Product Review: MirrorCase

What Is it: MirrorCase iPhone case and app designed to let the user take pictures while holding the phone flat.

Price and Where to Buy: $50 from Amazon.com

Pros:

  • The case is easy to slip on, since it comes in two parts (though the pressure of the case caused the screen protector to loosen along one edge of the phone).
  • The case/app combo does effectively mask the fact that you're taking pictures. Instead, it just looks like you're staring at your phone screen like everyone else.

Cons:

  • In portrait mode, understanding the orientation of the image on the screen is easy, but in landscape mode I found it difficult to figure out how to hold the phone to get the orientation of the picture right.
  • With the case on, you must take pictures using the Mirrorcase app (any pictures you take using the phone's regular camera app will end up circular and partially blocked out).
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How it Rates:

  • Usefulness: 9/10. Functions as promised, allowing the user to take pictures on the sly.
  • Portability: 8/10. Slightly bulkier than the average phone case, but not outrageously so.
  • Value: 7/10. The $50 is high for a phone case, but its functionality definitely fills a niche that can be handy for those wanting to capture their travels without drawing attention to themselves.
  • Durability: 9/10. I didn't drop it to test it, but the case feels solid and holds the phone securely.
  • Cool Factor: 7/10. A neat way to capture the action, though it puts the user somewhere on the spy-stalker spectrum with its hidden-camera technology. Used for good and not evil, this is a cool tool.

Final Verdict: MirrorCase is a good way to get candid shots and take photos without drawing attention to yourself, which can be very handy when you're traveling. There are plenty of times when I'd love to be able to take a picture but don't want to stand out as a tourist, so I miss the shot, and this case/app combo solves that problem rather tidily.

However, the fact that it's designed to let you take pictures without looking like you're taking pictures gives it a bit of a stalker edge. And the masking "privacy" screen (allowing you to put up a decoy picture while taking a totally other picture or video), is a tool for ignoring requests not to film or take pictures. I'm kind of a rule follower, so this aspect made me uncomfortable.

Editor's Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and "cool factor." Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews, or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at editor@smartertravel.com.

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