With a name like Protective Cover for iPhone, where can you really go wrong? Well, you may need to start by putting asterisks next to “cover.” Incase’s offering is a molded rubber case for the iPhone that has its fair share of strengths and weaknesses.
Using the Protective Cover couldn’t be easier: just slip the iPhone into the case, which has been hollowed out to fit the phone like a glove. Openings have been left for the headphone jack, camera, Ring/Silent switch, and there’s also a large opening at the bottom for the microphone, speaker, and dock-connector port. In addition, the case provides useful raised nubs that let you easily find and use the volume buttons and Sleep/Wake button. The large opening at the front makes putting the phone in and taking it out of the case a snap, but the downside is that it provides no protection at all for the iPhone’s screen, though it does make using the multi-touch interface easy.
The molded rubber is somewhat thicker than many of the silicone skin iPhone cases you’ll find on the market, but the case doesn’t add that much bulk to the phone’s profile; it’s still easy enough to slip the whole thing in your pocket. The combination of the rubber’s tactile feel and the swirly fingerprint-like pattern molded into the case do confer one major benefit: it makes the phone’s slippery exterior considerably easier to get a grip on. And the material is thick enough to provide some protection if you drop the iPhone, unless, of course, you drop it on the uncovered screen.
As with many other cases, the Protective Cover suffers from one irritating issue: due to the large opening for the screen, dust and other small particles can become trapped beneath the case, especially if you keep it in your pocket. Such particles won’t usually hurt the phone, though they can in some instances scratch the chrome ring around the iPhone’s screen. It’s hard to prevent this from happening, but from time to time, it’s probably worth it to take the phone out of the case and brush it off.
The $30 price tag is a bit steep for what the Protective Cover is: a piece of rubber that protects only half of the phone. Plus, some of the colors are slightly on the garish side, such as the cyan model that I tested, though that’s largely a matter of personal preference. Overall, the Incase Protective Cover for iPhone is a solid iPhone case, but not one that stands out from the crowd. –Dan Moren