capsule review

Gumdrop Cases Drop Tech Series is a stylish and rugged iPhone case

At a Glance
  • Gumdrop Cases Drop Tech Series iPhone 4 Case

Gumdrop Cases’ $45 Drop Tech Series iPhone 4 Case consists of no fewer than four separate parts: a polycarbonate rigid shell (in black, red, or white); a clear, solid-plastic screen protector; a small, polycarbonate protector for the phone's rear camera lens; and a silicon outer layer (in black or pink). Snapping the phone into the polycarbonate shell with the screen protector in place is quick and simple. Getting the tiny camera-lens protector in place as you put on the silicon outer layer isn’t quite as painless—it requires some fussing—but it’s manageable.

The silicon layer is especially grippable, thanks to its textured surface. The silicon covers every port and control around the iPhone’s periphery. For the Home, volume and Sleep/Wake buttons, the Drop Tech Series sports overlaid buttons of its own; each depresses satisfyingly. To access the phone's headphone jack, Ring/Silent switch, and dock-connector port, you need to peel back a protective silicon cover.

The case covers the iPhone's Home button, but unlike other rugged cases I’ve tested, leaves the areas just to the left and right of the button exposed. It’s a unique stylistic choice that gives the case some character.

Considering the hard-plastic screen protector and the fact that the edges of the case extend significantly beyond the iPhone's screen, the Drop Tech Series affords a good amount of protection against butter-side-down drops. And the multi-layered construction offers good coverage against all other drops.

My only two knocks against the Drop Tech Series case are the little camera protector, which seems way too easy to lose, and the difficulty involved in removing the case—I needed a putty knife to pry off the polycarbonate shell.

If you plan on leaving your iPhone permanently clad in the Drop Tech Series, it’s a great case that's both stylish and rugged. However, if you regularly need to take your phone out of its case, the Drop Tech Series may not be the best option.

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At a Glance
  • Gumdrop Cases Drop Tech Series iPhone 4 Case

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