Accessory manufacturer iLuv has just done something impressive in the world of iPhone cases -- they've created a new line called Selfy that revolves around an iPhone 5/5s case (US$49.99 also available for iPad and iPad mini) with a slide-out wireless remote built into it for taking the perfect selfies. In this review, I'll let you know how Selfy works, and also tell you about the line of accessories designed to work with the case. At the end, you've got a chance to win an iLuv Selfy of your very own.
Dimensions: .57 inch thick x 2.38 inch wide x 5.06 inch tall
Weight: 2.1 ounces (59.5 grams)
Materials: Thermoplastic polyurethane exterior, polycarbonate interior
Available colors: Black, Pink
The Selfy ecosystem revolves around the case, which has a Bluetooth wireless remote built into the back of it. Slide that remote out of the slot on the back of the case, pair it with your iPhone, and then use it with any photo app on the iPhone that can use the volume buttons as a shutter release. Turn on your iPhone and press the button once to establish the pairing again, and a small red LED flashes every few seconds to let you know that you're ready to use your hands-free camera remote.
The remote is large enough to hold comfortably in your hand, and you're certainly not going to lose it. It's held securely in the slot on the back of the phone. The remote has a watch-type battery in it, so eventually you'll need to replace it. Fortunately, that's rather simple to do.
The Selfy case is a bit thick, about the same as a Mophie Juice Pack Helium battery case. However, the back is curved from side to side, making it very comfortable in the hand. The bottom ports are uncovered, as is the mute switch. Wake/Sleep and volume toggle buttons are covered.
Now, about that Selfy ecosystem. These cases are just starting to ship this month and not all accessories may be available, but the idea is that you'll be able to trade out the remote for a mini tripod, a car mount, a handlebar mount, a helmet mount or vented helmet strap, or a connector for a GoPro camera. These accessory mounts are expected to have a price tag between $19.99 and $24.99 each.
Setting up the Selfy the first time is a piece of cake -- you just remove the remote from the case, pull a plastic tab to expose the battery to the interior contacts, and then press on the remote button for about four seconds. The red LED begins flashing, indicating that the device is ready for pairing. Head on over to the Bluetooth settings on your iPhone and connect to the Selfy, and you're ready to go.
Placing the iPhone into the Selfy is fairly easy, as the interior material flexes a little. Once the phone is in the case, taking a photo with the remote means just firing up the appropriate app (for example, Camera or Camera+), setting up the camera the way you want it, and then pressing the remote button. It can also be used to start and stop video with a push of the button.
I found that the range of the Selfy remote was fairly consistent with most Bluetooth devices -- once the remote and iPhone were about 30 feet or so apart, the connection failed.
iLuv's Selfy line is actually quite smart -- the company is hoping that you'll buy the protective case with the built-in remote as a start and then buy one or more of the mounts. While the case feels a little chunky, it's actually comfortable in the hand and offers good protection. The remote is sized perfectly for most hands and is large enough to avoid loss. With a SRP of $49.99, the Selfy case is priced reasonably as well.
Rating: 3-1/2 stars out of 4 stars possible
Like to take a lot of selfies? Then you're going to want the Selfy case! Here are the rules for the giveaway:
Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
The entry must be made before May 6, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
You may enter only once.
One winner will be selected in a random drawing and will receive a iLuv Selfy iPhone 5/5s case valued at $49.99.