Officially less than a week old, Apple’s iPhone 3G already has its first collection of protective cases, designed to shield the device against scratch and scuff damage, as well as fingerprints and smudges. Today, we’re doing brief reviews of the first dozen iPhone 3G cases, some of which are modestly redesigned versions of original iPhone designs, and others completely new to this device. This review covers Marware’s C.E.O. Glide for iPhone 3G ($25), a new case for this company, but based on familiar cases from other manufacturers. [Editor’s Note: On October 1, Marware released a virtually identical version of this case for the second-generation iPod touch, which is shown in the last photograph here and receives the identical rating.]
In the early days of a new iPod or iPhone, major case makers feel compelled to release as many designs as possible, especially ones that don’t require the precise fitting that goes along with screen and control cut-outs. C.E.O. Glide is, like Marware’s C.E.O. Premiere and C.E.O. Sleeve, a case that requires little more precision to design than the bare height, width, and depth of the iPhone 3G itself; it is a simple pouch with a hole in the top for the iPhone 3G. You’re supposed to put the iPhone 3G inside, then pull it out every time you want to use its screen and most of its features; the headphone port is fully open.
Texture is the only thing that distinguishes Glide from Apple’s ill-fated leather iPod cases and myriad other cheaper versions subsequently released by Chinese companies. Here, there is a crocodile-ish, heavy grain in all of the front and back Nappa leather, which is stitched on the sides and bottom in a manner that precludes any access to iPhone 3G’s controls save for the Sleep/Wake button; that one won’t do you too much good here. You can choose from black, red, or white colors.
Inside of Glide is microfiber to avoid scratching the iPhone 3G, while the top has a Velcro tab that can be used to hold the device inside when it’s turned upside down. Using a concept originally brought to the iPod by Apple, and later found in the aforementioned Chinese variants, you can pull on the tab to remove the iPhone from the case, a step that will be necessary if you want to use it for anything except passive, headphone-assisted playback of music or taking phone calls. As with its other iPhone 3G cases, Marware includes decent clear protective film and a microfiber cleaning cloth in the box, as well.
While C.E.O. Glide’s $25 asking price isn’t exactly a princely sum by iPhone 3G case standards, the same dollars can buy Marware’s C.E.O. Sleeve, a sharp-looking black leather case that employs the same general trade-off of protection for usability, but also includes belt clip options—something left off of Glide. By contrast, Glide offers a bit more iPhone body coverage on its sides, and is slightly thinner than the Sleeve, but doesn’t look quite as classy. You can decide whether you like the combination of looks, usability, protection and pricing here, but given the company’s other, better options, we’d pass.
Company and Price
Model: C.E.O. Glide
Compatible: iPhone 3G, iPod touch 2G