SGP Linear for iPhone 4/4S looks sleek but lacks protection
At a Glance
SGP’s $25 Linear for the iPhone 4/4S looks like an attractive premium case at first glance, but upon further inspection I found this case to be a disappointment.
The Linear is made up of three parts—separate top and bottom frames that snap together and cover the perimeter of your iPhone, plus a back panel that slides into the bumper frame. Each of the 29 cases in the Linear series are compatible with each other, so you can mix and match pieces to create a customized look. However, different colored cases and pieces must be purchased separately—cases ship in solid or two-toned color patterns like Fantasia Hot Pink, Soul Black, and Satin Silver.
An open slot on the side of the case leaves access to the volume buttons and the Ring/Silent switch, while the top of the case has specially molded openings for the headphone jack, Sleep/Wake button and a pinhole for the top microphone. A cutout on the back panel exposes the LED flash and camera, and the bottom speaker and microphone have their own dedicated slots in the case. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to dock my iPhone with this case on, but a standard charger fits with the USB-to-dock connector cable.
The Linear comes with a microfiber cleaning cloth along with a Steinheil Ultra Crystal LCD screen protector. It also includes a set of ten mini-lens hoods for the camera lens, which are polyurethane rings that supposedly aid in diffusing LED flash reflection from entering the camera (however, I used this case for several days without the rings and never felt the need for additional LED flash reflection). These mini-lens hoods are attached with removable silicon adhesive, and can be re-used if necessary.
Assembling the Linear’s pieces around my iPhone seemed like a pretty straightforward process, but proved to be troublesome. I got the impression that the case was never quite going to fit—the pieces felt flimsy and thin, like they would break during the assembly process.
Once assembled, the whole package looked good, but felt cheap. When I used my iPhone, I had an imminent feeling it was going to slip out of my hands, and I had no real confidence that the Linear was going to protect my iPhone if it slammed into any hard surface. The case’s edges are slightly raised over the iPhone’s touchscreen and will provide minimal clearance if you drop it facedown.
The SGP Linear left me wishing for a better quality product that lived up to the aesthetically pleasing design. Perhaps a change in material would go a long way in improving the quality of the overall design.
[Rob Renk is a displaced Chicago Bears fan currently living in the Orlando, FL area. When not obsessing about everything Apple, he can usually be found out on a boat monitoring Florida’s natural resources.]