* Griffin Clarifi for iPhone Review – Introduction
* Griffin Clarifi for iPhone Review – Part 1 – A look at the case and lens itself
* Griffin Clarifi for iPhone Review – Part 2 – A look at capturing text & photos from a book
* Griffin Clarifi for iPhone Review – Part 3 – Text recognition with Evernote
Why buy the Clarifi?
We’ve all been in situations where we needed to copy down a snippet of text or some information about a book, or perhaps a quick snapshot of a census form or something similar. If you’ve got an iPhone, and you find yourself copying down little bits of information, look no further, this is your case. I’ve mentioned Evernote quite a bit – Evernote is something I’ll be talking about in another article in the near future. It’s one of the main reasons I bought the Clarifi – I like being able to dump photos of paragraphs or documents into Evernote and letting Evernote keep track of them. The iPhone 3G camera by itself was almost useless when it comes to text, especially when compared to other smartphones. This rectifies that problem.
The macro lens
As far as the lens, not much else needs to be said, it works great, as you can see with the examples I’ve provided. I’ve actually tried several different photos with differing text, and they were all clear enough that Evernote was able to read them and store the information. Most of these were standard types of books (the fonts were clear). When you start getting into handwritten material, that’s another story. At the very least, you’ll be able to capture an image.
The case itself
The case. Let’s talk about the case itself for a moment. It’s got a good feel, and even though the middle has that polycarbonate feel (slick), the top and bottom do have a rubber-like feel for a good grip (not the best, but good, and a much better grip than just a plain iPhone). It doesn’t add much to the iPhone’s profile, and all of the ports and buttons are easily accessed. The design allows you to still use it with an iPhone dock, without the need to take the whole case off (you would just take off the bottom part). The case isn’t going to slide off by itself either – in fact, it’s almost too snug for my situation. I’ve got a screen protector for my iPhone (that also cuts the glare outdoors), and the Clarifi was tight enough that it caused a few little areas to bubble up. I can work those out with 5 minutes and a credit card, so it’s not that big of an issue. Better too snug than loose.
* Update – I forgot to mention that the Clarifi comes with a screen protector specifically designed for it, along with a cleaning cloth.
As far as I know, this is the only case like it that helps correct one of the few faults with the iPhone, its camera. I bought it on a whim after reading about it on Evernote’s website, and I’m very pleased. It’s perhaps a niche product, but I work with a lot of text and am constantly looking up a lot of books, and this is going to help speed up things quite a bit. Having used it for a few days now, I would have easily paid twice what I did – it’s a time saver, and it saves trips to the copy machine, and writing down information. Combine it with Evernote, and it’s a win-win situation. If only Griffin Technology would release a case that has both a macro focus lens and a zoom lens…..