Griffin Clarifi iPhone Case [Review]

Clarifi iPhone Case

The defining feature of the Griffin Clarifi iPhone case is a retractable lens for taking closer, clearer photos with your iPhone’s camera. Clarifi functions both as a magnifying glass for more detailed mobile snapshots and as a case for protecting your iPhone.

Griffin Clarifi Case Review

Disclosure: This Clarifi Case was donated to me in exchange for an honest review. Sometimes I review donated products that interest me. Despite receiving the items for free, I do my best to be fair and objective. The FTC requires that I disclose my relationship with companies, and I agree that it is important to mention.

Griffin’s Clarifi case struck my interest primarily because of its built-in lens for sharper snapshots. Unlike other telescopic lenses for iPhone (none of which I have tried yet), this lens is small, easily enabled/disabled, and a permanent part of an iPhone case.

Company Claims

From the Griffin Clarifi Product Page:


  • Close-up lens focuses close for incredible detail; perfect for capturing small details & text
  • Lens slides into place for close-ups, then back for normal photography
  • EasyDock lets you charge & sync without removing your iPhone from the case
  • No adapters or small pieces to lose; the lens is built in and slides in and out of place with the touch of a fingertip

The Lens

Clarifi iPhone Case Lens

Although Griffin calls their product a protective case with a “built-in close-up lens,” I would say it’s more of a magnifying glass than a lens. The Clarifi lens does not zoom per se, but it slightly magnifies things and makes close-ups considerably clearer.

Check out these test photos, which were taken from a distance of about 3 inches, with and without the lens enabled:

Before/After Photos

Click to enlarge:

Clarifi iPhone Photos

Clarifi iPhone Photos

As you can see, the Clarifi lens actually does clarify close-up shots. What Clarifi essentially does is increase the resolution of your photos so that you can get closer to your subjects.

Keep in mind that the above photos would have been clear without the need for a lens if I would have backed my camera up an inch or so. Most of the time, the iPhone’s camera will photograph close-ups just fine, but where detailed precision is required, the Clarifi lens makes macro photography a little bit easier.

The Case

The Clarifi case (pictured in white/gray but also available in black) is a two-piece polycarbonate shell that you slide on and snap shut. The case protects the chrome edges and back of the iPhone, but does not cover the screen. It is two-toned and stylish, and allows easy access to all of the buttons and inputs on your iPhone.

Clarifi iPhone Case

The case is durable enough to protect your iPhone in a fall (yes, I dropped my iPhone a couple times while using it), and will prevent scratches from coins or keys in your pocket.

One problem, though, is that dust and dirt can accumulate around the case openings, potentially causing scratches. This happened to me twice. One time when I removed the Clarifi case from my iPhone, and another time when I slid the lens into place, dirt that had gathered around the lens caused light but permanent scratches on the back of my iPhone.

Clarifi iPhone Case Scratch

Dirt accumulation is a problem with most cases, and you will likely get more scratches by not using a case at all, but if dust and debris accumulate around the Clarifi lens, it could cause some blemishes like the one pictured above.

Have you used Griffin’s Clarifi case or a similar product? Let me know your opinion in the comments.


Buy on Amazon: Griffin Clarifi Case for iPhone 3G/3GS
Manufacturer: Griffin

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