At a Glance
The Kraken for iPhone 4 is a combination of polycarbonate hardshell and silicone skin that brings a decent amount of protection to your iPhone, but at the cost of some usability.
Trident Case’s $40 Kraken Series for Apple iPhone 4 is a combination of a polycarbonate hardshell and silicone skin that brings a decent amount of protection to your iPhone, but at the cost of some usability. The plastic hardshell, which features prominent corners to cushion impact, comes in five color choices—blue, yellow, black, red, and gray—with each paired with a black, silicone skin that fits over most, but not all, of the case’s exterior. Openings are left for the iPhone’s ear speaker, front camera, and rear camera. (The rear camera’s lens is covered with a clear-plastic window.) There’s also a flexible-plastic window that protects the iPhone’s screen while still allowing you to use it, and a detachable, swiveling belt clip doubles as a stand by locking into an open position. The stand, however, is useful only in landscape orientation, and both unlocking it and detaching the clip requires a frustrating amount of pressure.
Many of the phone’s other ports and controls are covered with small flaps of silicone, such as the dock-connector port, the Ring/Silent switch, and the headphone jack; the volume buttons and Sleep/Wake button are completely covered with little silicone nubs. I found the headphone jack and Ring/Silent switch particularly awkward to use—my lack of long fingernails made it difficult to open the flaps. The Ring/Silent switch is also recessed, and my finger was a little large for the opening, though I managed to toggle it. The headphone jack is likewise constrained, making it impossible to fit the larger headphone plugs you’ll find on many non-Apple headphones. To help wit this, Trident includes with the Kraken a headphone adapter to accommodate other models, but at more than 1.5 inches long, it’s a bit unwieldy. And, of course, the bulky shape of the case makes it impossible to use your phone in a dock-cradle accessory. All in all, the Kraken is a passable heavy-duty case, but I found myself longing to release my iPhone from its clutches.