Model: Microshield Layers
Compatible: iPhone 4/4S
XtremeMac Microshield Layers for iPhone 4/4S
Released among a flurry of other cases including Microshield and Microshield Style and Tuffwrap Shift, XtremeMac's Microshield Layers ($40) is the only one that stands out enough to warrant a full review. It's a cool iPhone 4/4S case with a unique design, combining an inner rubber layer and a hard plastic shell to provide a reasonable quantity of protection, plus some color customization options.
Microshield Layers separates into two distinct pieces. Each package includes two differently colored rubber inner layers that can be switched at will. The rubber is somewhat thin around the entire body, but a bit thicker along the top and bottom edges, as well as around the screen’s bezel—sections of the phone that aren’t covered by the plastic outer layer. Its back and sides are also covered in raised dots that stick through the plastic.
That plastic layer snaps in place right over top of the rubber one; it’s easy to get on and off, but stays securely when you want it to. Once it’s in place, your iPhone 4/4S enjoys Sleep/Wake button coverage, with openings for the headphone port and noise-canceling mic, side switch and volume buttons, mic, Dock Connector, speaker, and rear camera and flash. The case is compatible with Universal Docks, as well as oversized headphone and Dock Connector plugs.
Overall, we like the visual effect created by the integration of the plastic and rubber. The combination here isn’t quite as successful as Speck’s CandyShell Flip because Microshield Layers feels thinner and somewhat cheaper, but it still works. The neat texture of the rubber through the plastic is a plus, and really the main reason to pick this one up. Unfortunately, the price is definitely $10-$15 higher than it should be. Because of this, what otherwise would have been a highly recommendable case instead earns a strong general recommendation; if you can find it at a discount, consider it seriously.