The Week in iPhone Cases: Dr. Livingston, I presume
By Marco Tabini
Much like the wonderful (if a little hot) summer we’ve been experiencing, our weekly quest for new and exciting protecting products for the iPhone continues. This week’s case roundup brings the usual mix of accessories designed for all kinds of users and all kinds of lifestyles.
Arctic Accessories: The Arctic Wallet Stand (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S; $26) is a case that incorporates a wallet flap made of stretchy fabric that’s handy for carrying around more than just cards or paper money. The closing flap can also be used as a stand for both landscape- and portrait-orientation viewing. The rest of the black or blue case is made from tough polycarbonate for maximum protection.
Bling My Thing: The Simple Is Beautiful Collection (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S; $40 to $65) incorporates Swarovski crystals in a series of models created by leading designer Ayano Kimura. As the collection’s name implies, each case is meant to showcase beauty in simplicity, and the six model lines come in a variety of colors and materials that range from pure white to metallic-mirror finishes.
Bracketron: The SmartWraps (all iPhone models; $7) are the iPhone’s equivalent of a sandwich bag: You put your phone in them and zip them shut to protect your handset from dust, sand, food smudges, and water splashes. (The company notes that the SmartWraps are not designed for submersion). Their design allows full use of all your phone’s functions, including making calls, and they are inexpensive enough that you can simply recycle them when you are done. Each package comes with six SmartWraps.
Cygnett: The company’s new London Calling collection features a number of cases inspired by (and licensed from) the London Underground. These include the appropriately named Underground (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S; $30), the TubeTrain (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S; $30), the TubeMap (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S; $30), as well as the Nightlines (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S; $30) and Daylines (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S; $30). All the cases are made of slim-fit hard plastic, feature a snap-on design, and come with a thin-film screen protector. A Tube-inspired wallpaper is also available for your Home and lock screens.
ID America: The Cushi Art Deco (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S; $15) is a soft-foam pad that you can apply to the back of your iPhone to help protect against scratches, bumps, and accidental drops. In addition to providing extra protection and a comfortable hold, it features a black, blue, red, and white pattern reminiscent of New York’s Art Deco designs—or, if you prefer, of a game of Tetris that has taken a very strange left turn.
InCase: The Marc by Marc Jacobs Collection (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S; $40) brings a number of designs from the eponymous fashion designer to InCase’s popular Snap Case model. These include the “Stardust Logo,” “Hot Dot,” “Mademoiselle Danger,” and “Wild at Heart” styles, each with its own separate personality and available in a variety of colors. Each case also comes with matching wallpaper for your Home and lock screens.
Musubo: The Matchbook (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S; $26) is a hard, protective case designed to fit your iPhone precisely, providing snug protection from bumps, scratches, and the vagaries of everyday life. It includes cutouts for all ports and cameras, and even offers a convenient stand for landscape-orientation viewing. That stand is shaped like a matchbook—that’s right, a row of (simulated) matches, which should make going through airport security extra fun.
Otterbox: The Studio Collection (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S; $60) melds Otterbox’s Defender Series, known for its sturdiness and excellent protection, with designs from fashion stylists Monique Maloney and Evan Mann. These include colorful floral patterns available in blue, red, or black, and black-and-white illustrations that have a distinct surrealist tinge.
Unu: The Exera (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S; $80) combines a protective case made of durable plastic with a rechargeable battery that provides your iPhone with extra juice, resulting in up to six hours of extra talk time, 240 hours in standby, or thirty hours of music playback. In a twist over the traditional external battery case, the Exera features a modular design that allows you to replace its internal battery—if you have enough extra batteries, which are available for $15 each, you can pretty much keep your phone going for an indefinite period of time.
USBFever: The Case with Multi-Functional Smart Cover (iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S; $19) may not have a fancy name, but it packs many a useful feature. The case sports a magnetic back pad that can perform a number of functions: Folded around itself, it serves as a stand; flipped around, it helps protect your screen; and attached flat to the back, it even allows your iPhone to be attached—vertically—to any ferrometallic surface. If you’ve always wanted to stick your handset to your fridge, this is your chance to do it in style. The Multi-Functional Smart Cover comes in black, red, blue, or green.