iPhone 4 cases – Apple Bumper v. Griffin Reveal

I suppose I will sound like an apologeticist for Apple but I never did see the antenna problems. In fact, the iPhone 4 has demonstrably better reception than my iPhone 3GS (which my wife now uses). Eventually I did get the Apple Bumper because I wanted the protection and Apple eventually refunded me for that purpose. The bumper is very nice and looks just right on the phone, no doubt about that. The metal buttons for volume and off/on are solid and attractive. There are only two things that I think might cause one to prefer a different case. The tolerances are very low meaning that you can only use the Apple-provided headset (or similar slim plug cable) and the same is true for the USB connector. That means that my Griffin AutoPilot will not connect without removing the bumper. The other potential drawback is that the back is left exposed. If you are hard on your phone (put it in your pocket with keys, etc.) then the back may get scratched. The back glass is not the “Gorilla glass” that covers the front and, so far in my experience, does not retain smudges let alone scratches. ((The story of this material is really very interesting. Corning invented it back in 1962, but it is only now becoming widely used and a valuable commodity. Being a smart company, however, they held on to it over all these years.))

Enter the Griffin Reveal Etch. This is a very nice, slim case that has a polycarbonate back and, according to Griffin, the “Reveal Etch adds just a little over a millimeter in thickness to the sides and back of your iPhone.” I can attest that it is indeed very thin and the polycarbonate backing is very attractive and the rubber edges are thin yet wide enough to allow your third-party connector and headset to connect without any difficulties. At the same time, however, the thinness of the surround makes it feel a bit cheap. Still, it is attractive and relatively inexpensive, especially if Apple is going to pay for it. ((NB: You have to buy your iPhone 4 by September 30, 2010 to qualify for the free case.))

More and more options are hitting the market for the iPhone 4. Personally, I am still waiting for a nice compact window mount like the Griffin WindowSeat. They have come out with the WindowSeat HandsFree that looks promising, but I would have been a happier customer if they had simply made an iPhone 4 adapter available. The Satechi SCR-31 is also very promising…I thought it was just a generic holder, but looking again it appears to have an adapter specifically for the iPhone 4. Once I find a solution, I will let you know.

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