Apple iPhone 4 Case Program - Here Are The Best + Worst Picks (Updated!) | iLounge Backstage


Apple iPhone 4 Case Program - Here Are The Best + Worst Picks (Updated!)

Apple officially unveiled the iPhone 4 Case Program this morning, along with a free downloadable iPhone 4 Case Program App that automatically checks your iPhone 4 against Apple’s serial number database and enables you to choose from eight cases—actually, seven if you count the two colors available for one of the cases. We’ve seen a bunch of the cases already, as well as predecessor versions of others for past iPhones, so here are the ones we’d recommend, plus comments on the others. Updated July 29, 2010 with additional photos and details.

Speck’s PixelSkin HD. This just-released case combines twin textures—glossy and matte black plastics—to create a grid on the back of the shell. Easy to put on and take off if necessary, PixelSkin HD has fairly accessory compatible holes and lacks only for screen protection. We’d definitely lean towards this one, which otherwise sells for $30.


PixelSkin HD

Griffin’s Reveal Etch. Based on the company’s earlier Reveal for iPhone 4, Reveal Etch pairs soft rubber sides with a hard plastic back that has a faux carbon fiber texture—the standard Reveal has a clear plastic back. Reveal Etch appears to work properly with the iPhone 4’s camera and flash system, has reasonably sized accessory holes, and the same integrated button protection as PixelSkin HD. Choosing between them is mostly a question of the type of rear texture you like, but PixelSkin HD’s sides are a little firmer, which we like, while Reveal Etch’s back is stiffer. It’s normally $30.


Reveal Etch Graphite

Griffin’s Motif. Normally $20, this semi-soft TPU case is translucent gray—“smoke”—and has a diamond pattern on its back. Though the atypically low price might lead you to write this one off, the strength of Motif and earlier predecessors from competitors is that the manufacturing process yields very affordable, durable, and sharp-looking designs. Motif feels glossy on all of its sides, which might be an issue for users who need more tack, but the diamond rear pattern looks very cool in an understated way on the iPhone 4. This case is also noteworthy because its bottom and camera holes are tailored nicely for proper accessory, speakerphone, and photo performance, though its headphone port hole is on the small side.



Speck’s Fitted Case. We generally really like the style and fit of Speck’s Fitted series, which pairs a fabric rear surface with a hard plastic two-piece shell. The one Speck’s offering in the case program has a gray and black Tartan Plaid pattern and normally goes for $30; the only reason we’d lean away from it is that the button coverage is really weak by comparison with the cases listed above—they’re basically all exposed—and the accessory holes don’t have any ability to expand due to the hard plastic. But the fabrics Speck chooses are always really nice, as shown on the version we’ve covered already, and have a matte finish.


Fitted for iPhone 4, with a different fabric pattern

Incase’s Snap Case for iPhone 4. Now sold for $35, this is Incase’s take on the seriously overpopulated “simple thin shell” genre, which is only appealing due to the simple, clean design. The iPhone 4 version is shown below in clear, and comes packaged with a plastic separate video stand; it offers very limited top and bottom protection, with no front protection and open side buttons. Apple’s offering this one in smoke or clear colors, the only case with two versions—neither is the more deluxe Perforated design we liked and featured in our iPod/iPhone Book 5 earlier this year.


Snap Case for iPhone 4 in Smoke

Belkin Shield Micra for iPhone 4. With a $25 asking price, Shield Micra is the only case in the bunch that we don’t know much about, besides the pictures on Belkin’s site—the company has had some rough patches with cases we’ve seen in recent years. This one appears to have open buttons, but whether it’s made from semi-soft TPU plastic or a harder material is unclear; there would likely be button covers if it was made from TPU.


Apple Bumper Case for iPhone 4. Sold for $29, this “case” is really just two types of plastic—one matte rubber, one glossy hard plastic—wrapped around the metal edge of the iPhone 4. It creates major accessory incompatibilities and offers no protection for the iPhone 4’s back, unlike all of the other cases above. Though we like its looks, we wouldn’t recommend this one.


Notably, none of these cases includes screen protection, making some form of film an advisable additional purchase if you’re worried about glare, smudges or potential scratches. A wide collection of other iPhone 4 case options is available in our iPhone 4 Case Gallery, as well.

« On iPhone and iPad Screen Protection: Why It Matters + Some iPhone 4 Results

On iPads Replacing PCs and Macs - It’s Starting To Happen Here »

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Awesome review, exactly what I was looking for this morning - thanks

Posted by Brad on July 23, 2010 at 9:58 AM (CDT)


Ordered to Bumper to sell. Colors are much better than this crappy selection Apple has on offer.

Posted by Jonathan Charles on July 23, 2010 at 10:47 AM (CDT)


can you post pictures of the new griffin reveal? you said you have it but you have a picture of the older onee with a clear back…

Posted by Nathan on July 23, 2010 at 10:56 AM (CDT)


Thank you for the pictures.  I’m still apprehensive to any of these choices.

BTW looking @ your signal bars, were you death gripping your phone? =P

Posted by Jason on July 23, 2010 at 11:23 AM (CDT)


It’s my understanding that putting a screen protector on top of the oleophobic coating defeats its functionality and the adhesives could strip off the coating once removed. I never had a screen protector on my 3GS and the glass is just fine a year later. (And the iP4 has even more scratch resistant glass, right?)

It’s also my experience that closed backs tend to scuff the back plastic of 3G/3GS. A piece of dust or pocket grit gets in there and just grinds away 24/7. I don’t know how the back glass will resist particle grinding.

The one detail I love about the Apple bumpers are the metal buttons. Every other case goes cheap with plastic buttons. I think all cases have problems with iPod dock sound systems.

Posted by Navarro Parker on July 23, 2010 at 11:30 AM (CDT)


About the Apple bumpers…  I got one a couple weeks ago and it fits like a glove…  It is also incredibly precise - look at the fit around the speaker, mic, dock, and noise-cancelling mic.  For the same price as the other flimsy, ill-fitting cases that are out there, I think the Apple offering is much better.  And, frankly, the others are just ugly.  I’m waiting impatiently on Iskin to come up with something that isn’t either unbelievably gaudy or incredibly mundane.  Until then, Apple bumper it is.

Posted by Tom on July 23, 2010 at 11:41 AM (CDT)


I had already purchased the Griffin Reveal Etch, and I recommend it. It has a solid back that has an etched “carbon fiber” texture, which gives it a nice non-slick texture on the back. It’s nice because it’s pretty low-profile, almost like a bumper with a thin back protection. If only it had the bumpers metal buttons it would be prefect!

Posted by Scott on July 23, 2010 at 11:43 AM (CDT)


@Navarro Parker
Fantastic post.  Agree 0

Posted by Nedrick on July 23, 2010 at 11:45 AM (CDT)


#3: It’s coming soon - the same case as Reveal, but with an opaque and textured back plate rather than a transparent one.

#4: Nope… 2-3 bars is “the new normal” after the iOS 4.0.1 update.

#5: We use matte screen protectors on the iPhone 3GS, iPad, and iPhone 4. No problems with any of them, and the “adhesive” is static cling, which doesn’t strip anything off. Also, the Bumpers are amongst the only cases we’ve tested that _do_ have problems with common accessories. Apple tailored the ports way tighter than most third-party companies, which have learned over the years to leave some tolerance for bigger-than-Apple headphone and Dock Connector plugs.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on July 23, 2010 at 11:47 AM (CDT)


Just ordered my Griffin Reveal Etch. It will go good with my Reveal.

I would like to know how, and when, Griffin plans on replacing my Reveal with the updated case with better camera/flash holes. I do get really bad flash bleed on my pictures.

Posted by Jim on July 23, 2010 at 11:51 AM (CDT)


It’s a shame that Apple is only offering the black bumper for free.

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on July 23, 2010 at 12:38 PM (CDT)


It would have been nice if Apple had made it easier to get a Bumper or case for those waiting on backdated orders. I ordered an iPhone 4 on July 9 - it’s due to ship on July 30 (delivers August 4). Customer Support are apparently unable to include a case in this instance even though Elvis hasn’t left the building; there are far worse injustices going on in the world, I know, but as I said, it would have been nice!

Posted by Dominic Walshe on July 23, 2010 at 12:42 PM (CDT)


Jeremy: Can you comment on the “grip” of the first two cases? I bought a Case-Mate Vroom (rubber with tire treads on the back) and I find that the iPhone will more easily slide out of my hand (open palm at an angle) with that case than without it. What’s the comparison with the PixelSkin HD and Griffin Reveal Etch?

Posted by Vishal on July 23, 2010 at 1:35 PM (CDT)


Just ordered the Apple Bumper. Friend already has one and the fit and finish are superb. Best feature is that when the phone is placed on a surface, the rubber prevents the glass touching.

Posted by Mark Tyers on July 23, 2010 at 1:53 PM (CDT)


#13: The grip on the PixelSkin HD is moderate. Sides are matte soft plastic and not especially grippy, but the back has a nice texture that isn’t as deep as the standard PixelSkin’s, but feels good in the hand and doesn’t slip around. Reveal’s rubber sides have just a tiny bit more tack than PixelSkin’s, but the back of the version we’ve been testing is completely smooth and glossy - the Etch version of Reveal apparently has a slightly different feel which we’ll comment on when it arrives (_very soon_).

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on July 23, 2010 at 1:57 PM (CDT)


Yeh definitely a toss up for me on the Griffin Reveal Etch and the Speck Pixelskin HD

Posted by Steve on July 23, 2010 at 2:10 PM (CDT)


Jeremy, how soon is “very soon” on that reveal etch??

Posted by sean on July 23, 2010 at 2:22 PM (CDT)


apple just increased pixelskin HD delivery time to 4-6 weeks.

Posted by ech on July 23, 2010 at 3:37 PM (CDT)


I don’t comment often, but I am a fan of your reviews and am very glad to see that you did one on this topic specifically. A lot of people just buy cases assuming they “protect” or look “pretty” but they just don’t realize they may have bought into a very expensive and yet flimsy cover. To all the readers - if you’re going to get a “free” case, why not get the best possible option? Shame the HD will take longer, but free is free.

Posted by Carrie on July 23, 2010 at 3:43 PM (CDT)


Many thanks for this review, it was exactly what I was looking for after downloading the application. I’ve made sure to share it with others with the same decision

Posted by Mark on July 23, 2010 at 4:51 PM (CDT)


Great review.  I bought a cheap TPU case of ebay (which is suprisingly good) to hold me over until a better case comes along.  My question to you and the forum is which of these cases has the best shock absorption?  My wife wants something that has a simple clean look, but will handle the bumps and bruises that she puts her phone through.  Thanks!

Posted by Reesh on July 23, 2010 at 5:15 PM (CDT)


Really appreciated the review.  Hadn’t got a clue which one to order so it was great to read the articles & see clearer pictures.  Decided to go for the HD despite having a longer wait time & as carrie commented - free is free :)

Posted by Vicky on July 23, 2010 at 5:24 PM (CDT)


HD delivery increased to 6-8 weeks… I guess we know now what everyone is picking!

Posted by Adrian on July 23, 2010 at 5:50 PM (CDT)


I purchased the Belkin Shield Micra from an electronics store the day I got my 4 and I’ve been quite pleased with it.  The plastic is not exactly gummy like a silicone case, but it has a nice rigid feel to it.  The buttons are incased and not open as this review suggests.  Fit and finish seems to be quite good with the only thing I’ve noticed being that the volume buttons don’t perfectly align with the cases spot for them.  Decent accessory hole size and the camera and flash are still open to where images aren’t affected.  It’s already saved me from a reasonable drop and I’m satisfied.  I went ahead and grabbed the Speck for free from the promotion just to have a backup.

Posted by Phillip on July 23, 2010 at 5:55 PM (CDT)


I picked the Griffin Motif, hopefully the diamond pattern won’t be gaudy. I’ve been testing an iluv cover that is pretty similar from what I can tell and I’ve been surprisingly happy with it. This will be a nice change from the solid red of the iluv. Although the iluv came with a protective film for the iphone face. Second runner up for me was the Griffin Reveal - hopefully I made a good choice. Thanks for the information!

Posted by Shel on July 23, 2010 at 8:14 PM (CDT)


I’m more worried about the front coverage vs the back. I unfortunately dropped my new iPhone 4 on a marble floor and the screen shattered. I had to pay for a replacement phone!!! Are there any front screen protectors?  I had the first iPhone and never had a problem with the front screen before…that phone was more durable.

Posted by Ashli on July 23, 2010 at 8:27 PM (CDT)


Great review! Would anyone know which of the cases will fit with the Zagg Invisibleshield full body skin? A bit apprehensive to order until I’m sure it’ll fit!

Posted by kackac on July 23, 2010 at 10:54 PM (CDT)


just order the Belkin micra shield case clear for my iphone4. I like to show off the phone for the original look with some protection. The clear case will protect the back and i plan on putting a shield for the front. utimately i will get an Otterbox case, i have one on my 3GS and love it, I’m in contruction and can’t take any chances so i need all the protection i can get.

Posted by tony on July 23, 2010 at 11:16 PM (CDT)


Why on earth are people buying bumpers to sell? Who’s going to buy them? Your target market gets a free case anyway. And they’ll commoditise due to others having the same idea and a glut being around and sell for nothing…

Posted by Nick on July 23, 2010 at 11:16 PM (CDT)


Exactly what I came to iLounge for; thanks for the review.
Is iLounge’s recommendation responsible for pushing the shipping window for the Spec PixelSkin HD to 6-8 weeks?

Posted by JustinFreid on July 23, 2010 at 11:45 PM (CDT)


Nice review! I basically typed it up myself too and researched all of the cases and to my preference, the Speck PixelSkin HD was number 1 and the Griffin’s Reveal Etch was second I had to choose from so I chose Speck’s because it has a softer back. Apple’s Bumper case had no protection at all except it’s edges but whats the point of a case then when it offers the least amount of protection?

Posted by Janson Lau on July 24, 2010 at 12:02 AM (CDT)


Ugh, I am not impressed by the selection here.  If it’s free, fine, but I know myself well enough that I will eventually want something a bit more fun.

Posted by Alanna on July 24, 2010 at 12:02 AM (CDT)


“Exactly what I came to iLounge for; thanks for the review.”

DITTO!!! Thanks!

Posted by Dirk Dallas on July 24, 2010 at 12:07 AM (CDT)


The shipping times on these cases is rapidly changing! I just ordered a Griffin Motif. I’m really hoping it doesn’t have the problem with the flash that my Belkin Grip Vue has. It really looks like a nocecase, hope it’s as nice in person! Thanks for the excellent info, iLounge! As always, you are the best iResource around.

Posted by Tonya Kelley on July 24, 2010 at 2:20 AM (CDT)


Thanks for getting this review up so quickly.  Made my decision a whole lot easier.

Posted by GR on July 24, 2010 at 2:43 AM (CDT)


The Speck HD case is now due in 8-10 weeks - is it really that much better than the other cases?

Posted by DW on July 24, 2010 at 5:36 AM (CDT)


This is a very nice and timely review. Thanks.

Just like #24 I also purchased the Belkin Shield Micra at BB and agree with the observations. I think it is a nice trade off of good protection, but still allows the iPhone 4 design to show through. One complaint, the volume, and especially sleep button, are a bit hard to push with the plastic cover-buttons.

Decided to order the PixelSkin HD just for a different look.

Posted by MG on July 24, 2010 at 9:29 AM (CDT)


Does the Speck HD “stick” in your pockets?  i owned a rubber case for my iPhone 3G for about a week, then took it back because it would grab my pocket and make it very difficult to actually get it out.

Posted by TW on July 24, 2010 at 9:35 AM (CDT)


Just ordered Apple Bumper.

Posted by SB on July 24, 2010 at 9:43 AM (CDT)


I too use the Belkin and would add that the headphone jack hole is not large enough to accommodate the majority of aftermarket earbuds.

Posted by Usdrowski on July 24, 2010 at 10:41 AM (CDT)


I bought the macally TPU clear protective case prior to the free case announcement and I love it! It looks almost exactly like the Belkin Shield Micra but it is soft and flexible. It also comes with a screen wipe that attaches/detaches to the back of the case with some sort of post-it note like substance. (I’ve used it several times and the adhesive is still good, and leaves no residue.) I almost went with the Zapp screen cover, but opted for the cheaper Cellit screen guard and found it works just fine. I’ll probably get a free case just to have it as a back up, and appreciate the article.

Posted by JR on July 24, 2010 at 12:36 PM (CDT)


I’ll have to take the Apple case, even though I have one accessory that won’t fit. (My headphones will… my car charger won’t.)

Reason: I don’t want back “protection.” Just like those “bras” on cars, a case traps grit and CAUSES scratches. I want the back protected by lifting it off the table with an air space, NOT by trapping grit. Even before Apple released the bumper, that’s the style I favored.

iLounge also glosses over the nice buttons—a unique feature of Apple’s case.

As for screen protection—that’s personal preference, not mandatory by any stretch. I really hate the films I see on other people’s phones. I hate the feel, I hate the look, I hate the bubbles, and I hate that they take damage worse than glass does! So I’ll keep the pure glass, which does not scratch easily.

And most of the time, I just won’t use a case at all. I haven’t had antenna problems anyway.

Posted by Nagromme on July 24, 2010 at 12:37 PM (CDT)


Does the Speck HD “stick” in your pockets?

Posted by Preston on July 24, 2010 at 12:43 PM (CDT)


Thanks for the great article! I went with the Apple bumper for the reasons outlined here. BTW shipping for the PixelSkin HD case is now 2-3 months.

Posted by JJ on July 24, 2010 at 1:13 PM (CDT)


What’s up with the filth in the pixelskin? I can see that it can collect dirt in there pretty easily. Is that a lint magnet too?

Posted by Min on July 24, 2010 at 1:21 PM (CDT)


Like #28 above, I too would like maximum protection - just find myself imagining dropping the phone and cracking that beautiful screen.  I intend to purchase an Otterbox case when more than just the black version is offered.  I ordered the Speck HD Pixel, but the delivery period is ridiculous - 3-4 months.  Why doesn’t apple just provide a $30 voucher and allow their faithful customers to make their own choices???

Thanks for the insight provided by iLounge.

Posted by DdC New Orleans on July 24, 2010 at 2:19 PM (CDT)


#38, 43, 45: No, unlike the standard PixelSkin, it doesn’t.

#42: Metallic button covers aren’t enough to fix everything that’s wrong with Bumpers, and a lot of cases have nice plastic button covers built in. But to each their own - if you prefer a completely exposed back to one that’s covered, that’s your call, and a reason for Apple to offer eight options.

Also, properly applied film shows no bubbles. We have trouble free film on things as small as iPods and as big as iPads. It just takes a little practice and yields huge benefits.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on July 24, 2010 at 5:27 PM (CDT)


I bought a IPhone 4 case from AT&T. I was told I could fill out the rebate form on the Apple store and get a rebate.  Well, Apple is only giving a rebate for 6 specific bumpers - not cases.  This is a disingenuous offer from Apple. Their bean counters have probably figured out they will limit the cost/exposure by making people wait weeks for cases and limiting the models they will reimburse.  Apple is acting like a medical insurance company.  I am so disappointed in Jobs. Maybe he should go back on medical leave.

Posted by Luis Pedroza on July 24, 2010 at 7:34 PM (CDT)


I am curious as to why anyone would complain about a free case. Apple is doing this to correct reception issues that some have been having. They are not doing it to help the buyer protect the phone - that is just an added bonus.
I’ll be getting the bumper, only because I’m sure this model is slick enough to slide out of my hands if I don’t have something more grippy. As mentioned previously, I am avoiding the other cases that might trap dirt inside the cover, as well as ‘grip’ the inside of my pocket.

Posted by Michael on July 25, 2010 at 7:38 AM (CDT)


I bought the Griffin Reveal Etch, and it does just that - ETCH. A tiny piece of pocket grit got into the case and ‘etched’ the back of my iPhone 4. BUT, it also etched the inside of the Griffin case itself, and that flaw in the case then continued to grind into the back of my iPhone even after the grit had been removed. Conversely, the front of my iPhone is unmarked. If you already have one of these cases, I’d put a screen protector on the BACK of the iPhone before you put it the Etch case again. Or else get an Apple bumper, which is what I’m doing.

Posted by J ECart on July 25, 2010 at 2:06 PM (CDT)


Sadly, I don’t see Otterbox listed. I purchased 2 iPhone 4’s for family members and wouldn’t have any problem paying an upgrade charge for a higher-end case like a Defender.

Posted by Caustic_Commoner on July 25, 2010 at 4:02 PM (CDT)


Just ordered the Pixel—ships in 2-3 months!! Honestly, I don’t even want a case. I only ordered it because it was free. The iPhone is too beautiful to cover up.

Can you delete the Case Program App once you’ve put your order through?

Posted by Chrissy on July 25, 2010 at 4:18 PM (CDT)


if you want a great case…checkout the casemate iphone 4 tough case…its great i had it also with my 3gs…and they will be coming out with different colored skisn.

Posted by jill on July 25, 2010 at 9:35 PM (CDT)


I already purchased a Bumper and am happy with it.  That combined with the full Invisible Shield seems to work well. But… I may want more protection in the future. I would love to hear a comparison of the Otterbox Defender, Commuter, and Impact series against Case-mate Tough Case when they are all finally being sold.  For now, I will take the refund and keep the Bumper.

Posted by Duane on July 26, 2010 at 12:07 AM (CDT)


I think screen protectors are overrated for glass screens. My 3GS never had a screen protector on it and the screen looks good as new. I also had no case on it, and the rest of the phone… it doesn’t look so new. :) I even had my phone land face down on an ice rink (after a few flips). It didn’t crack the screen and nothing has ever scratched it. Ok, so I was lucky on that ice rink. :) Still, as far as scratches, they didn’t ever happen. If you were to keep your phone in the same pocket as your keys I can see scratches possibly happening, but otherwise the chances are ludicrously slim, and screen protectors are ugly and also change the feel of the glass, which is relevant especially if you play games on your iPhone. I’ll never put one on a glass-screened phone.

Also, I think iLounge is off its rocker on the iPhone 4 antenna “issue”. I get better reception including reception in locations I never had a signal with my 3GS, as well as those signals being much more reliable and performing much better, such as at the train station I wait at every day. It was always horrible with the 3GS and dog slow when it did work (if I found the right spot to sit at). It’s night a day better there with the iPhone 4. I can sit anywhere and it’s 100% reliable. I’ve been streaming audio and browsing the web and it’s perfect. Pretty amazing difference. Sure, I can make the bars drop, but it hasn’t been an issue in practice and in fact the phone has performed better as noted. If I’m in an area where I didn’t have a signal with the 3GS, yes, I have to be aware of the gap, but I didn’t have a signal at all with the 3GS so I fail to see how this is worse.

Posted by SteveJ (not obs ;) on July 26, 2010 at 2:59 PM (CDT)


Um, that Speck case is Houndstooth, not Tartan Plaid. :-)

Posted by ethan on July 26, 2010 at 3:07 PM (CDT)


#52: Yes, you can delete the app after placing the order.

#55: We stated our views on the reception issue in our review. It’s nowhere near as bad as some people have made it out to be (omg deathgrip madness!11) but also does impact some people under some situations. We noticed the attenuation on our first day of use and saw data speeds over cellular drop to literally zero, but also noted (see Backstage) that it only happened under specific conditions. If you’re not seeing it, great. But plenty of people are.

Also, re: “screen protectors are ugly and also change the feel of the glass, which is relevant especially if you play games on your iPhone,” you must not have tried the really good screen protectors. We play more iPhone games on a daily basis than most people and have no issues. Repeat: no issues. So, yeah.

#56: Hence the caption below the picture saying “Fitted for iPhone 4, with a different fabric pattern.”

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on July 26, 2010 at 4:35 PM (CDT)


Can you comment about the plastic on each bumper and how easily each may or may not slide in/out of clothes pockets. Maybe Scale 1 (Rubbery, grips clothes pocket walls, gets stuck) to 5 (Hard Plastic, slides in/out with ease).

Posted by J.Mac on July 26, 2010 at 7:33 PM (CDT)


Your Review would be improved by posting a chart of all cases and showing how each feature ranks to other cases.  The the features users can focus in on the features that are important to them and help make a decision. 

Features for the chart could include:
Color(s), Back Protection, Button Protection, Button Functionality, Accessory Compatibility, Texture (Rubbery, Hard Plastic), Pocket Use (slides in/out rating), etc. etc.

This would be a big help.

Posted by J.Mac on July 26, 2010 at 7:59 PM (CDT)



Posted by VICTOR on July 27, 2010 at 12:33 AM (CDT)


Can’t wait to see the real world pics of the Reveal Etch.

Posted by Howard on July 27, 2010 at 6:19 PM (CDT)


Well dont get my phone till thurs. I got an otterbox on the way. Still going to order a free case though. Was thinking of the Pixel HD one but if what i heard is true, 2-3 months is crazy but oh well i do already have a case..they should put up more cases since shipping is being pushed..

Posted by MaMita on July 28, 2010 at 5:29 AM (CDT)


Has anyone received the an Incase case? Does ship from Apple with the S stand?

Posted by JS on July 28, 2010 at 10:46 AM (CDT)


As one might expect of Apple, it has chosen free case options pretty judiciously to match the price and perceived value of their bumper. Offering the most popular ,full-coverage cases from each of these case makers (e.g., Speck CandyShell, Belkin GripVue, etc.) would seriously affect their respective businesses. But I do agree with the poster who said they’d love to put their “free case credit” toward the full price something like an OtterBox Defender.

Posted by DLF on July 28, 2010 at 11:17 AM (CDT)


@DLF (#64)

Well if that is the case then they should offer the commuter or impact for free!!They are near the same price as some of the above cases.

Posted by R.C. on July 28, 2010 at 4:41 PM (CDT)


First Looks at Reveal Etch and Motif are now on the main iLounge page, for those who were requesting them. We’ll be updating this article with photos and additional details soon.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on July 28, 2010 at 5:00 PM (CDT)


will any of these work with skins on the front, back and all sides?

Posted by Chim on July 28, 2010 at 8:39 PM (CDT)


Do not buy the reveal from Griffin, its defective by design as well as any other rear clear plastic cases.  when u use the flash it reflects off the clear plastic and gives your pictures taken with camera a white faded look since the flash is reflecting off the rear of the clear case.-

Posted by Gio on July 29, 2010 at 2:01 PM (CDT)


VICTOR is 100% right about the Speck Candyshell.  However, they are redoing it to fix the camera flash issue.  I had a Candyshell for my 3GS and it was awesome!  I would pay $50 for it.

Posted by Michael on July 29, 2010 at 6:38 PM (CDT)


Any review for the newly listed Griffin Perforated Silicone cases?

Odd question, but…
Which out of the pixelskin, motif, and reveal would slide out of a fitted denim pocket easier (in other words, can you rank their grip)?

Thank you so much!

Posted by MNI on July 30, 2010 at 11:01 AM (CDT)


Hey #68 Gio you’re wrong it’s not the clear one they give you

Posted by Brian on July 30, 2010 at 2:44 PM (CDT)


Can you please add a review of the new Griffin Perforated Silicone cases Apple has added to the program? Thx…

Posted by John N on July 31, 2010 at 2:43 PM (CDT)


belkin shield micra- is Polycarbonate according to their site.  Check under the features tab. They also include pictures. You may want to double check your work and update frequently(weekly perhaps).  Some of the brands have updated their sites(ie. incase, griffin, speck).

Fair work so far though. Better than what most sites have put out but, Perhaps include how the cases install (ie. Speck plaid is a 2 piece front back snap design).  Also whether or not the edge corners esp the front are covered. 

side note: anyone notice the Motif design is similar to those that can be found un/semi branded on less known stores/mall carts/flea markets? TPU/“gelli” material too.

Posted by Dave on August 1, 2010 at 9:57 PM (CDT)


I often keep my phone in the front pocket of my jeans.  Tacky / grippy rubber cases don’t work for me because I miss the call by the time I get it out.  Any chance you could update the reviews and include ease of taking it out of tight jeans pocket?  I think I would prefer the bumper which you didn’t recommend.

Posted by John on August 2, 2010 at 10:15 AM (CDT)


I’ve used my first generation (Edge) iPhone until now without any screen protectors and front of my iPhone doesn’t look scratched at all although I caried it in the pocket or backpack sometimes next to a bunch of other stuff such as keys etc. At the same time back of my iPhone has a million little scratches and dents just because I had it covered with the rubber case. The only reason I needed the case is for grippiness, so it wouldn’t slide out of my hand. In other words Apple bumber seems like the only way to go unless you want your phone look like crap after you remove your case with back “protection” or look like crap with those absolutely unnecessary screen protectors.

Posted by Edge on August 2, 2010 at 10:05 PM (CDT)


I never used a screen protector on my 1st Gen Iphone and it held up fine… the back is another story.  That thing went through two deployments to Afghanistan and about 4500 miles worth of convoys in some of the worst conditions.  That thing just fell apart in time to get the new Iphone 4.  The one thing I hate about rubber cases is trying to take the d**n thing out of your pocket.  I went with the INCASE SNAP CASE.  I don’t care if it doesn’t look as good, functionality prevails.

Posted by Stefan on August 5, 2010 at 9:14 AM (CDT)


also to post 64…..It was revealed that its only costing apple $1 per free bumper. And most likely they struck deals with the other companies to get a similar price. i havent heard any facts on that though. Recalling all iphones would have cost 5 times as much so they chose to give the solution that most people found out before the i4 program. bumpers and cases fix it cheaper. so giving us a “$30 dollar credit” would have been somewhere in the middle of the two….what do you think they are gonna choose? Although I know after having 3g and 3gs with no cases at all or skins that the new iphone4 reception is wayyy worse and now they want us to cover up the “most beautifully designed phone” that steve jobs has ever seen in order for it to work..BULL.*

Posted by Tjaden2009 on August 6, 2010 at 6:04 PM (CDT)


Cheers heaps for this review. I went for the Etch Graphite

Posted by Si on August 14, 2010 at 5:42 AM (CDT)


I just ordered the Apple case.  I’ll try to find my own “clear” and “very thin” case for protection.

It seems counter-intuitive to buy this gorgeous device and then cover it up with a non-clear case.

It’s like getting a hair cut and immediately leaving the barbershop with a cap on.

Posted by Richard on August 14, 2010 at 6:12 AM (CDT)


Thanks for providing the high quality photos that I needed to make my decision.

I went with the Griffin Reveal Etch for good button protection and design.

The app said the expected ship date was…4-6 weeks!  grrrrrr…

Posted by TP on August 15, 2010 at 2:04 AM (CDT)


Thanks for the in-depth review. Unfortunately, I did not like any of these cases. Thought Apple would release something simple and elegant but their bumper is a little bulkier.

I am particulary looking for the case with as simple as possible, without any company’s logo, thinnest design, dedicated holes including camera and flash, no texture or design on back of case. SwitchEasty Nude 4 comes closer but will wait for more to appear.

I might just put the screen protectors only for now and handle with care, would rather buy a simple pouch to securly put in the pocket and use it as it really is. After all I paid $800 for this beauty and what if I can’t touch it and see it while using it.

Posted by Rehan on August 17, 2010 at 12:05 PM (CDT)


I recently purchased an ip4 after stupidly taking my 3G out of the otterbox due to a scratch on the plastic cover… In to the sink it went!! I have a griffin case I bought where I got my phone, but am anxiously awaiting a new otterbox…any idea on release dates? As of Sunday there wasn’t any… I’m so worried I’ll ruin this one

Posted by Lacie on August 17, 2010 at 3:27 PM (CDT)


I just recieved my INCASE SNAP.

1) It fits perfectly, very tight and flush

2) It is quite grippy, yet adds no bulk

3) It looks okay, and slides out of your pocket easily when needed

4) It doesn’t offer a patch of protection against drops.

So overall a pretty standard case for making calls etc. For travelling, get a Griffin Reveal (thats what I use).

Posted by Jakk on August 19, 2010 at 8:29 AM (CDT)


I just bought an iPhone 4. I wonder since there’s a deadline to the case program redemption of Sept. 30 if that means phones revision phones are coming and I should just take this one back and wait for the new batch?

Posted by Skip Hunt on August 21, 2010 at 10:27 AM (CDT)


Here is how it usually works with me:

Step 1: Buy new coveted apple product (for me, starting with an IPod in 2004)
Step 2: Buy case to protect said coveted product
Step 3: Discover that I need to remove the case in order to plug it in to a docking bay
Step 4: Case becomes nuisance, stop using case and renew my appreciation of the aesthetic of a ‘naked’ iPod
Step 5: New coveted apple product is released, I give in and buy (see step 1)

I stopped using my iPod touch bumper and screen cover a few months ago. Since then, I have accidentally placed it in my pocket along with my house keys, gotten it dirty, etc. In my experience, the glass is hard enough that you don’t really need a case at all. If anything I am leaning towards the apple bumper for my phone, although honestly the Antenna ‘issue’ seems to be a non-issue for me.

Posted by Case History on August 23, 2010 at 2:26 PM (CDT)


Incase is crap.  Won’t fit on the phone and is therefore useless.  Slip the phone in buttons-first and get them lined up, pull up on the opposite side to snap the phone in and the button-side slips out and obscures the buttons.  Slip the phone in card-side-first and you can’t get the case to snap onto the button side far enough to not obscure the buttons.

POS.  Thank god it was free, as it’s going right in the trash.

Posted by rob on August 24, 2010 at 5:55 PM (CDT)


#86: Odd - we’ve received two of the Snap cases and both fit without any problem.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on August 24, 2010 at 10:55 PM (CDT)


Any thoughts about the Griffin Perforated Silicone cases? I have no idea which case to order.


Posted by other on August 25, 2010 at 11:43 AM (CDT)


We posted a First Look for the Griffin Perforated Silicone Cases (aka FlexGrip Punch) last week:

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on August 25, 2010 at 12:07 PM (CDT)


Who are we trying to preserve these iPhone’s for?  Why not just enjoy your factory finish, then when its all scratched up (if ever) you can cover it with a case.  I only used my 3GS for 8 months.

Posted by joep on August 26, 2010 at 6:03 PM (CDT)


Great review.  iPhone Case program app pictures and discription is pretty lame.  I looked at the last few of the cases in stores—all garbage like some of the words out of Steve Jobs mouth.  The Bumper should not even be consider a case. I purchased an Incognito and iFrogz cases for our iPhone 4s that are much better as cases although they are not perfect.  No refund offered except for the Bumpers.
Never noticed an additional case offered on the app. My 30 days for a free case expired yesterday so I saved some space in the junk drawer.

I love the iphone 4 for all of the features except for use as a cell phone.  Well actually, I never have had a Facetime call come even close to the quality shown on the demostration.  Maybe there is a trick like studio lighting and finding the perfect angle and distance from the phone so I do not have a fish bowl face.

I got better reception with my 3GS.  AT&T gave me a microcell so I have great reception at home; however, at work its sucks.  I would like to smash the Sprint 4G EVOs of my bragging co-workers.

Posted by Raymond on August 27, 2010 at 6:27 PM (CDT)


In your review you say the PixelSkin HD is easy to put on and take off.  I just received mine and must say it is not as easy as I expected.  Is there a trick I’m missing?

Posted by Chris on August 30, 2010 at 11:06 AM (CDT)


Just received my PixelSkin HD and I have to say… it sucks.  The plastic is horribly stiff, it feels cheap, is VERY difficult to get on off, and because of how stiff the plastic is, you have to press the sleep button extremely hard!  Very disappointed.  The camera cutout is different than the iLounge picture above, I’m wondering if this case was “cheapified” in order to meet the no-doubt massive demand from the case giveaway.  If you haven’t ordered one yet, I’d stay away from this one!

Posted by Matt on August 30, 2010 at 1:57 PM (CDT)


I just purchased the clear Belkin Grip Vue and really like it.

Posted by Andi on August 30, 2010 at 11:35 PM (CDT)


I’m with Matt… I’m thinking they cheapened it too.  Also agree, very hard to work power button and get on and off.

iLounge, any comments?

Posted by Chris on August 31, 2010 at 9:30 AM (CDT)


I made a mistake of ordering the Belking Shield Micra and I hate it and now I am stuck with it.
It is made of plastic and is very hard to take off should you want to replace it.
I, being a girl/lady, like to dress my iPhone in different color cases, that is what I used to do with my 3G. I find the iPhone 4 is a little harder shaped to replace the cases. And this Belkin Shield Micra being made of plastic is very difficult to take off, I was afraid of breaking it. I bought a Rocketfish TPU case at Best Buy and I really like that case, and a Friend purchased a Belkin TPU case at Best Buy and she is very happy as well. I wish I would have known this case was made out of plastic. Hope this helps anyone trying to make a decision on which case to get.

Posted by CCLIANA on August 31, 2010 at 7:38 PM (CDT)


I first purchased the ifrogz case in pink before I was aware of the free case program.  This is an awesome case.  I ended up ordering the Belkin Micra case in clear to show off the phone.  Bad choice!  It is made from hard plastic and after one week of use the back is completely scratched up.  Surprising since I am very careful and keep my phone by itself in a pocket in my handbag…away from keys or anything else that could scratch it.  I’ve had a protective shield on the front of the phone for three weeks which has remained unscathed.  So for the Belkin to get so beat up in one week is crazy.  I went back to my ifrogz case and I’m very happy.  I do not recommend purchasing the Belkin micra.  Choose more wisely!

Posted by Cheryl on September 2, 2010 at 6:15 PM (CDT)


Great review, made my choice of iPhone protection very simple.  Cheers.

Posted by Stu on September 5, 2010 at 7:56 AM (CDT)


I have had several IPhones and keep coming back to the Speck cases with the fabric backs.  I HATE the rubbery cases; I think they feel funny and I think they gather lint and dirt. The hard cases, on the flip side, are too slippery and have no traction.  The Speck cases with the fabric back are a nice compromise.  The cases work especially well if you also use a screen protector. My experience is that with sliders, they always bubble the protectors in the corners.  The Speck cases have a back and a front and click nicely together - not affecting the screen protectors at all.

Posted by Amy on September 5, 2010 at 8:14 PM (CDT)


The thing you fail to mention about the Speck cases is the rounded sides. If you preferred the feel of the iPhone 3GS in your hand to the squared off iPhone 4, this is the case for you!  Also, because it splits vertically it won’t cone apart when you pull it out of your car dock.

Posted by Fanfoot on September 6, 2010 at 10:36 PM (CDT)

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