CapsuleRebelX for iPhone 4/4S ($28) is the newest addition to SwitchEasy’s CapsuleRebel family, of which we’ve seen versions dating back to the iPhone 3G. This one takes a similar approach, but simplifies the design a bit. It’s certainly protective, while also a bit weird looking. Like most of SwitchEasy’s cases, there’s a lot included with this one: a set of white and black dock adapters, a stand, two screen protector films, a polishing cloth, an applicator card, and a pair of both headphone port and Dock Connector covers. It’s available in seven different color combinations, including two-toned versions.
CapsuleRebelX uses SwitchEasy’s “UltraFrame” system. The base is a soft, rubbery plastic shell that wraps around the device. It’s malleable enough to flex around the phone, but has enough structure to not stretch out from being applied or removed. If you chose to, you could use the case like this, but the complete solution is finished by a sturdy plastic X-shaped support that fits into a groove on the back of the case. It snaps into place like a puzzle piece, and covers all four corners.
There are cutouts for the headphone port and mic, side switch, and all three openings along the bottom edge. The Sleep/Wake and volume buttons are covered yet remain fully responsive. One potential issue stems form the fact that the hole around the camera and flash is rather tight and somewhat deeply recessed. In our testing we saw some flash diffusion issues; not huge, but noticeable.
While we like the feel and protectiveness of CapsuleRebelX, the look does throw us off a bit. Past versions had a ribcage-like plastic back piece; this one is narrower, but shares a vaguely organic feel. It’s raised along the outside, with a canyon running down the middle. There’s nothing empirically wrong with it, but most people we’ve shown the case to have had some immediate visceral reaction. If you like it or not will simply come down to aesthetic preference. That aside, the case offers significant protection and some nice color options for a reasonable price. If you dig the look, you’ll love this case; it’s worthy of a very strong general recommendation.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPhone 4/4S