[Review] Speck Presidio Stay Clear Case for iPhone XS Max


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May 31, 2014
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While we always thrive to get that perfect look with the perfect case, sometimes we prefer it provided the utmost protection for the iPhone. The speck Presidio Stay clear case for the iPhone offers exactly that. It might not be the most attractive case you will buy but you will still love it for all the protection it offers for your iPhone.


This is the review of the Speck Presidio Stay clear for the iPhone XS Max.

  • Strong fit
  • Great grip
  • Good protection overall

  • Hard to install and remove the case
  • Buttons are too hard to press
  • Back surface gets scratched easily

As the name suggests it is a clear case. As a result, the clear back portrays the iPhone's original color very well. However, the back surface is prone to scratches. As you can see, I have quite a lot of scratches already.


The case provides a tight and strong fit. While the strong and tight fit helps keep your phone well protected, it is painful to install and remove the case. I found it very hard, sometimes impossible to both install and remove the case. This is probably one of those cases where you will need to install and keep it forever.


The thing that surprised me about this case is the strong grip it provides even though it is a clear case. The sides have a strong grip along with the back surface enabling a good balance when you hold your phone. This is something you don't find often in other clear cases.

Speck promises drop protection of up to 8 feet with this clear case. The case provides protection all around - sides, corners and even on the front with raised bezels protecting the screen.


While I did not do drop tests, it is quite evident when you use the case that it is going to provide that promised drop protection. That right there is not something I feel comfortable with other cases.

Let's talk about the buttons. This is the worst part of this case. Buttons are so hard and firm that you won't feel a thing when you press them, even if you press harder. This is particularly painful when using Apple Pay. I failed almost all times launching Apple Pay or controlling volume using the volume buttons unless I press harder than usual.


The ports and camera cutouts are fine though and I did not have any trouble using the charging port or the mute switch with the case.


I used to use nothing but clear cases a while ago and then I moved away from them. Key reasons being that the clear case was prone to scratches and color aging (yellowish tint). While it will take time for me to test the color aging with this Presidio Stay clear case, it was evident from a few weeks of use that this case is also prone to scratches. As you can see, I have quite a lot of scratches on the back.


Overall while I think the Speck Presidio Stay clear case offers great protection, the issues with the installation, buttons and that it is prone to scratches makes it harder to recommend. If you are solely worried about protecting your phone, then this clear case might be an option, otherwise, there are plenty of other options to choose from. If you are still interested, then you can buy the case directly from Speck webiste for $44.95 USD.


Mar 2, 2016
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Thanks for the great review! I had a Speck case for my iPhone 6s and had some of the same issues as you found with this case. I am happy to hear that they have the "Stay Clear" feature, and that there's some grip to it. I ended up not using my case very long with my 6s because there was little grip, and it would slide around on my desk. I just didn't feel safe with it.

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