capsule review

Griffin Technology Perforated Silicone for iPhone 4

At a Glance
  • Griffin Technology Perforated Silicone for iPhone 4

    Macworld Rating

Editor's note: Griffin Technology's Perforated Silicone for iPhone 4 is one of the cases included in Apple's iPhone 4 Case Program. For a list of all the cases offered as part of this program, as well as reviews of those cases, check out our Free iPhone 4 Case Collection.

Like Griffin Technology's Motif for iPhone 4, the Perforated Silicone for iPhone 4—which appears to be available only through Apple's iPhone 4 Case Program, as it's not currently listed on Griffin's Website—is a soft, "skin"-type case. But whereas the Motif is made of smooth, shiny, translucent thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), the Perforated Silicone is made of traditional silicone material. This gives the Perforated Silicone a softer feel, but it also means the case isn't quite as rugged as the Motif, and it also picks up more dust and lint in your pocket or bag.

The Perforated Silicone, available in clear and black, covers the iPhone 4's back and all four edges, and it wraps slightly around the front of the phone to hold the case in place. This front "lip" also protects the iPhone's screen when you place the phone face-down on a desk or table. You operate the phone's volume buttons and Sleep/Wake button through the case, while the Ring/Silent switch, headphone jack, top microphone, and much of the bottom edge of the phone are exposed for easier access. There's also an adequate opening for the iPhone's camera lens and LED flash.

It's easy to access all of the phone's controls through the case's openings, and the headphone-jack and dock-connector-port openings are large enough to accommodate even bulky third-party plugs. The soft silicone is also flexible, so if you've got an especially thick dock-connector plug, you can pull the material back a bit to accommodate.

Of course, like many other iPhone cases, the Perforated Silicone prevents you from placing your encased iPhone 4 in most dock-cradle accessories without a third-party adapter such as SendStation's Dock Extender or CableJive's Dock Extender Cable. However, the soft, flexible case material makes it easy to remove your phone from the case when you want to use a dock-cradle accessory—of the cases available through the iPhone 4 Case Program, this is the easiest to remove.

As with all cases in the iPhone 4 Case Program, the Perforated Silicone covers the spot in the lower-left corner of the phone where two of its external antennas meet. If you've experienced reception problems due to your hand bridging those antennas, the Perforated Silicone should alleviate that specific reception issue.

The Perforated Silicone offers a bit of protection against drops and bumps without adding a lot of bulk to the phone (though the case is a bit thicker than Griffin's Motif). As with all the other cases in the iPhone 4 Case Program, the Perforated Silicone leaves the iPhone's screen exposed.

The Perforated Silicone is also among the more unique-looking cases offered through Apple's free-case program, thanks to the perforated design. However, it's worth noting that this design comes with a minor consequence: I found during my testing that, in addition to the silicone material itself picking up dust and dirt, the holes in the case allow dust and dirt to get inside the case, where it's possible the detritus can scratch your iPhone's backside.

If you're a fan of "silicone skin" cases, this is the closest you'll get from the offerings in Apple's free-case program. It's also a good case if you plan to use third-party accessories, thanks to large openings for plugs and connections, and an easy-to-remove design. On the other hand, the company's Motif, also offered through the program, protects your phone a bit better, is easier to keep clean, and, in my opinion, is more attractive.

At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    If you're a fan of "silicone skin" cases, this is the closest you'll get from the offerings in Apple's free-case program. It's also a good case if you plan to use third-party accessories, thanks to large openings for plugs and connections and an easy-to-remove design. But it also suffers from the drawbacks of silicone.

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