In May I replaced my phone's Apple leather case with the Caudabe Veil XT. At the time, I thought it was the perfect minimalist case for me. My Apple case lasted over a year before I found it necessary to review its deterioration. Unfortunately, with the Veil that's taken just two months.
When it was brand new, I praised the Veil for its extremely close fit around the metal and glass body of my iPhone. I also pointed out that:
It wouldn't work if it left even the hint of a gap between metal and plastic.
The dreaded gaps have begun to appear. This took some time; when the case was about a week old, I tried to remove it and couldn't. (I was very glad that I didn't have to take the case off — I suppose I would have tried harder if I'd needed to swap the SIM card.)
But even when I couldn't get the case off, that didn't mean things couldn't get in. Since I got the near-transparent "Frost" color, I could see every bit of pocket lint that worked its way between the Veil and my phone. It reminded me of the white USB keyboards that Apple shipped in the G4 era, which were notorious for accumulating dust, crumbs, and worse, especially in shared settings like computer labs.
This past week, I gave in and took the Veil off to clean underneath with a microfiber cloth (on the phone itself) and a wet tissue (inside the corners of the case). It was overly easy to remove, as I expected from the visible gaps at all four corners. It's as if through use the case has simply expanded, leaving it saggy and wobbly around the unchanged iPhone body.
I'm not upset with my purchase of the Veil. It was inexpensive and still offers some basic protection. Most importantly, it eased me back into using a nearly naked phone again. When the day comes that the Veil is unusable, I'll remove it, but I likely won't replace it. I've successfully relearned all of the key techniques for operating an iPhone that can't withstand a drop: cautious transitions from one hand to the other; not using the home button as a pivot point to rotate the phone 180 degrees; always grasping the sides tightly and leading with my index finger when sliding the phone into my pocket.
I'm not sure when I'll buy my next iPhone (although fall is likely), but I'm sure when I'll buy my next case: never. The Veil was my training wheels, and I'm just about ready to take them off.