Nearly two months after the iPhone 3G’s release, new cases continue to appear at a brisk pace, so we’re doing quick reviews today of a collection of options that vary dramatically in looks and features. This review covers Case-Mate’s Vroom Case for iPhone 3G ($15).
Vroom is an affordable rubber case designed to look like a car tire. Similar to Treadz, an earlier case from iFrogz, Vroom has treads on its bottom, leaving a hole for the iPhone 3G’s camera; it has a nicely proportioned bottom hole and small ones on the top and side, with protection for the volume and Sleep/Wake buttons. On the flip side, it picks up dust pretty easily—a problem with Treadz, as well—and exposes the iPhone 3G’s chrome bezel. A clear screen protector, cleaning cloth, and application squeegee are included in the package.
If we had to pick between Treadz and Vroom, we’d probably go with Vroom, but only for one reason: we don’t find ourselves using the iPhone 3G’s headphone port much these days. Vroom offers better plastic body coverage than Treadz, a fact that we really appreciate, but also has such a tight tolerance with thick rubber around the headphone port that larger-than-Apple plugs will likely have trouble fitting inside. This factor alone might steer many other users towards Treadz; others may well prefer iFrogz’ rubber face design, which covers more of the iPhone 3G’s bezel and the black frame around the screen rather than leaving somewhat floppy rubber to let dust in. Again, however, there’s an offset; Treadz bulges a bit in the front.
Overall, Vroom is a very good value for the money—hugely superior to similar Incase rubber offerings that strike us as ripoffs. In the “tire-like” case genre, you’ll have to decide whether this or Treadz is right for your needs, but if headphone port access isn’t a major factor in your decision, we’d go with Vroom based on its more comprehensive approach to protection.
Note: In late April 2009, Vroom was updated with a new version that improves the front bezel and changes the rear design to accommodate a different Case-Mate logo. Pictures of the new version are above.
Company and Price
Model: Vroom Case
Compatible: iPhone 3G