At a Glance
A raised back made of molded dots aims to absorb shocks and make your phone easier to grip.
As a rule, I tend not to be wowed by silicone cases that wrap around the iPhone. I find the fit to not always be as snug as I would prefer, and the surface usually feels a little slick to me, making me feel like I don’t have a very good grip on my phone. Fortunately, there are exceptions to every rule, and the exception for iPhone 4 silicone wraps is the excellent iPhone 4 Egg Case from Case-Mate.
Like similar silicone wraps, the Egg covers the back and sides of your iPhone, with a ridge along the side to keep your phone’s screen from coming into contact with any surface when you set the device face-down. (Case-Mate also supplies a protective screen and instructions for attaching it to the front of your phone.) Openings on the bottom, top, and side let you access assorted ports, switches, and buttons. The rear-facing camera also gets its own opening on the back.
It’s the back of the case that sets the Egg apart from similar wraps. Rather than being flat and smooth, the back surface features several bumps and dips, reminiscent of an egg carton. The idea, conceived by industrial designer Erik Arlen, is that the bumps provide shock resistance, should your iPhone 4 take a tumble. The Egg Case certainly feels more durable than other silicone wraps, and because the bumps are made out of molded dots, Case-Mate’s offering is certainly easier to grip than comparable accessories.
It’s not a perfectly executed design. The sleep/wake button at the top and the volume controls on the side are covered by raised buttons on the case—I wish they were a little more prominent so that you could find them more easily by touch. Also, getting to the ring/silent switch on the side can take a little effort, as the slit for accessing that switch is pretty narrow. Still, the design is accommodating enough to fit the AT&T version of the iPhone 4 as well as the Verizon model.
Available in four colors—black, blue, red, and a white offering Case-Mate bills as “translucent”—the Egg Case costs $25. It’s a good value for a clever design that figures to keep your iPhone 4 safe and sound.
[Philip Michaels is the executive editor of Macworld.com.]