Zerochroma Vario Clear Black iPhone 5

We don't generally review iPhone cases as they're a commodity these days. You pick your design or colour and pay your money. It's a saturated market. However, Zerochroma's new Vario Clear iPhone 5 case offers something new and useful: a built-in stand.

It folds completely flat and adds only around 2mm to the thickness of the case. It rotates 360 degrees, clicking into position at 90-degree intervals so you can stand your phone upright or in landscape mode on either side.

As you open the stand, it clicks through 11 angles so you can adjust the amount of tilt to suit your needs.

Whether you want to use FaceTime or watch a video without holding your phone, the Vario Clear is perfect for hands-free operation. It's not quite as stable in portrait mode as landscape, but as long as there's a convenient flat surface, the stand generally works well.

We also found the stand useful for holding our iPhone when taking photos, including self-portraits.

Zerochroma Vario Clear Grey iPhone 5

Build quality is excellent, and we've no worries about the mechanism failing. It should last as long as your phone contract, if not longer.

Zerochroma Vario Clear Grey iPhone 5The Vario Clear - as the name suggests - has a transparent section so your shiny iPhone isn't entirely hidden away. A depression (which conveniently highlights the Apple logo on the rear) is said to help hold the phone when you're on a call, and is also a useful extra grip when removing the phone from the case.

The sides are made from a rubbery material, so it's easy to take the iPhone 5 out and put it back in the case. There are cutouts for the mute button, headphone socket, Lightning connector, speaker and bottom microphone, but the power and volume buttons are covered. Depressions in the edges help you to grip the phone.

If you want slightly better protection at the expense of extra bulk, you'll probably want to buy the Vario Protect (below). This has a more substantial raised edge to protect the screen, and doesn't have a clear back panel.

Neither case is available to buy in the UK yet, but you can order it from ZeroChroma's US website if you can't wait a few weeks for the Vario Clear and Protect to appear in Apple stores.

 Zerochroma Vario Protect Black

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ZeroChroma Vario Clear: Specs

  • iPhone 5 case
  • 360-degree rotating stand with 11 angles
  • Slim, fold-flat design
  • clear back
  • iPhone 5 case
  • 360-degree rotating stand with 11 angles
  • Slim, fold-flat design
  • clear back

OUR VERDICT

If you want an iPhone 5 case with a built-in stand, this is the best there is. It isn't what we'd call cheap, but it's well worth the expense.

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