Review: Marware Sidewinder Deluxe for iPhone 3G
As we're now dealing with a huge influx of hundreds of cases and other accessories, we've opted to issue abbreviated reviews of a number of late case arrivals for the iPhone 3G -- ones that are substantially similar to cases we've previously reviewed. This review looks at Marware's Sidewinder Deluxe ($35), the sequel to the Sidewinder Smart Holster for the original iPhone.
We were puzzled by the prior iPhone Sidewinder, as it did away with the case features we really liked in Marware’s original Sidewinder designs in favor of a simple plastic holster with a slide-out headphone cord manager. Sidewinder Deluxe is a “best of both worlds” product. You get a screen protector, cleaning cloth, and clear Flexi-Shell case, together typically sold by the company for $25, plus an updated version of the prior holster.
The good news is that we generally liked the Flexi-Shell case and the new Holster. Made from semi-soft plastic, the case looks sharp, covers all of the iPhone 3G’s body save for its buttons, ports, and camera, and fits perfectly inside the holster. The new holster includes a detachable Multidapt belt clip, which no longer ratchets but uses a vertical mounting clip that we really prefer, and is designed to be lighter and sleeker. On a mixed note, it’s Universal Dock compatible, but not compatible with oversized headphone plugs, and given the material could be a little more protective of the iPhone 3G’s buttons.
The bad news is that the first Sidewinder Deluxe we received was molded incorrectly and the iPhone didn’t fit inside the case, an issue Marware has remedied in the version reviewed here. We’d advise readers to make sure that the units they buy fit their iPhone 3Gs properly before leaving the store, or else purchase from a place with a good return policy.
By iPhone 3G case standards, the Flexi-Shell portion of Sidewinder Deluxe is a B+ design—better-equipped for the same price as a similar Jet Navy Illusion Case, and the new holster offers small improvements, generally, on last year’s B- version. The $35 asking price for the two pieces is reasonable, not aggressive, but as a design that’s still quite novel in the iPhone world, we think the total package merits a B+ overall; obviously, the version with the iPhone 3G fit issue would rate lower.