, I also found that (more noticeably on the back) was not flush either. The top portion of the case pokes up a tad more than the bottom.

Fortunately, I have not had the chance to really put the case to the test — haven’t dropped it yet *fingers crossed* (aside from plops onto the bed or other daily general tosses of similar instance). But, it seems to function just fine. For ease and convenience sake, here’s a quick pros and cons list.

PROS —

  • Customizable hard case! It’s a one of a kind product (at least to what I could find… if you know of others, please let me know!)
  • Great print quality — the art looks fantastic! Much better than the Skinit iPod skin and hard drive skin I purchased.
  • High quality product that can be seen at first glance and seems to be well thought out
  • Accents on product are impressive and make the case stand out from others

CONS —

  • Flimsy feel to cover when not on iPod
  • Cover doesn’t snap together (although it does fit together somewhat snugly) and does not evenly flush out between the two portions
  • Uncommon service is very uncommunicative — needs improvement and perhaps some more organization throughout
  • Case seems to scratch easily — there were already a few light scratches when I received the product
  • Definitely pricier than most other hard cases on the market

The verdict? Get uncommon. All in all, I believe it was a good purchase. I love the case, although it wasn’t what I had hoped it all to be — experience of buying the product included — I would probably buy it again have I ever the chance to time travel back to the past and change that decision in life. On a scale from 1 (crap) to 10 (awesome), I’d say the product is a solid 8… yeah, an 8.

Oh, one other note — it does not come with a clear screen protector. I’d definitely recommend one of those on top of any protective casing.

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