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Which Free iPhone 4 Case Is The Best For You?

July 23, 2010

Now that we know which cases Apple is offering up free to iPhone 4 owners with antenna attenuation complaints, which one should you pick? Those being offered are the black colored Apple Bumper, Incase Snap Case in smoke or clear, Belkin Shield Micra in clear, Griffin Motif with diamond pattern in smoke color, Griffin Reveal Etch in black graphite, Speck Fitted with a dark tartan plaid pattern, and Speck PixelSkin HD in black. What do these cases all offer? Apple iPhone 4 Bumper provides minimal protection but that may be what you're looking for. Let's face it, most have said they feel the iPhone 4 design is awesome looking. I myself feel the black glass and shiny metal look does seem snazzy and kind of ritzy. The Bumper only covers the outer rim of your iPhone 4 with a little lip. You'll get a tiny bit of protection for the front or rear when you lay your iPhone 4 on a completely flat surface. Overall, this is a case for those that are really cautious with their iPhone already, and want to keep the great Apple aesthetic as visible as possible. The Apple iPhone Bumper has a MSRP of $30.

Incase Snap Case is another fairly basic protection option. A hard but light material that covers both sides of your iPhone. There's no button covers or protection for the top and bottom. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. The openness can make it easier to continue using certain dock and headphone accessories. This is the only case Apple is offering in more than one color, smoke or clear. The Incase Snap Case has a MSRP of $30.

Belkin Shield Micra features a similar clear hard polycarbonate protection as the Snap Case with a clear color. No button covers on this one either but it does cover the entire outer rim of the iPhone and the backside. There have been some mixed opinions of Belkin cases over the years, but then again, what company doesn't have their complaints? Belkin Shield Micra has a MSRP of $25.

Griffin Motif uses the preferred TPU material. TPU is tougher than silicone but more flexible than plastic, providing a good balance of form, ease, looks, and protection. Another option that offers a smoke color, giving partial visibility of your iPhone's rear, with a diamond pattern. Unfortunately, it's difficult to tell on the photos how much space is provided for port access but from the the few photos available, it doesn't appear to be a ton. Griffin Motif has a MSRP of $20.

Griffin Reveal Etch is a little more typical case. Etch features a rubber rim protection with a hard polycarbonate back panel. This case isn't transparent but does have a black graphite "etch" pattern. Because it does give more protection and offers a rubber edge, the Reveal Etch does provide protection for external buttons. Griffin Reveal Etch has a MSRP of $30.

Speck Fitted is a two piece polycarbonate case with a patterned fabric rear surface. The patterned fabric is for aesthetics and some handling comfort. The only thing to possibly note is that the port and button locations are left open. To me, this interrupts the eye pleasing looks and could allow for dirt, sand, etc to possibly sneak behind your iPhone a little easier than some other options. Overall though, if you're into the dark tartan plaid look, this could be a very viable option. Speck Fitted has a MSRP of $30.

Speck PixelSkin HD is a thin rubber case with a thin plastic "pixel" textured backside. This case does offer button protection and the "pixels" offer added grip and interesting looks. Offers sufficient protection and seems to give plenty of space around the headphone and dock connectors. Apple is only offering this in black. Speck PixelSkin HD has a MSRP of $30.

I can't tell you what case works best for you, it just doesn't work that way. While each case offers its own advantages and disadvantages depending on use and visual preferences, however, I'm still inclined to put some generally ahead of others. My personal preference is more of rubber, silicone, or TPU over the strictly plastic. Though, I do like clear because I purchased my iPhone for a lot of things, including visual appeal. I'm also not a huge fan of most general patterns. I haven't made my final choice yet but I'm sort of leaning towards the PixelSkin HD. Which case have you decided, or are leaning towards, and why?

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