Review: Griffin FlexGrip for iPhone 3G
Due to a huge backlog of iPhone 3G cases that have swamped our offices in the last couple of weeks, we're reviewing a whole bunch today in abbreviated fashion, starting with eight rubber designs from seven different companies. Though we've separated the reviews for their individual products, our top pick of the bunch is linked here: SwitchEasy's Colors. This review covers Griffin's FlexGrip for iPhone 3G ($15).
We will note up front that we’re fans of the FlexGrip series, which Griffin has continued to maintain at an attractive price point while including a clear film screen protector and black cleaning cloth. Months ago, the first FlexGrips emerged for the iPod touch and iPod nano, sporting a gray and black color combination reminiscent of XtremeMac’s TuffWrap cases, and we thought they were great—deserving of our high recommendation.
Now that the case has been released for the iPhone 3G, we still generally have the same positive feeling; as the FlexGrip name suggests, the case has rear grip dots that make the iPhone 3G less slippery than it would otherwise be, and you now get a greater choice of colors. Four two-tone options include a two-tone white face on frosted back, a black face on gray back, a hot pink face on light pink back, and a rich red face on lighter red back, each opaque in front and translucent on the dot-textured rear and side surfaces. Thanks to their screen protectors, the cases still provide coverage for virtually all of the device; there are ringer switch, headphone port, bottom, camera, and ear speaker holes, but everything else is protected.
The only serious issue we had with FlexGrip was that one of our four sample cases—the white one—tore literally the first time we removed the iPhone 3G from it. While we were concerned by this, we failed in our attempts to intentionally make any of the other cases do the same thing, and it’s possible that the white rubber has some sort of defect that didn’t affect the other cases; though Griffin is typically excellent about replacing problem accessories, our rating across all of the FlexGrips has been reduced to a limited recommendation to adjust for the risk of damage. Another small issue is that the cases bulge a little around the iPhone 3G’s screen, which detracts a bit from their looks. We wouldn’t be surprised if both of these issues were fixed in a later production run.
Overall, the FlexGrip is a good case—a great one, but for the cited issues—as it provides very significant iPhone protection with several color options at a highly attractive price. While we wouldn’t rush out to get it right away thanks to the potential for problems we noted, if you like the look, it’s worth considering, especially if Griffin solves the small problems.