There's quite a few customizable cases on the market - today I'm taking a look at two which I've had samples of on my desk for a bit.
The PixCase, aka The Picture Frame Case comes from Jaymo, based out of lovely Waunakee, Wisconsin. They were started in 1991, with the founder's son as the first employee. I've also got a LikeMyCase, which is a company of "three guys from the North of England [who] got together randomly over a beer, and quickly found out they shared the same vision for personalized gifts."
The two cases take the approach to customization from different sides, and both have some good and some bad bits. Let's look at the LikeMyCase first.
At $32, it's definitely the pricier of the two we're looking at. However, I also found the image quality to be much better on this case. LikeMyCase allows you to upload your own picture to their site, and has a nifty tool allowing you to configure where on your case and what zoom level it will be. Make sure you use a high res photo - lower quality pics won't print well.
It comes in austere packaging, a blue cardboard box with a yellow insert and your case right there for you to see. They ship for free in the UK, but US shipping has a charge (adding a bit more heft to that $32 price tag). The case itself is simple - hard plastic with a patented 3D print method used to put your image on the it. It protects the back of the phone well, and has cutouts in the molding for the buttons, dock, and top. I found the cutouts to be a perfect size (some cases make it difficult to press the volume buttons or slide the silent mode switch).
The front of the phone is not too protected in the LikeMyCase, but the lip of the case (which fits nice and snug, even when I dropped my phone a couple times from low distances) protrudes a bit from the phone itself, so if it falls the screen doesn't touch a flat surface. Dropping it in rocks or anything would give some issues.
Image quality of the print was good, but not great. I sent in a photo with pretty high res (around 4000px wide, from a Canon 7D), and the image was clean but not "crisp." I'm not sure if the lack of vibrancy is the print method or my image - I'd like to compare it to one of their stock images like this one. The photo when viewed on my computer or phone has a bit more "pop" to it than on the case.
Another approach to the customizable case is the solution by Jaymo - the $23.99 PixCase.
Using a more "arts and crafty" style, the PixCase has a milky clear, scratch-resistant polycarbonate back with hard black vinyl siding. It comes with a heavy paper cutout which you use as a template to cut an image YOU print from home, and have as the back of your case.
Like the LikeMyCase, it also has very little coverage for the front of your device - however, they include a bonus screen protector! Very nice addition. The case has the appropriate cutouts for the silent mode switch, headphones, dock, and speaker/mic on the bottom. It actually keeps the vinyl covering the power switch on top and the volume buttons on the side, which keeps them clean and safe.
I found the print/cut/insert process took a little bit of tweaking to get right. I created a .psd which I attached to this post which has the correct sizing to print, with a little bleed on other side (marked in the .psd). This would have been helpful to begin with, ha - but was a nice art and crafts moment.
The nice part about the PixCase solution is it is infinitely customizable - any time you'd like a new image on your case, simply print, cut, and insert. Done - new case image! I did have a small problem with the clear backing - it's not a completely clear backing, but a bit opaque. I'm assuming this is part of the strength and scratch resistance of the material, but it had the effect of dulling the image I printed. Imagine pressing an image against one of those milky clear shower doors - you see the image, yes, but it's a bit less crisp.
Both solutions seem good for those of you who want a case NO ONE else has. Personally, I preferred the quality of the LikeMyCase solution. I'm not much of a "make something with scissors and paper" kind of guy, and the dulled image from the milky clear PixCase threw me off a bit. Those guys WERE cool enough to send me a ModMyi pen though.
You can pick up the PixCase for $23.99 on their site, and the LikeMyCase for $32 (19.99 GBP) on their site. Both products come in a variety of device sizes - iPhone 4, Blackberry, iPad, iPod Touch, etc. Check out the sites.
Of course we've got a giveaway as well. LikeMyCase has offered up two free cases to random commenters in this thread, and I've also got a PixCase for an iPod Touch (4th Generation) to give away as well. Leave a comment below letting us know which you like best and we'll pick a winner the first couple days of this week! Congrats to sirbebe on winning the PixCase, and to Chad83 and Fallguy on winning the LikeMyCases!
For those of you who didn't win, LikeMyCase.com is offering a 20% off coupon code to use on the site - just type in modmyi20 when the checkout system asks for a discount code.