So Xmas Ought-Nine has come and gone. Judging by the burst of traffic to this blog, lots of you got brand spankin’ new iPhones from the Fat Guy, or from Uncle Steve, maybe from Wally World or the Geek Squad, and you’re looking for ways to keep that new smartphone shiny and new. Well, since our last roundup of iPhone cases was such a scrrrrrreamin’ success — here we go again!
From Russia, with…style? Protection? Anyway, iCustom.com has some non-traditional ways of wrapping up your iPhone, including both “modern” and “traditional” (see above). Not sure what the logic of the clear case is, unless you want the world to see just how fugly your iPhone’s innards are. Oh, and since the site’s in Cyrillic — and not everybody has a Russian friend who can translate — thank God for Babelfish.
They also have a custom-airbrushing option that lets you upload the graphic of your choice, like so:
(Yes, I know it’s a cancan girl, but it’s a Russian cancan girl, so that makes it okay, da?)
If your tastes run a bit more to the mil-spec end of the market, Radtech offers the Otterbox Armor enclosure, which promises to be completely water, sand, dirt and dust proof — and more importantly, crush-proof. As you might guess, all this protection comes with a price tag (that’s why they’re call “protection rackets“); the case alone is US$69.95, but the company advises “Preserving full phone functionality in a completely waterproof
case requires the following: An iPhone-compatible headset, like the
included Apple buds or RadTech’s ProCable In-Ear headset (US$24.95), a Bluetooth headset that supports HSP, like the world’s smallest RadTech BT400GL (US$64.95), or use the handset in speakerphone mode.”
(If this level of protection floats your boat, we also advise moving fast; apparently, Radtech has discontinued production of the Otterbox.)
Don’t need — or can’t afford — quite so much protection? Speck’s ToughSkin case may be closer to your price point. Surround your iPhone with four manly ounces of rugged rubber, including a hinged bottom for easy charging/synching. One caveat: unlike the Otterbox, there’s no screen protection. Then again, for only US$34.95, you’ll have dinero left over for a screen guard. (BUT WAIT! Order now, and Speck’ll take half off the MSRP! Yep, only US$17.47 for this much ruggedness.)
At the other end of the spectrum (i.e. adorable and furry) is Cute-Cases.com’s The Hipster. Lovingly hand-made to fit YOUR personal device, available in a variety of colors, and currently only US$29.95 with free shipping, free giftbox, and a certificate of authority. (Does this mean that bogus Hipsters are flooding the market? The mind reels…)
Still wanna explore that hand-made vibe? Etsy offers a full range of iPhone cozies, with prices from a modest US$3.00 to a hefty US$80.00 — but that eighty clams does get you a pack of six. The handsome gadget monkey shown above, by comparison, is a virtual steal at US$15.50.
Griffin Technology’s Clarifi isn’t just another polycarbonate case — it’s also got a built-in closeup/macro lens that slides in and out of position as needed. When engaged, it decreases the iPhone camera’s minimum focus distance from 18 inches to a tight, tight 4 inches, which translates to better and more detailed pictures of faces, business cards, or any subject that would benefit from filling the image frame. All this without blocking any of your iPhone’s normal I/O ports, and for only US$34.99. The only thing that could make this case more useful would be a built-in flash — perhaps Griffin should enter into talks with Snapture…
Need protection AND extra power? Look into the Incase Power Slider, which packs a rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery that promises to more than double the amount of time you can operate your iPhone. Not only that, you can sync and recharge both iPhone and Power Slider without removing one from the other. The case includes a row of status LED’s that act as both a battery gauge and syncing/charging status indicator. The bad news? All this extra power comes at the power-user price of US$99.95.
Okay, this is just too precious for words: Daydeal.com offers this pink, rhinestone-trimmed rubberized case. Get in touch with your inner Paris Hilton! (There’s also a black model, for those who want to get in touch with their inner Rob Halford…) US$14.95 each, both currently out of stock.
Becoming Paris’ new BFF not your speed? How about becoming one of Hef’s newest Girls Next Door? AccessoryGeeks offers this fab, officially-licensed Playboy fur pouch with gold strap chain. (Mind you, there’s no through-the-case functionality, but that also means it’ll hold lots more than just an iPhone — and damn, it looks good!) Normally US$34.99, but for a limited time you can save US$5.00 AND get free shipping and no sales tax. Great way to unleash your inner Barbi Benton…
Here comes the sun, and I say: it’s all right. Solar Arcadia’s solar-powered leather case is both practical and eco-friendly. Stick it under a light source (sunlight or man-made, don’t matter) for twelve hours, and it then transfers its charge to your iPhone. Not near a source of light? It also has a USB port for gassing up off your PC. And really, isn’t US$45.95 a small price to make Al Gore proud?
Then there’s Marware’s Game Grip, which is only halfway to being a great idea. The wraparound form factor emulates the gripability of a video-game controller, but doesn’t actually, y’know, control anything. Look for an upcoming post on the iControlPad for a better approach; in the meanwhile, Game Grip’s price of US$34.95 and up might best be spent elsewhere…
…um, like here, if you want to unleash your inner Willy Wonka. The Homade ChocoCase wraps your iPhone in rich, chocolaty silicone, and even includes an authentic gift-box to enhance the illusion. Get it at USBFever for US$24.99. (The link is for the 3G version; they also have 2G ChocoCases…)
All about the Benjamins? Honuwear offers a $100 iPhone skin. Yes, “skin;” it’s thin, mounts with non-permanent adhesive, and according to the manufacturer “is…thick enough to absorb minor abuse.” If status is more important than protection, US$14.95 may be a small enough price to pay.
Welcome, iPhone virgins, and happy accessory shopping.
[Some content via ComputerWorld]