At a Glance
This case’s hardshell cover will keep CDMA-based iPhone 4s safe from bumps and bruises.
iLuv’s Clear Case is a bit of a misnomer. The rigid snap-on case isn’t particularly clear, but it will provide your CDMA-based iPhone 4 a measure of protection from dust and scratches.
The case consists of a hardshell cover that protects the back and sides of your iPhone. Your screen is uncovered, but iLuv includes a protective film you can lay over the screen. The ridges along the side of the Clear Case are raised enough to keep the screen from coming into contact with any surfaces when you lay your phone facedown on a desk, though.
Large openings on the top and bottom let you access any buttons, jacks, or ports. There’s an opening on the back for the rear-facing camera, while a single slit on the side lets you operate the uncovered volume buttons and the ring/silent switch. While the top and bottom openings are fairly large—you’ll be able to plug just about anything into the iPhone 4’s headphone jack—the side opening is tailored to the Verizon iPhone. When I slipped the Clear Case over an AT&T model, it covered the ring/silent switch, making it difficult (though not impossible) to operate.
Now about that “clear” moniker: the case is made out of a tinted plastic. You can see through it when there’s no phone inside, but slip an iPhone 4 in place, and the Clear Case becomes anything but—I can’t even make out the iPhone’s Apple logo through the back of the case. Instead, the Clear Case offers more of a mirrored effect, where you can see your reflection on the case. It’s a nice look, but it’s also a magnet for fingerprints and smudges.
As with any rigid case, the Clear Case doesn’t slip off your phone very easily. That’s a concern if you need to frequently pop your iPhone 4 out of its case. But if you want a permanent enclosure for your CDMA-based smartphone, this $25 case offers stellar protection from assorted bumps and bruises, even if the case itself isn’t very clear.
[Philip Michaels is the executive editor of Macworld.com.]