Sold in two versions that unusually differ in their top and bottom designs, XGear’s new N2O Nitrous Oxide Cases for iPhone 3G ($50) use the same faux carbon fiber leather found in Case-Mate’s products, wrapped around a plastic hardshell that provides coverage for most of the iPhone 3G’s body. Each comes with a clear screen protector and microfiber cleaning cloth. The black version has an open bottom for easier docking, while the red and black version has extra front piping and an open top.
In simple summary, the N2O cases are nice, but on the edge of too expensive given their quality; you get the same look and feel of the Case-Mate Carbon Fiber Leather Case, but here with very slight modifications in look and feel that weigh slightly in XGear’s favor. A superior but not fantastic screen protector is perhaps the most noteworthy improvement to N2O, with styling changes that are similarly small but a little better in N2O.
Which of the N2O versions is better? The simple answer is “neither.” You’ll have to choose between the plastic piping on the open-topped version or the plain look of the open-bottomed version. Both work with Universal Docks, but the open-bottom one is a little more friendly to oversized bottom-mounting add-ons, while the open-topped version does better with oversized headphone plugs. If you’re looking for a carbon fiber-like case design, either of these options deliver enough of the look to meet most needs, but those needing more of the real material should consider pricier options such as ION-Factory’s cases, instead.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPhone 3G