Review: Moshi Kameleon kickstand case for iPhone 7 / 7 Plus
First and foremost, my iPhone is a gaming device. If you counted up the hours spent on, the widest slice of the pie would be attributed to JRPGs. But I’m also a guy who sometimes needs to look his age. I visit clients when I must, I wear a fedora when it’s cold, and I need an iPhone case that doesn’t look out of place on such occasions. This is why I continue to look to Moshi, and why I really like their Kamelon kickstand case for the iPhone 7 Plus.
The Kameleon is made of what Moshi simply calls a “hybrid construction.” I’m not sure why they’re so secretive about what this is, but the exterior is mostly composed of a leather-like material over a harder shell that offers military-grade drop-protection (MIL-STD-810G, SGS-certified). The interior has a microfiber lining to keep your iPhone scratch free, although a round opening in the back does expose the Apple logo scratches, dust, etc. I really wish Moshi would (could?) offer cases that don’t expose the iPhone’s Apple logo.
The edges of the Kameleon are wrapped in aluminum that offers a nice accent and that trails off at the bottom and around the buttons for easy access and removal (with regard to the Apple logo opening mentioned above, Moshi suggests you use it to push the phone out of the case). The Lightning port is cut wide enough for docking with third-party devices that don’t demand a flush surface, and the softer lining rises above the screen to prevent it from coming into contact with surfaces when laid flat. The edges don’t rise too far above the screen, but they did conflict with precise aiming when my characters in Knight Slinger were positioned at the far edges of the screen.
Your color choices here are imperial black with copper accents (as with the review unit Moshi provided us, pictured here) or ivory white with silver accents. Both are slick and professional looking, but I’m surprised there aren’t more options; black with silver accents would look good, too.
That accent color carries over to the Kameleon’s distinguishing feature: the kickstand. This lies flat towards the bottom back of the case, then clicks open to prop your phone up at a single, defined angle. The stand is sturdy, remaining crisp and responsive after repeated use, albeit entirely with the phone in a horizontal position. Moshi states that it can prop up your iPhone in portrait orientation, but I found it too easy to knock over when bumped to the left.
Obviously, the kickstand is great (and perhaps intended) for watching videos, but as a gamer I found it tremendously useful for two other purposes. First, the angle of display is great when using a MFi controller to play iPhone games. Second, I used it quite frequently to prop up a walkthrough when playing games on my Nintendo 3DS or Wii U.
Still, I have to question one design decision. Propping up the iPhone with kickstand places the home button on the left hand side. When gaming, I always have the home button on the right, which is the natural way for right-handers to rotate from portrait to landscape orientation. This means I have to flip the phone over when utilizing the kickstand. Whether this is an issue for you will depend upon your usage, I suppose.
So Here It Is
Judging from its sophisticated design and relatively high price, one can surmise the Kameleon is not an iPhone case that’s aimed at mobile gamers. But its sturdy construction, comfortable grip and helpful kickstand make it a great match for us nonetheless. No matter what your gaming to “proper” use ratio is, the Moshi Kameleon is an outstanding case that fits the part.
Provides: Military drop-test standards iPhone protection with kickstand display
Compatibility: iPhone 7 / 7 Plus
Price: iPhone 7 – $49.95; iPhone Plus – $54.95 (also available for iPhone 5/5S/SE, iPhone 6/6S, and iPhone 6 Plus / 6S Plus)
Availability: Now at moshi.com