A while back, Griffin announced cooperation with a maker of Square Reader which recently resulted in unveiling a new iPhone case. If you’re not familiar with the Square Reader, than what I need to say is that this is an accessory used with your iOS devices, able of reading credit cards and processing payments using its iOS app. Griffin was the first case manufacturer who decided to bring compatibility with the Square Reader, so it’s clear that this product is made for those who already transitioned to this kind of payments, but since this case brings all the items you need to switch – it’s also made for those who are willing to adopt this technology.
This article will bring you some information about the Merchant case, which can be purchased from the Griffin’s online store for $20. This sounds like a very good deal, especially if you know that you’re also getting the Square Reader itself. Continue reading to see how this product combination works, and if it’s worth the price.
Merchant case is all silicon case which brings a holder on its back into which you can place the Square Reader when not in use. This holder is nicely designed and brings two small indentations using which you can easily pick up this little accessory, but it’s also designed to keep the Reader firmly in its place while not in use. If you keep your eyes on the back side of this case for a bit longer, you’ll also see unexplainably large camera cutout. Speaking of cutouts and button protectors, Merchant case offers covers for sleep/wake and volume buttons which manage to retain their tactility and function. The mute switch is left exposed.
Even though this case offers amazing protection to your phone, it’s not as attractive as it could be. I am sure many people are interested in trying to find the best looking case they could get, so I am not sure why this case looks like one of those outdoors-ready rugged cases. Even though there are several reasons for this, like added protection and support for the Square Reader, I still feel like this case missed its chance to be an eye-catching item. I am also sure many of you will wonder what the situation is with Merchant’s elongated bottom side, which looks very odd. Well, this part of Merchant case is designed to house the credit card reader, which needs to be plugged into the headphone port. Moldings are designed to keep the reader firmly in its place, while there’s also a ridge along the bottom which is used to line up a credit card which needs to slide through the reader. The main victim of this setup is the Lightning port which is deeply recessed into the case, making most 3rd party cables obsolete at this moment.
Even though I can understand the idea behind this product, it simply missed its chance to be great. The truth is that you can purchase the Square Reader without this case, which currently doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all. There are simply too much compromises which are visible in Merchant’s design, which are preventing me from recommending it.
PROS: Interesting concept. Offers great protection. Good price.
CONS: Doesn’t look as attractive. Some odd design decisions. Makes most 3rd party Lightning cables obsolete.