Monday, January 10, 2011

5 Minute Review: Clever Wraps Ringer Wraps

Clever Wraps has a simple concept: protect your phone from the elements with disposable bags, called Ringer Wraps.

And it's a good idea, and the wraps themselves are easy to use. They're like baggies that come in 3 different sizes to fit a variety of phones. They zip closed, and then additionally there's an adhesive strip to tighten the wrap around the phone. You can still type on your phone, text, make calls, the whole deal, right through the wrap.

I had considered putting the Ringer Wraps in our Holiday Gift Guide, as a pack of 5 costs about $10, and I thought they might make a good stocking stuffer.

And then I received a sample to test out, and had several teens try them, and...well, honestly, they didn't like the Ringer Wraps  much!

Our teen test group (one 16 yo, one 17 yo and one 15 yo) felt that they would just as soon pop their phones into Ziploc bags, which admittedly are cheaper (though don't have adhesive). We tried out some simple Ziploc bags, and turns out that yes, you can use your phone through them as well.

The teens also pointed out that the Ringer Wraps aren't water-proof, just water-resistant, which most cases are as well. They also said they worry more about dropping their phones than getting them wet, and of course Ringer Wraps don't protect against damage from falls. Finally, the teens just didn't like the ideas of putting their stylish smartphones in baggies very much. They wanted skins or cases that more reflected their own individual taste.

I can attest that I personally use an Otter Box case for my phone precisely because it protects my phone if I drop it (I am klutzy). Of course, as I reminded our teen panel, cases are much more expensive than Ringer Wraps, especially Otter Box cases! But I do think their points about the limitations of Ringer Wraps are valid.

Viv's take: Clever Wraps Ringer Wraps are inexpensive compared to many phone accessories, but not as cheap as more readily-available zipper sandwich bags, though they do offer additional security and a bit tighter fit with the adhesive strip and different size options. Bottom line, for occasional use, you may find you prefer Clever Wraps to a baggie from your kitchen when it comes to sand or the elements, but for year-round protection against all damage, you're better off shelling out some bucks for a quality phone case instead.

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