After looking at five rubber iPhone 3G cases yesterday, we wanted to look at three additional hard plastic cases today, two from Contour Design called Fusion ($30) and Flick for iPhone 3G ($35), and one from iFrogz called Luxe ($20). While none of these cases is fantastic in the grand scheme of things, they differ in two major ways: iFrogz’ case sells for much less than the other two while offering greater protection. As such, our ratings differ a fair amount.
While we’re generally fans of Contour Design’s cases, we will admit up front to being really disappointed with the latest two items in its arsenal, Fusion and Flick. It’s not that these are unattractive cases, or that they’re useless; they’re just really overpriced considering that all you’re getting in each case is a single semi-flexible piece of plastic, and that once again, Contour has made no effort to include iPhone 3G screen protection in these packages. For the prices, users should expect more, and typically get more in competing options.
By contrast with Fusion, Flick is apparently a response to Incase’s minimalist, overpriced Slider cases for the original iPhone—ones that separated into two pieces for accessory compatibility.
Unfortunately, rather than saying “look at how much better we can do for less,” Flick’s response is, “hey, I can charge just as much for something as simple!” Consequently, you get to choose from a white or black glossy hard plastic shell with a rubberized hinge at the back. That’s it; there’s no screen protector, belt clip, or other item in the box. As a result, all that differentiates Flick from other plastic cases we’ve seen is its moderate thinness and its different approach to accessory connection.
Flick has a hugely open bottom to begin with, large enough to let the iPhone 3G work with basically any docking accessory out there, but Contour’s hinge takes compatibility a step further. If the hinge is used, a bottom flap on Flick’s back opens to provide compatibility with the iPhone 3G Dock, presently the only accessory that requires a bare or virtually bare iPhone 3G to work. Whereas compatibility with Apple’s dock was potentially a big deal for original iPhone users who received docks with their phones, the iPhone 3G Dock is now sold separately, so you’ll have to decide whether this feature matters to you.
If not, there’s no reason to prefer Flick over the many cases that work just fine with Apple’s more common Universal Dock standard.
Because Contour doesn’t use rubber or plastic anywhere near as aggressively here as it has on its other cases, there’s a huge amount of the iPhone 3G that’s left unprotected. In addition to the bottom, there’s a similarly large uncovered swath on the left hand side. Headphone port and camera holes are more tightly tailored—the headphone port again a little too small for the largest plugs—and there’s a rubber integrated cover for the Sleep/Wake button, which is appreciated, though the chrome bezel is sadly left uncovered on the iPhone 3G’s face.
Collectively, this is literally all a step or two back from the company’s earlier iSee, which offered more and smarter protection at a lower price. Like iSee, Flick has dimples at its side center points for easier holding, but Flick’s inherent slipperiness is higher because of the glossy plastic here.