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, Incipio’s dermaSHOT for iPhone 3G ($20), 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.
Incipio’s dermaSHOT is the simplest of these cases, and more expensive than last year’s version, but it’s also been improved to become more competitive with similar products. You get to choose from eight colors, all shown here except for the clear frosted version, and get one rubber case, a screen protector, cleaning cloth, and video stand.
The case has been improved from the original iPhone dermaSHOT, now lacking the unnecessary back slits and thereby offering correspondingly better rear protection. Like all of the other rubber cases we’re looking at today, there are holes for the headphone port, ringer switch, camera, bottom speaker, bottom microphone, and Dock Connector port, but unlike some of them, Incipio has covered the Sleep/Wake button and volume buttons; it has not taken the most aggressive protective position and covered the Home button. That having been said, it’s better than the Gecko Gear and JAVOedge cases in that it does cover the rest of the iPhone 3G’s face, thanks to the included screen protector.
We also liked the video stand, which while simple in execution serves its purpose perfectly well: place it on a flat surface and you can prop the iPhone 3G up on a recline to watch videos. As other companies have found, it doesn’t cost much to add this feature into the package, and users get the benefit of being able to enjoy using their iPhones without buying more expensive and complex docks. Incipio’s choice to include this was a wise move.
Our chief issue with dermaSHOT is that it’s by far the most plain case design we’ve yet seen from a major vendor for the iPhone 3G—plain in the sense that it looks generic and could as easily have come from anybody as from Incipio. We know that this company has design chops, but dermaSHOT doesn’t too much to show them off. Regardless, if you’re looking for a reasonable variety of colors, above-average protection, and a reasonable price considering what you get in the package, this is a worthwhile option.
Company and Price
Company: Incipio Technologies
Compatible: iPhone 3G