To put it mildly, silicone rubber iPhone cases tend to be very similar from company to company, and that trend has only accelerated with the iPhone 3G: everyone has embraced the general idea of covering most of the device’s back and sides with rubber, then leaving the screen open to be protected by film. As a result, the only differences between rubber cases are three in number: the amount of rubber used to cover the iPhone 3G, the way the rubber has been molded, and the price at which the finished product is sold.
Today, we’re looking at five rubber cases from four different companies. Gecko Gear’s iPhone Glove ($19), Incipio’s dermaSHOT for iPhone 3G, JAVOedge’s Indented JAVOSkin, and iFrogz’ Treadz Case for iPhone 3G are all basic rubber cases that fit the above description, while Incipio’s more deluxe Silicrylic adds a hard rear frame to the rubber skin for decorative and shock-absorbant purposes.
Virtually every time we see one of Gecko Gear’s rubber cases, we’re simultaneously attracted to its distinctively diagonal ribbed design and put off by omissions in protectiveness for the price. That’s the same story, again, with the iPhone Glove, which is also known as “iPhone Glove for iPhone 3G” and “Gecko Glove for iPhone 3G.” As always, you get the choice of opaque black or clear frosted versions, and this time, you get a Dock Connector cover that can optionally be used to cover the bottom accessory port. But that’s it; there are no frills elsewhere to be found in this package.
Apart from one major omission, coverage of the rest of the device is above average. There are holes for the headphone port, ringer switch, camera, bottom speaker, bottom microphone, and Dock Connector port; however, Gecko Gear covers the Sleep/Wake button and volume buttons, as Incipio does in its similarly-priced dermaSHOT.
While Gecko’s included Dock Connector port cover adds a little bottom protection that’s missing in other iPhone 3G cases, the big issue here is that you still have to buy your own screen film, which the company would prefer to sell separately at a cost of $15 per pack.
That’s a real shame, and the reason the iPhone Glove misses our general recommendation. Incipio and many other companies include that screen coverage at no added cost for virtually the same price as iPhone Glove, enabling you to have confidence that the glass surface won’t be easily nicked. As with JAVOedge’s Indented JAVOSkin, the only reason to prefer this case is on the merits of its aesthetic design, which similarly adds nice grip and a little bit of extra style to the otherwise glossy back of the iPhone 3G.