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.
Though branded with the iFrogz logo, Luxe is actually an OEM iPhone 3G case that we’ve also seen for sale in almost identical but unbranded form in Canada: this is a two-piece case that locks together horizontally with a dot-shaped rear clasp. What’s special about Luxe is the material, which is hard matte-finished plastic inside, and soft touch rubber-coated on the outside, sold here in two-tone versions that are wine red or royal blue at the top, and black on the bottom. Each case comes with a clear film screen protector.
Apart from that screen protector, which bumps the aggregate protection rating up to above average, the iPhone 3G body protection afforded by the actual plastic Luxe case design is average. There are generous holes on the top, side, and bottom, and a fair-sized hole for the camera on the back. Some companies had figured out how to cover the iPhone 3G’s volume, Home, and Sleep/Wake buttons with rubber or flexible hard plastic, but Luxe doesn’t do that; on the flip side, the case is more accessory-compatible than most, and the slide-off bottom piece renders it usable with Apple’s official iPhone 3G Dock.
A few small issues detract a little from what would otherwise have been a more positive overall impression. On the outside, Luxe doesn’t completely cover all of the iPhone 3G’s front chrome bezel; a little extra plastic to achieve this would have been nice. Luxe’s inside is padded with black foam, which always seems to leave a black dusty residue on the back of the iPhone 3G when it’s removed. Finally, the case is also a little difficult to remove, despite the presence of the aforementioned, seemingly obvious dot-shaped rear clasp; we were always able to get it off, but not without a small struggle and some apparently unnecessary fear of marring the iPhone’s plastic back.
What we like about Luxe is the overall value for the dollar. Unlike Canada’s Rogers, which has been selling a virtually identical case for around CDN$40, iFrogz’ price is just right for what you get here. This isn’t a fantastically protective design, and the size of its holes lets a whole lot of iPhone 3G’s coloration shine through, but for the $20 asking price you get something that looks nice and covers most of the device’s surface area. Additional colors, particularly white and black versions, would make Luxe an even better pick.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPhone 3G