Review: Case-Mate Barely There Chrome for iPhone 3G/3GS

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In addition to the Smooth Case Case-Mate recently sent me for review, they were also kind enough to include one of their Chrome Barely There Cases for the iPhone 3G/3G with a mirrored screen protector.

With visions of 20″ chrome spinners on a tricked out car from some episode of Pimp My Ride I slapped the case on my iPhone 3GS and took it for a test drive.

The version of the Chrome Barely There I was sent included a mirrored screen protector and sells for $24.99. A similar version of the case is available from Case-Mate without the mirrored screen protector for $19.99


You install the mirrored screen protector just like any other screen shield. Take special care to avoid any dust becoming trapped underneath the shield as dust leads to bubbles and they are even more noticeable on the mirrored shield.

Once installed you have a glass like mirror protecting your screen.


The mirrored protector is so reflective it’s hard to capture on camera but in person it looks fabulous.

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The case itself is light weight plastic feeling with its own glossy, mirrored coating.

It’s a snap on back cover case that installs on the phone quite easily.


Once on, the back of the iPhone gets completely protected except for the Apple logo which gets its very own cut out revealing even more chrome.


The top of the phone is completely opened allowing full access to the sleep/awake button, SIM Card tray and headset port.


The bottom of the phone is open as well which allows you to access the phone’s dock connector while the case is on.


There is a cutout out along the side of case as well for accessing the volume rocker and vibrate switch.


The cut out for the camera, on the back of the case, lines up perfectly.


Once you’ve got both parts installed you end up with a phone bathed in chrome beauty. It sparkles and shines reflecting when light hits it.

It’s really a gorgeous look but one that does come with a price. The chrome finish is extremely susceptible to fingerprints.


The Barely There is mostly about looks and less about shock and impact protection. While it will certainly protect the back of your phone from scratching it won’t offer much in the way of protection it in a catastrophic drop. However, by sacrificing bulk you gain a super slim profile that doesn’t detract much from the overall look and design of the phone.

My only real complaint about the Chrome Barely There is the Mirrored Screen Protector. While it looks amazing inside and functions perfectly as a pocket sized mirror it also makes the phone’s screen very hard to see outside in sunlight.

In the picture below my phone’s screen is actually on but very difficult to see.

If you work outdoors or are outdoors a lot and need access to your phone you’ll probably want to pass on the mirrored screen shield.


So if you’re in the market for some chrome and you can’t afford several thousands of dollars for those fancy rims, or if you want to bring some more convergence into your life by tossing that old compact making your iPhone a mirror too, have a look at the Case-Mate Chrome Barely There.

Case-Mate has taken special care to design the current version of the Chrome Barely There so that it does not effect your phone’s signal in any way.

You can find the Barely There on the Case-Mate website.

M.S.R.P. – As reviewed $29.99

What I like – all over mirrored look.

What I don’t like – mirrored screen shield makes phone hard to see outdoors.

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