Staggering is the only word we’d use to describe the number of hard plastic iPod and iPhone cases we’re reviewing today — over 20 different models that we’ve been comparing to one another, as well as past cases, over the last few weeks. To help you sort through all the options, we’ve assembled a few statistics that are worth knowing up front. All of the iPod nano cases in this roundup run from $20 to $30, with most at $25 or less, while the two iPod classic cases sell for $25 to $30, iPod touch cases range from $20 to $30, and iPhone 3G cases go for $20 to $35. Virtually every case offers at least partial back and side protection, but they vary widely in front, top, and bottom coverage. Though all use plastic as their base material, they differ considerably in color options and secondary materials. This review covers Seidio’s new Innocase II ($35) and Innocase Holster ($30) for iPhone 3G, which are sold together in a combo set for $50.
We don’t have much to say about the Innocase II and Holster, besides to tell you that they immediately struck us as unimpressively designed and overpriced. Like dozens of other iPhone cases we’ve seen, the idea here is that you get a two-piece shell that covers most of the iPhone 3G’s plastic body with more plastic, including coverage for the front chrome bezel, but not including any form of screen or other control protection.
Additionally, Seidio cuts a big hole out of the back of the case to let you see the Apple logo, a design touch that we really don’t like—especially when, as here, the logo is left exposed for scratches. United SGP, which uses a similar cut-out in its Ultra Thin Plus Case, at least includes a sticker; smarter companies just cover the logo entirely.
Like Incase’s Slider and several cases from Griffin, Seidio includes a slide-off bottom piece that lets the case work with Apple’s iPhone 3G Dock—not a hugely popular accessory—though the case’s bottom is otherwise open enough to fit without issues in any accessory with an Apple-standard Universal Dock. The headphone port hole at the top is large enough to fit even the most oversized headphone plugs we test, though the biggest ones may be a little less than perfectly secured thanks to the thickness of the case.
While this isn’t a terrible case, what pushes it into the C rating category is its pricing. Beyond the concept of setting a $35 MSRP for a case as plain and limited in protection as this one, Seidio’s attempt to charge $30 for a plain hard plastic belt clip holster strikes us as almost ludicrous. Sure, the belt clip on the back ratchets as you turn it—wow—but better-designed cases include better-designed belt clip holsters for far less than $50; this one only lets the iPhone mount with its face inwards, and doesn’t double as a video stand, like packed-in holsters from companies such as Speck.
There’s way too little value in either of these products to merit even our general recommendation; the only thing we really liked about the Innocase II was its soft-touch coating. Thankfully, you can find that—and better protection—in other, more reasonably-priced products.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPhone 3G