Smartphones like iPhone 4S doesn’t come cheap, and fortunately they don’t look or feel cheap either. The hardened glass body gives iPhone 4S a premium look & feel which many would love to flaunt. Asking them to cover it with a case is a shame. Most of the cases hides the beauty while adding bulk. Some cases tries to keep it light but end up being filmsy and cheap. This is where Case-Mate’s Barely There case scores over the rest.

As Case-Mate rightly puts it, Barely There case for iPhone 4/4S is ultra-lightweight with a resilient design that looks as good as it feels. For a hard shell plastic case which promises good impact resistance against minor falls, the Barely There case truly revels amongst the competition. Let’s take a detailed look at its design.

Design & Looks


As the name suggests, Case-Mate’s Barely There case is designed to please those who don’t like to use a case but cannot afford to risk their valuable iPhones. As you cam see the image above, the iPhone 4S fits in really well into the case and thereby retaining the much acclaimed shape and design of iPhone 4/4S.

Slim yet impact resistant hard shell covers the back and sides, while protecting against minor impacts and falls. The smooth finish makes it simple to slide the iPhone 4/4S in and out of pockets. I’ve had pretty bad experiences with some cases which were shaped too close to the camera flash resulting in a terrible white hue on any pictures taken with the flash. Case-Mate has ensured that they provide enough space around the camera & the LED flash to avoid any such issues. All the ports are well exposed for day-to-day use as you can see below.



What I like

  • As I mentioned before, the ultra-lightweight hard shell plastic gets a big plus in my ratings.
  • The smooth silhouette finish makes the iPhone 4/4S feel good to hold and slide in & out of the pockets really easy.
  • Barely There case comes with a free screen-protector. How I wish every case maker takes note of this! Update: Case-Mate says they have stopped providing free screen protectors. Ouch!
  • Well exposed ports. This makes it easy to use most of the third party accessories without taking out the iPhone from the case.
  • Huge selection of colors (more than 20 in fact)

What I don’t like

  • As easy as I found to snap in the iPhone into Barely There case, I also found it tough to separate the phone from it.
  • The apple logo at the back of the phone is always exposed which isn’t a good thing considering the silver logo is scratch-prone. Update: Just got to know that Case-Mate has a version without the cut-out for Apple logo!



Well, do I suggest this case? Yes, I do! Every smartphone case is a trade-off between protection and bulk and I feel Case-Mate has got it right with Barely There range of cases for iPhone 4/4S. At $25, it’s competitively priced, specially since it comes with a decent quality screen protector. If you are considering buying this case, do check out the Brushed Aluminum variant (which we will be reviewing soon) or else go ahead and order it on Case-Mate website or Amazon, where it’s priced around $13! In India, it is available for Rs.795 on Flipkart, Letsbuy, Yebhi & other online retail stores.

Disclosure: The sample unit was provided by Case-Mate for this review.

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