[REVIEW] Speck Presidio Stay Clear for iPhone XS Max


Dec 25, 2011
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Disclaimer: I want to apologize for the dust in the image, due to my lightbox being cloth it gets dirty very quickly and it's hard to keep dust out of the clear case photos.

All right, this is going to be a pretty quick review as there isn't a whole lot to talk about here. The Speck Presidio Stay Clear is a clear case as the name suggests. It is one hundred percent clear. That's fantastic if you're looking for a clear case. Especially since Speck added ultraviolet protection a few years ago to help combat the yellowing of clear cases. Now I do have some issues with this case, and they may be exclusive to my case in particular. The entire case is a clear polycarbonate shell that offers eight-foot drop protection. Speck does claim two layers of protection with the second layer being Impactium Clear, which is the textured looking design in the edges of the case. They don't mention the softer textured interior your phone sits on though. Speck does offer a lifetime warranty on their cases which is really nice. All the cutouts offer ample spacing so as not to interfere with usability. I find the mute switch cutout to be a tad small and hard to access. My biggest complaints are with the fit of the case, it goes on easy enough and sits tight, but it's very hard to remove. My other biggest complaint is button tactility and how there isn't any tactility. Mushy buttons would be an upgrade in my opinion. It's almost like you're just pressing on the edge of the case without buttons. The only way I can know for sure I've pressed a button is by watching the screen. Other than that, the case itself is pretty slick.

I already covered a lot of this quickly, but the main take away here is that the Stay Clear is a slick case. It's definitely a drawback of the clear polycarbonate. It's not like you're going to throw it out of your hand, at least not that often, however, you do still need to hold it more carefully so it slides around in your hand. I wouldn't mind having a textured clear case, as long as most of the texture was on the side for grip, but also a little on the back to prevent it from sliding around. It's not the end of the world if you drop your phone though since the Stay Clear does have eight-foot drop protection and a lifetime warranty. So if you did drop your case and your case developed a defect you can submit a claim to Speck to get it handled. I didn't spend as much time with this case as I usually do, but that is a personal choice because I really don't like slick cases. Apart from the buttons being as stiff as they are and not knowing if I pressed them, the slickness of the case is the worst aspect. It's not that the buttons aren't usable either, I just don't like how stiff they are. I prefer to feel the buttons click, I like that satisfaction of knowing that I clicked them.


The Good
  • Shows off your phone
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Eight-foot drop protection

The Bad
  • Buttons are terrible
  • Very hard to remove
  • Mute switch cutout is tight


I may be a little critical of this case, however, it is hard to find such a protective clear case for a phone. Clear cases tend to be slicker as well, that's just a side effect of the clear material. The buttons though, those could use some work. If the fit wasn't so gripping and the buttons were more tactile, the Speck Presidio Stay Clear would easily be one of my favorite cases. If you're a fan of clear cases then you already know there are some compromises, and Speck offers the eight-foot drop protection on top of that. So check out the Presidio Stay Clear on Speck's site here.
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