First Look: Musubo Cases for iPhone 4/4S
Hong Kong-based Musubo has released a handful of new cases for the iPhone 4/4S, and we've received four of them for evaluation. Eden ($35), Retro ($35), Ripple ($30), and Sneaker ($35) all have very different designs, so much so that we wouldn't necessarily identify them as coming from the same company, apart from their packaging. The first of the bunch, Eden, combines a hard plastic shell with a thick leaf-inspired silicone insert. It's thicker than similarly styled cases, but also feels like it would provide better shock protection if dropped, though both the top and bottom edges are left fully open. Retro is somewhat similar in that it combines plastic and rubber, although it does so in a slightly different way. The inner rubber layer actually wraps around the body of the iPhone, creating a lip and covering the Sleep/Wake and volume buttons. It fits into a plastic shell designed to look like a vintage microphone, but Musubo regrettably chose to leave the Apple logo exposed on this one. Ripple is the most basic of the bunch: the only one-piece design, it's a playthrough case made of TPU rubber with a ripple design on the back. It protects the back and side of the device, while leaving openings for the side switch, headphone port and mic, rear camera, and of course the display. Last up is Sneaker, which is made of two rubber components: a Bumper-style iPhone frame and interchangeable rubber backplates designed to look like the waffle-patterned bottom of a sneaker. Like all of the cases except for Eden, this one has button coverage and a protective front lip. All of the cases ship with a folding stand, which is a nice bonus. One thing that really bothered us, however, is Musubo's wasteful packaging. Each case comes packed in a hard plastic shell -- larger than the one Apple ships the iPod touch in -- with a rubber band around the perimeter. While it looks cool, it's not an environmentally friendly design, especially given the relatively inexpensive products inside. If these packages remain the same, we won't be covering future Musubo products, which would be a shame given how interesting the designs are.