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Smartphone Case Review: iLuv Selfy Review
      #46823 - 08/08/14 03:32 PM

What is the iLuv Selfy? It's a protective case with a wireless remote camera shutter stick that allows you to take pictures with your phone from great distance. The thick case protects the smartphone or tablet while housing the remote and it works with a wide selection of mounting solutions iLuv offers for the case. The iLuv Selfy is currently available for the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, Samsung Galaxy S5, iPad Air and the iPad mini. The phone versions of Selfy come in black and hot pink while the tablet versions come in only black.



Design

Be it a million selfies you can't seem to stop taking or pictures of group shots, sometimes you need to keep the phone's camera at a distance in order to capture wider angles or include everyone in the picture. The iLuv Selfy gives you the ability to take photos with your phone from distance. The case has a storage slot to keep the remote camera shutter control on the back of the case and when you need to use it, just slide it out and press a button to take pictures. The storage slot also functions as mount channel for iLuv's many Selfy accessories including the Mini Tripod, Car Mount, Bar mount, Helmet mount, Vented helmet strap and even a connector for the GoPro mounts. The mounts allow you to use the phones' or tablets' rear cameras, which often come in higher resolution with better lenses than the usual front selfy cameras. And they also give you the freedom of capturing family photos, action shots and precious kids and pets moments conveniently. The mounts cost extra in addition to the case.



The iLuv Selfy case is thicker and heavier than regular protective cases. It comes in two parts: the front polycarbonate cover and the polycarbonate shell with TPU exterior cover. The two-piece design makes it very easy to install the case and to take it off, and the TPU layer gives it a better grip as well. The case is rugged with extra thickness and strength to work with mounting solutions and to house the remote shutter, and it weighs 3 ounces. The iLuv Selfy for the Samsung Galaxy S5 comes in black shell and black cover, and hot pink shell with white cover.



Features

As a case, the iLuv Selfy is rugged and protective. It covers the entire smartphone with the except of the front display, but it'll work with almost all screen protectors. The front cover has cutouts for the earpiece, front camera and sensors, and side cutouts for the buttons. The back shell covers the side buttons including the power button and the volume buttons with TPU and it's very easy to use these buttons under their protective cover. The iLuv Selfy has cutouts for all the ports including the audio jack, IR window, mics, sync/charge port and the rear camera/flash/heart rate sensor. Since the case has some thickness to it, the audio port and the sync port are deeper and require a bit longer reach. The included audio and sync/charge cables work fine with the phone in this case.



The biggest feature the iLuv Selfy offers is the remote shutter control. It slides into the back of the case and it's easy to take it out and put it back in. The remote control uses Bluetooth to control the shutter on your phone's camera which means you don't need any app to use the remote control. It's designed to link itself to the Volume Up button on the Samsung Galaxy S5 which functions as shutter button while in the Camera app and as Volume Up button when not in the Camera app. Since the Galaxy S5's camera mode uses the Volume Up to take photos but not videos, the iLuv Selfy remote control can't start or stop video recording. The same rule applies to other camera and media apps that use the phone's camera: if the app utilizes the Volume Up button then the iLuv Selfy works; otherwise it doesn't. If you turn on the Burst shot mode in the camera mode, you can also shoot multiple pictures in Burst mode by holding the remote button.



Pairing and connecting the remote with the Samsung Galaxy S5 worked smoothly in our tests. The remote control has a coin cell battery and it goes to sleep automatically to conserve battery. There's an LED light above the control button that indicates if the remote control is active. The phone doesn't have to be in the case for the remote to work with the camera and the remote shutter speed is responsive.



Conclusion

The iLuv Selfy is certainly a unique case plus camera accessory that we don't see often on the market. The case is very protective of the phone and it's surprisingly lightweight. It offers access to all ports and protects the buttons but makes them easy to use. The remote shutter control is responsive and easy to use as well. We appreciate the function of the remote camera shutter control that's missing in the user experience and the rich selection of mounting accessories iLuv offers for the Selfy. The case does add a considerable amount of bulk to the phone and the remote control only works in taking pictures.

Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4
What's Hot: Protective, remote control works well, comes in two colors.
What's Not: Adds bulk, only works with photos not videos.
Price: $39.99
Web site: iLuv

Reviewed by: Tong Zhang









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