Hard iPhone cases were the most popular type of case for the iPhone 3G and 3GS as the curved back made them extremely easy to fit and they did a great job of protecting the back and sides of the phone. With iPhone 4 being more angular, these cases aren’t quite as easy to make or fit, which is why there aren’t quite so many to choose from – not yet anyway.
If you’re just after a simple, hard back cover for your iPhone 4 then this will do just that. It’s a no frills black polycarbonate cover that clips on to the back of your phone. It has cut outs for the camera, flash, headphones, sleep and volume controls. As it covers the steel band of the antenna on the phone, it also helps to alleviate any signal loss problems. The case has a rubberised finish to it and feels very much like a silicone case in your hand. The front screen of your phone is still exposed, but Gear4 include a screen protector to help protect it against knocks and scrapes.
This has to be one of the most robust iPhone 4 case’s I’ve come across. Fitting it does take a little bit of time as it’s made up of several layers. Firstly there’s a thin membrane that protects and covers your screen, then there’s the tough ABS plastic Shell, and on top of that goes the soft touch, energy absorbing Silicone Skin. It does add some bulk to your phone so don’t expect to be carrying it around in the back pocket of your jeans, but if you work in a rough environment this will be the best purchase you can make for your phone.
SwitchEasy cases for iPhone have always been popular. The SwitchEasy Nude is made from a high quality, tough, flexible material that’s just 1mm thin When you look at your iPhone 4 with a Nude case fitted, it’s as if there’s nothing on it – hence the name. Besides the size of the case, SwitchEasy Nude cases stand out because they also include 2 screen protectors, a cleaning cloth and protectors for the dock connector and headphone port. SwitchEasy Nude cases are available in clear or a range of colours.
The Hard Tough Case is a similar case to the OtterBox Defender, just not as extreme. It’s a dual layer case – the first is a soft silicone that absorbs bumps and knocks and the second is a tough ABS plastic shell. The outer case is in two parts that snap together, virtually eliminating all chance of the phone ever falling out of the case. It has cut outs for the camera, flash and dock connector and push through buttons for the volume controls and sleep button.
I’m in two minds about this one, It does a good job of protecting the phone, but it’s taking it to extremes. It’s the bulkiest case out of all the ones listed here, but only because of the increased bevel around the screen. The case is a combination of rubber and silicone. It has a large press through button for controlling the volume, but accessing the silent switch is quite tricky. The increased bevel may look a bit strange, but it does a great job of keeping the screen away from surfaces that might damage it. The case includes a screen protector and a cleaning cloth.
Ed Hardy Back covers for the iPhone 3G and 3GS were extremely popular so it’s no surprise to see that they’ve now been released for iPhone 4. Each case features one of Ed Hardy’s well known Tattoo designs. They have cut outs for the camera, flash and volume keys and are a very secure fit to the phone. You won’t need to worry about damaging the front of the phone either as a screen protector is also included.
Hard Candy are a relatively new brand that are becoming really popular. Their cases range from the simple looking Superlight case through to the more eye-catching Bubble Slider (below). Each case is made from a tough polycarbonate and provides excellent protection against knocks and scrapes. The Superlight Beach is a one piece clip on back cover that has cut outs for the camera and volume keys and has a metallic finish. No screen protector is included though, so you’ll need to invest in an iPhone 4 screen protector separately.
Case-Mate are one of the most popular brands of case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS and that popularity is set to continue with iPhone 4. The iPhone 3GS Chrome Barely There case is our biggest selling iPhone case to date. Just like the case for the iPhone 3GS, Barely There cases consist of two parts – a thin, polycarbonate back cover and a screen protector. The back cover has cut outs for all the buttons and ports, as well as the Apple logo and are available in a range of colours.
The MicroShell from Marware is similar in many ways to the Barely There from Case-Mate. It’s a thin polycarbonate shell that protects the back and sides of the phone. As usual it’s got all the necessary cut outs to allow you to use the phone without removing it from the case. It’s extremely thin – just under 1mm thick and comes in a range of colours. There’s no screen protector included though, so you’ll want to invest in an iPhone 4 Screen Protector.
This is the second Hard Candy Case to make it into my top 10. The Bubble Slider is a 2 piece case that provides secure protection for your phone. The case slides on to the top and bottom of your phone and locks together to form a tough, durable case that won’t come off your phone no matter how you drop it. It also covers the very edge of the glass on the front of the screen, reducing the chance of it cracking if you do ever drop your phone. As with every case here, it’s got all the cut out’s you need to be able to use the phone without removing the case.
That’s my top ten hard cases for now. There are still a number of hard cases that we’re waiting for, so look out for an update post in the next few weeks. If you’ve not seen an iPhone 4 Hard Case here that does what you want it to, take a look at our full range of iPhone 4 Cases.