The bitplay SNAP! iPhone Case

Tech Test Lab Review

Product: bitplay SNAP! iPhone 4/4s Case
Price: $49.99
Rating: Recommend*

If you've frequently found yourself wishing the iPhone camera came with a shutter button then the bitplay SNAP! iPhone case is your answer. The retro design case combines the protective function of durable plastic protection with the practical functionality of a shutter button while using your iPhone as a camera...Finally, a case that makes it possible to take self-portraits with the iPhone without nearly breaking a finger.

Putting the bitplay SNAP! case on is an eight step process that requires a bit of trial and error. In order for the shutter feature to work correctly, the case has to be fitted properly. The plastic materials are well-built, so you don't have to worry about breaking the pieces as they snap together, which is a common fear of mine. In addition, the manufacturer recommends you remove any screen protectors and use the provided screen protector, which is a bit shorter than standard stick-on protectors.

Pin it button

Without a doubt, the case delivers on its promise to make snapping photos easier. After getting the case on, you simply turn the screen off and turn the dial on the right 90 degrees counter-clockwise to cover the spot where on-screen camera button will appear. I found the dial somewhat tight and difficult to turn at first, so loosen it up a bit by turning it when the case isn't on the camera, because it becomes cumbersome once the case is on.

Now, turn the screen back on and open the camera app. The shutter should respond to pressing the button on the top of the case and now taking a picture feels just like any digital camera. When you're done taking pictures, turn the dial on the right 90 degrees clockwise to regain access to the lower portion/doc area of the touch screen.

I was most surprised by the responsiveness of the shutter. I was expecting it to be a bit laggy than the on screen shutter, but in fact, there was no discernable delay.

The biggest downside to this case design is its size. With the case on, your phone will truly look and feel like any other digital camera, looking and feeling undeniably bulky (admittedly, I'm obsessed with iPhone covers that add the least amount of bulk as humanly possible.) As a result, this case makes the phone feel more like a huge brick in your hand. The shape is intuitive though and does make the iPhone easier to hold for activities like shooting video and panoramic photos.

Pin it button

The SNAP! comes in three color schemes: black on black, black on silver, and silver on black. All three have a vintage camera vibe with their textured grips on the side and a variety of dials and raised faux buttons to fool onlookers that it's in fact and camera and not a phone.

Overall, the bitplay SNAP! iPhone Case is a novel idea that executes on its promise, but price plays a factor. I can imagine iPhone users buying this case for travel, but at 1/4th the price of another iPhone, it feels prohibitively expensive as an accessory. The key question for whether or not you should buy the bitplay SNAP! is if the ability to take photos with the help of an actual button outweighs the physical bulk added to the phone.

Pros: Shutter button works easily and quickly and will provide iPhone photographers with added control and grip.

Cons: The extra bulk added to the phone leaves something to be desired.

Our Ratings:
Strong Recommend
Recommend*
Weak Recommend
Don't Recommend

Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. This specific product was provided by manufacturer for testing and review purposes.

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Categories

Tech, Shopping, iPhone, Smartphones

Liz is a writer and filmmaker from Minneapolis. She was nominated for a Webby and won an Emmy for Science of Watchmen, a documentary short about the physics in the comic book movie. She’s a tech obsessive, verified nerd and total Anglophile.

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