iPhone 4 case review group test - Slay your iPhone 4 signal problems

An iPhone 4 case review round up is just what the doctor ordered if you’ve been suffering from the infamous iPhone 4 signal problems. Apple’s bumper cases may be as elusive as the Scarlet Pimpernel on a dark night, but we’ve tracked down just about every other iPhone 4 case available right now for a group test. How do they all rate? Read on and find out!

We’ve grabbed as many of the first iPhone 4 cases out of the blocks as we possibly could to try out for you, though you can expect plenty more in the future. The notable absentee? Apple’s iPhone 4 bumper case, which while delightful looking, has never been in stock when we’ve dropped by the Apple store, and is a 5-7 working day wait on the Apple online store. Unless otherwise mentioned, all of these iPhone 4 cases stopped the usual signal problems dead in their tracks, but there’s plenty more to consider besides. Read on for the full iPhone 4 case review group test and you’ll see what we mean….

Read our iPhone 4 review
iPhone 4 review
iPhone 4 review: New design
iPhone 4 review: Retina Display
iPhone 4 review: HD video and iMovie
iPhone 4 review: Worth the upgrade?
iPhone 4 review: Electricpig staff opinions
iPhone 4 review: Live Q&A
iPhone 4 review: Sample photos

Griffin iPhone 4 Reveal Clear case,
Carphone Warehouse, £19.99

We’re quite taken with the Griffin iPhone 4 Reveal Clear case. It does a lot more than the Apple bumper case, which it resembles from a distance, while staying very subtle. It’s black, and there’s a plastic back, which will stop you scuffing your iPhone 4 when placing it down on a table, and there’s no front cover so it doesn’t look boxy like some iPhone 4 cases do. There is however a tiny little lip to give it some elevation and potentially stop a screen smash should you drop your iPhone 4: for the butter fingered, this will be a welcome mode. Our only real issue is the rubber riding up over the top of the sleep button -it should have been cut out. Otherwise, a tidy compromise and an excellent iPhone 4 case.

Belkin Grip Graphix iPhone 4 case
Carphone Warehouse, £16.99

Although there are still rubber covers for the buttons on the Belkin Grip Graphix iPhone 4 case – and even one covering the home button – which don’t ride up in quite the same way as with Griffin’s case, we’re not nearly as smitten. The rubbery, zebra texture is pleasant to hold, but in white, looks ghastly and tacky. It doesn’t get in the way of the camera lens on the iPhone 4 however – something we can’t say about all of the other iPhone 4 cases on test.

Proporta Soft Feel Silicone Case for iPhone 4
Amazon, £19.95

The Proporta Soft Feel Silicone Case for iPhone 4 is an unusual one: it’s the only iPhone 4 case on test that claims to kill germs. We can see how condensation could build up between the back of a case and a handset, but the SteriTouch material supposedly kills 99.9 percent of them. We can’t vouch for that, but we can say that this is one soft, soft iPhone 4 case. It feels very thin, though it isn’t especially, which will definitely be a bonus for some. Two gripes however: the concertina grips on the bottom don’t bring much to the table and aren’t where you’d put the weight of the phone, and the rubbery cover for the volume buttons on ours at least, is faulty, with grey paint spilling in where there shouldn’t be. But hey, if you’re buying an iPhone 4 case, you’re not worried about the looks right?

Incipio Feather iPhone 4 case
Amazon, £17.53

As hard plastic solutions go, the Incipio Feather iPhone 4 case beats iLuv’s see through offering, even if it doesn’t live up to its “Feather” name. It’s made of very hard plastic which will stop the back of your iPhone 4 from being scratched, though there’s no elevation at the front to protect that side when dropped. The problems begin though when you try and take the Incipio Feather iPhone 4 case off: we genuinely struggled to remove it and were seriously worried that it would snap and scratch something. Still, if you don’t plan to take it off much, it’s a nice minimalist effort, and comes with a film screen protector and cleaning cloth in the box, a nice touch.

Proporta Aluminium Lined Leather iPhone 4 case
Amazon, £29.49
The Proporta Aluminium Lined Leather iPhone 4 case certainly looks a wallet, but carrying it around with an iPhone 4 in as well as a wallet is going to lead to some bulging pockets and raised eyebrows. While rigid, it adds an enormous amount of bulk to the iPhone 4 – a selling point of which is that it’s the world’s thinnest smartphone – and there’s not enough function in it to merit this extra girth. It covers the camera lens substantially, and worrying, the iPhone 4 doesn’t sit snugly inside the case, moving up and down, even though magentas keep the door itself shut. We’ve marked the Proporta Aluminium Lined Leather iPhone 4 case low as it’s not so much a case as a bag for your iPhone 4.

Proporta Leather Style Protective Case
Amazon, £14.95

The Proporta Leather Style Protective Case is very similar to the Proporta Aluminium Lined Leather iPhone 4 case, but though it shares some of the same flaws, we’re not so bothered at half the price. It looks the part (And comes in black, brown or red) and could prevent screen fracturing when dropped. The problem is the iPhone 4 Proporta Leather Style Protective Case leaves the corners open to the elements, and the bottom left open to signal loss when gripped still – but hard clips hold it in place firmly at least. We like the option to stick a few business cards on the inside of the flap, but this pretty much sums it up: it’s a wallet for your iPhone 4.

Rocketfish Silicone iPhone 4 case
Carphone Warehouse, £12.99

Of all the rubbery iPhone 4 cases we’ve tested, this is by the most, er, rubbery. The Rocketfish Silicone iPhone 4 case sets your smartphone deep within rubber (That looks like a wafer biscuit on the inside), which does make accessing ports a pain, but means it’ll have some serious cushion when dropped on concrete – the iPhone 4 owner’s worst nightmare. We also like the fact that it’s completely unbranded, useful if you’d rather not tell everyone around you what brand of third party Apple accessory maker you buy from when you answer a call.

Gear4 BlackIce iPhone 4 case
Carphone Warehouse, £19.99

The Gear4 BlackIce iPhone 4 case certainly offers the most comprehensive protection of anything on test, but that’s basically because it involves you encasing your iPhone 4 in a box. It’s a complete enclosure (with the left hand side open for access to the volume buttons) , and the see through front actually leaves the iPhone 4 perfectly responsive for fast typing and multitouch gestures. The problem is, that in turning your iPhone 4 into what looks and acts an awful lot like a Cyberman, you ruin any design aspect of the iPhone 4. You may well value protection above that, but we do enjoy a biut of aesthetics too, and the iPhone 4 has it in spades.

iLuv Glacier iPhone 4 case
Amazon US, $17.31 (£11.53)

We’ve put up a full iPhone 4 case review of the iLuv Glacier already so check that out for an in-depth view, but suffice to say, we do not like this. It makes your iPhone 4 look like a Fox glacier mint (The name is apt, we guess), threatens to scratch it on the inside, and has a terrible typeface down the side in big lettering, while not protecting the top and bottom of the phone at all. Avoid.

iLuv Fusion iPhone 4 case
Amazon US, $29.99 (£19.97)

We’ve saved the best until last. While we hate the iLiv Glacier iPhone 4 case, we love the iLuv Fusion iPhone 4 case. It doesn’t try to be subtle, instead going the whole hog and making your iPhone 4 both look and smell like a Buzz Lightyear action figure. Which, we don’t really need to explain, is awesome. The iLuv Fusion iPhone 4 case is actually quite practical too however: it’s made of two parts, one a soft silicone inner later, and a plastic top which you can add or remove at your whim. It’s a useful combination, which won’t ever scuff the iPhone 4 while on, and gives major protection to the back when dropped, plus some to the front thanks to slightly raised edges.

We’d give the iLuv Fusion iPhone 4 case the full five stars but for one thing: the camera lens hole sits too close: it won’t cover the lens quite, but when using the flash or in direct sunlight, your photos end up with a green reflection. A rather unfortunate oversight and one you’ll only notice with a few days’ use, but a niggle nonetheless.

Mobile phones like the iPhone 4 can be bought at online retailers like phones4u.co.uk

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