It's hard to believe that the end of the summer is peeking just around the corner. Alas, that means school days are coming, too–and what better opportunity to look for a new protective case for your iPhone? Lucky for you, we’ve got our usual iPhone-case roundup.
Griffin Technology: The Nations Cases (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S; $25) are a collection of hardshell cases that each features the flag and name of a nation; it's the perfect way to show support for your favourite international team just as the olympic games are about to get under way. Countries represented include Germany, Italy, Japan, Australia, Russia, Great Britain, South Korea, Italy, China, France, and, of course the good old U.S. of A. There's also a “Flags of the World” design in case your country is not featured.
Hex: The Stealth (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S; $35) is a snap-on hard case that protects your iPhone and also features a hidden compartment in which you can stash a credit or ID card. The compartment is completely out of view while the case is on your handset—you actually need to remove the iPhone from it in order to gain access to it—but it is transparent to radio-frequencies, which makes it ideal for contactless RFID applications. The Stealth comes in black or white.
Optrix: The Optrix XD (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S; $99) is designed to turn your iPhone into a wide-angle camera for active use during sporting events. It comes with a rubberized case that latches on to a hard, polycarbonate shell to provide protection from dust, scratches, bumps, and water splashes. The shell includes a wide-angle lens that greatly increases the iPhone's field of view, making it perfect for action shots. The case also includes two mounts; one is a flat base, and the other is designed for curved surfaces (like, say, the handlebars on your bike). A quick-release latch and safety leash complete the package.
P+G Design: The Hana (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S; $14) is not, I must say, your everyday iPhone case. Sure, it's made of a soft rubber that keeps your device safe from bumps and bruises, and it comes in three beautiful colors—blue, lime green, and pink. But its defining characteristic is, well, a big nose, in which, apparently, you are supposed to stick your fingers. Why? It's not entirely clear, and it doesn't look like a particularly comfortable way to hold your handset—but, if you have the… itch to dress your phone into something different, this case may well be for you.
Schosche: The Railkase (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S; $60) is a snap-on case made of a soft, rubbery material that protects your handset from bumps and scratches, coupled with a special bumper made of aircraft-grade aluminium that keeps the phone’s sides safe during use and transport. A quick-release mechanism makes the installation and removal of this case quick and easy, and openings and press-through controls ensure access to all the iPhone's buttons, cameras, and ports. The Railkase comes in black, silver, red, pink, or blue.
ShineOns: Branded as “tattoos for your phone,” the ShineOns (all iPhone models; $9 to $17) are hand-carved metal stickers that affix to your iPhone's back to provide a splash of color and character. They come in dozens of different designs, many of them inspired by nature and animals, and incorporate Swarovski crystals for an added sparkle (or two). The adhesive-backed stickers can simply be attached to the surface of your phone, or to a protective case, and can be removed without damaging your handset, although the company notes that frequent removal and reapplication will diminish the strength of the adhesive.
SlickWraps: The Vivid Blue (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S; $25) is a full-body wrap that protects the sides and back of your iPhone with a special photoluminescent material that glows brightly in the dark—perfect for finding your phone in all sorts of tough spots. The wrap leaves openings for all the phone’s buttons, cameras, and ports, as well as the Apple logo on the handset's back. The case comes in blue, orange, yellow, or green.
Twelve South: The company's popular BookBook (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S; $60) is now available in a new black model, reminiscent of an old-school, lovely, used book, complete with bookmark. Inside, it houses your iPhone and has room for four plastic cards and a pocket where you can stash some paper money or other documents—such as, say, your car's insurance and registration. The BookBook is made entirely of hand-distressed leather and also comes in a brown model.
USBFever: Some folks say that the iPhone is in the process of making point-and-shoot cameras disappear from the market, which may soon make the Camera Style Back Cover (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S; $23) a nostalgic throwback to the days of yore. Designed to look like the front of a prototypical consumer camera—complete with those annoying stickers that manufacturers insist on gluing to their products—this accessory covers the back of your iPhone to keep it safe from bumps and scratches, in addition to adding a decidedly unique touch of style.