At a Glance
This hardshell polycarbonate case features a removable bottom, allowing you to insert and remove your iPhone 4.
Hardshell iPhone cases do an excellent job of protecting your smartphone from the bumps and bruises of daily life. But that protection comes at a cost—it’s often difficult to spring your phone from the rigid case for those times when you don’t need the extra level of protection.
Case-maker Proof has come up with a clever way to solve this dilemma. Its Proof Duo case for the iPhone 4 features a detachable bottom; just press down on two tabs on the side of the case, and the bottom portion that would normally fit around your iPhone 4’s dock-connector port and speakers slides out. You insert the phone into the polycarbonate case, pop the bottom back into place, and rest secure in the knowledge that very little will be able to scratch the surface of your iPhone 4.
The Proof Duo fits over the side of your iPhone 4, with a ridge around the edge that keeps the glass screen from touching the surface of your desk, should you lay it down flat. Proof includes a film you apply across the front of the iPhone for added protection.
Holes on the top of the Proof Duo allow for easy access to the headphone jack and sleep/wake button, with the latter opening featuring a recessed backside for easier access. The detachable bottom leaves a snug opening for the dock connector and speakers, while a single opening on the side lets you operate the volume buttons and ring/silent switch. An opening on the back lets you use the rear-facing camera with no interference.
As this review was published, Proof’s online store offered two versions of the Duo—a solid black case and a “smoke”-colored model through which you can see the Apple logo on the back of your phone. Both versions cost $30.
Originally, the Proof Duo was a perfect fit for the Verizon iPhone 4, but had a little trouble with the GSM-based model for AT&T subscribers. (The case covered the ring/silent switch ever so slightly.) Proof has since released a universal version of the Duo that fits both types of iPhone 4. I did find the universal version to be a tighter fit, however, requiring a little more effort to remove both AT&T and Verizon iPhones from the case.
The polycarbonate case adds a little bit of heft to the iPhone, compared to the feel of a silicone case. But it also feels sturdier and more protective. If you’re looking for a solid case to keep your iPhone 4 free from harm, the Proof Duo is an ideal fit.
[Philip Michaels is executive editor of Macworld.com.]
An earlier version of this review looked at the Proof Duo case for the Verizon iPhone 4. This article was updated on May 16 to reflect the fact that the case now fits all models of the iPhone 4.