on August 18, 2010
My search for the best "everyday" iP4 case may finally be over. After having tried several other cases (listed below) and reading reviews of even more, the Incipio NGP Matte is the closest to meeting my needs.
* Apple Bumper- Minimal protection. Reports of scratching steel band and streching after continual use.
* Griffin Reveal Etch- Very nice look and feel, but rubber sides were too loose for my liking.
* Speck Candyshell- Confident about its protection, but too bulky, scratch-prone, and incompatible with most pin connectors.
* Incipio Silicrylic- Precise fit and compatability. Silicone layer picks up lint (removed easily, but still...).
Incipo NGP Matte
- Perfect fit.
- Perfect balance of grip/slickness. Does not attract dust/lint.
- Clean looks.
- Does not hamper LED flash performance.
- Easy to operate phone controls.
- Superb compatability with 3rd party docks and connectors.
- Material is tough to scratch.
- Easy to install/remove.
- Good size lip to lift front screen off surfaces.
- Thick material provides both shock and puncture protection.
- Compatible with screen protectors.
- Case shows marks from being removed from mold (some more than others).
- Thicker than Apple Bumper
If you can live with the slight blemish*, the NGP Matte provides the ideal balance between protection, size, grip, and function. It is easy to put in and out of pockets, provides excellent grip/feel without picking up unecessary dirt/lint and offers clean lines to enhance its attractiveness. The best "everyday" case I have tested so far.
*Mold marks may even be removed with careful dremeling. Proceed at your own risk.
on March 1, 2012
There's 100s of iPhone cases on the market. I find it overwhelming but opted for this case because, on paper, it met most of my criteria. Once it arrived, did it succeed?
1. FIT - I have a white 4S. Not all regular 4 cases will fit the 4S. This does, and well. I desire a snug, secure fit without feeling like IF I want to remove the case I'll damage my phone or the case itself. This succeeds wonderfully. On and off like a dream; you don't have to hold your tongue just right to easily switch out cases. The bumper allows the iphone to be recessed enough that you can set it screen-side down, however I'd prefer it to be a centimeter or two deeper which really wouldn't affect bulk but would add even more confidence. 4 1/2 stars for fit.
2. BUTTONS/CUT OUTS/FLASHBACK - Flashback worries me. So many cases do not allow enough room cut out around the flash or the cutout is not lined in black thus creating a halo or blurred effect on your pics. Thankfully, the 050 doesn't suffer from this problem. Additionally, the volume buttons, jack, speaker, etc all fit beautifully and work as they should with no effort. I use the stock Apple branded charger, it fits like a glove. After market chargers or docks may not...so be aware and research that. 5 stars.
3. FEEL- iPhones are slick; very easy to fumble. I opted against many of the popular cases by Speck and the like because of their gloss finish. If you're a butterfingers like me, having the silicone-feel of the 050 which offers some resistance on slick surfaces and that doesn't feel slippery is a huge plus. But thankfully it doesn't feel gritty or sandpapery either. A big 5 stars for feel.
4.APPEARANCE- I appreciate the 050 comes in a few girly color options. I ordered the turquoise and purple. It's sweet. I use a different case if I need a more professional look, but for day to day use, it's nice and bright without looking garish. The back is nearly opaque but allows the Apple icon to remain somewhat visible...if you're the sort that likes folks to see you're using an iPhone. I think most of the color choices are better suited for black iPhones. Some have complained thie rubbery nature of the case may attract dirt or lint and prematurely age but I have not experienced that. So 4 stars.
5. PRICE- Frankly, for a simple bumper case, it's too much. Depending on the given day or color you want, these vary as much as 7 or 8 bucks. Monitor it and score one when it's no more than 20 bucks. It's a great case, but there's little to it and doesn't offer enough chic-ness or protection to warrant what some retailers or even Amaon charges. 2 stars.
6. PROTECTION- The most important criterion? Yep. But so many of us just can't handle those military grade cases that add inches to our phones and take up so much space in your pocket or handbag. So understand that every fall, spill, tumble, and oops is unique and that virtually any serious mishap could be fatal in this style of case. However, compared to similar models this is as good as it can get. But at the end of the day if you, like me, have opted for style over safety, be prepared to baby your phone because it would be foolish to expect this or any similar 'flexible' case to work a miracle. Also, I do not use a screen protector so cannot vouch for fit within this case. 2 1/2 stars.
Bottom line is Belkin has made an easy to put on/take off, attractive case that hasn't sacrificed any of the essential iPhone functions. I am more than satisfied with the purchase; like its name, this is my Essential daily iPhone case and I saved myself a lot of grief by ruling out less convenient bumper cases. Trial and error gets pricey! Highly recommend.
on October 10, 2010
This little $20 case may be the best purchase I've ever made!! I wish I could give this product 10 stars!!
Let me tell you a brief story:
I previously never had a case on my iPhone 4 before, because I thought the phone was too beautiful to mar with a case. Well that was a huge mistake, because 2 weeks ago, I accidentally dropped my iPhone 4 on the sidewalk and the screen shattered into about a million pieces, the sides of the iPhone were completely crushed in, and it basically looked like my iPhone had been run over by a tank. All this from a minor 4 foot drop out of my hand onto the ground.
I had to purchase a brand new iPhone from the Apple Store to replace my damaged one, and I vowed to always use a case from that point forward.
I had always loved Incipio's cases for my old iPhone 3GS, so I snapped up this NGP case for my iPhone 4. Really nice rubbery material that doesn't stick to your pockets, and feels very solid in your hands.
But I didn't know how well it would protect.
Well, last night I had a chance to find out. I was eating dinner with some friends and I was showing them something in the iPhone. I sneezed, and ridiculously the iPhone went FLYING out of my hands, across the room, bouncing like an acrobat on the HARD TILE FLOOR about 10 times and twirling & flipping in the air in between each bounce. it was HORRIFYING! I was watching it happen in slow motion, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. It was about a hundred times worse than the minor drop which destroyed my old iPhone 2 weeks prior.
When my new iPhone finally came to a screeching halt about 20 feet away, I was expecting the worst. I was terrified to pick up my iPhone, which was facing down on the hard tile ground. I picked it up, and LO AND BEHOLD, this Incipio NGP case COMPLETELY PROTECTED AND SAVED MY iPhone!!
My iPhone was still in MINT CONDITION... not a SINGLE SCRATCH NOR DENT on the entire phone!! AMAZING!!!! And the case was still completely intact as well... not a single mark on the case either! This case protected my iPhone and was ready to start serving duty again immediately!!
This case is a miracle worker!! I am sold for life on the Incipio NGP cases!!
Thank you, Incipio, for making such an outstanding product!!
on April 30, 2012
So my old beloved and relatively expensive Piel Frama wallet case was finally giving out after several years of service, so I was looking around to find an alternative that might work a bit better and hopefully save me some money. After carefully examining the photos of over a dozen models on Amazon and elsewhere, and after reading the user reviews, I finally ordered three different cases, hoping one would be suitable (interestingly enough, the only other reviewer here as of this post apparently also purchased three different cases to try.) Like the other reviewer, I found this to be the best of the bunch. It also happened to be the cheapest case I purchased at less than $7 total. What a bargain! I managed to shove a total of six(!) credit/id cards total in the two card pockets (three in each pocket) and an emergency $20 in the bill pocket. I advise against stuffing six cards in, though... it's a tight fit and stretches things out a bit... I think four cards total would probably be the max most would want to put in those two card pockets--- I just couldn't pare things down to only four cards. Everything fits properly and works well. The pockets hold the cards without fear of the cards falling out. The camera opening doesn't interfere with taking photos. The pocket flap doesn't flip your cards upside down and dump them out like some designs I've seen. The magnetic clasp closes in the back of the phone, not near the magnetic strip of your credit cards, so you need not worry about demagnetizing your cards. The phone corners are well protected in case you drop your phone. The dimensions are as small as they can be without sacrificing protection or utility. And the iPhone "bracket" that actually holds the iPhone in place leaves the entire face of the iPhone unobstructed, even at the far edges (it was this last feature that was lacking in the well-made Piel Frama since the leather enclosure around the iPhone in the Piel Frama interfered with swipes on the far edges of the screen.) This is a very well designed case. The only negative of this case is that the quality of the materials used doesn't seem as high as that of the Piel Frama so I don't know how long this will last... but with the difference of cost and the much better design of this case, I could buy several of these and still save a lot of money. If you are looking for a well-designed wallet case that works, definitely give this one a try.
No need to carry a separate wallet. Just grab this and your keys and go.
on December 12, 2010
Bought my iPhone 4 recently and was doing some research on cases for the iPhone. I did also personally check with one to many iPhone users who have used several other products and tried their cases on mine. The various products I tried either were flimsy, bulky, ugly looking and bad design. After some extensive research for such a small thing, I purchased this Incipio iPhone 4 case.
What really surprised me is the simplicity of the product and yet something that offers everything I needed.
1. Clean cover and finish (no finger prints)
2. Easy and precise access to all controls (all sides of the phone)
3. Solid Protection and cushioning
4. Firm grip to the phone
5. Scratch resistant (so far haven't had any, my usage is quite rough)
Cons (if you think that protecting your investment is more important, then this may not be a con for you)
1. Adds about 3-4 mm thickness to the phone, but not too much considering other products
2. Looses the side and the back beauty of the product as it is Matte Black
3. Does not offer front screen protection, you may need to protect it with some other screen protection product
Well, for the amount I paid, I think it offers more than what I needed. Its been only 2 weeks of usage so far and hope to test it some more time. Will post some updates after some rough use.
I will certainly recommend this product to users who need a simple and easy to use product to protect their iPhone.
Update - 12/21/2010
One drawback I noticed is that when I tried to plug in non conventional 3.5mm pins for audio out, the pin was not firmly inserted in. I guess the thickness of the material as well as the gap for the hole does not let the pin to be firmly placed. I had to remove the cover and plug the pin in. If you use non conventional audio out, you might want to think twice. Still recommend this product, as it provides great protection and cushion to the phone.
Update - 10/11/2011
My phone dropped off a few times on hard surfaces and not even a scratch. The drawback I previously pointed out is no longer a drawback. I use conventional 3.5 mm pins without having to remove the cover and sometimes blue tooth relay for the audio. Worthy investment of every penny.
on July 13, 2011
I just reviewed (and returned) the Case-Mate iPhone 4 Jett Metal Case, color=Grey so I thought it would make sense to review the case I replaced it with. The Jett was replacing a Case-Mate Barely There Slim Case for iPhone 4. So this is the third case on my quest toward a perfect iphone 4 case.
I really had a few simple requirements from a case when I started:
1) not bulky or stick to my pocket
2) protect the device from a moderate drop
Along the way, I added a few more grading criteria. (The reason I added them is in parenthesis.)
3) Don't degrade my reception (Jett)
4) protect the screen when placed face-down (barely there)
5) not too slippery (barely-there)
6) appearance (NGP)
A few high-level comparisons between these very different cases are important before I begin my review. The jett case is a metal bumper-style with a lip extending front and rear. This case is a plastic case with full rear and side coverage, and lip extending front. The jett case is not quite 4x the cost of this NGP. The barely-there is the most low profile case I could find, it is fairly slick and does not extend whatsoever to protect the screen.
The NGP ends up being a compromise. Per the above criteria:
1) It is not the lowest profile, but it's not too bulky. (Lose a half-star for bulk.) It is the perfect amount of grip. It feels perfectly smooth, and is easy to remove from pockets. At the same time, it grips fine in the hand. The polymer is much better than a softer rubbery or silicone material in that it does not stretch or stick.
2) It will definitely protect the device. It is not a hard plastic, but in fact it will take a good impact. It also has substantial corners (hence not the lowest profile) but not too obnoxious.
3) It doesn't degrade reception at all (unlike the Jett case which did)
4) It has a good bead around the front, again not the lowest profile, but not too obnoxiously big. So the screen is well protected.
5) As mentioned above, grips perfectly fine in the hand.
6) It is admittedly not a sexy looking case. The Jett looks really freaking slick (although a bit bulkier) whereas the barely-there looks great. This NGP is very plain. Not glittery, not feminine, and not hello-kitty. So it works for me, but definitely its appearance is not up to apple standards and would make Steve Jobs cringe. (So, lose a half-star for appearance.)
One nit is that the fit around the volume buttons is imperfect. It's difficult to explain, but here goes... The volume buttons slightly protrude from the iphone, whereas the inside of the case does not have corresponding cavities to marry up with these buttons. Consequently, the case bulges out very slightly at those buttons. It is easier than it should be to accidentally mash the case and hit a random "volume up or down function". This is acceptable, although they really should have done a better job of it. (So, lose a star for design).
All things considered, this NGP met all of my criteria except for the appearance being a bit bulky or utilitarian. If you are all about apple, this would definitely not be your case. But if your phone spends lots of time in your pocket or in your car cupholder or on your desk and maybe flipped on its face, this is going to keep your phone safe.
Perhaps this is subjective, but I would go as far as to say that the iphone4 is inherently less case-friendly than the iphone3. (assuming you want a full case). Iphone3 has far better looking (and lower profile) full cases due to the rounded back. Iphone4 cases have square backs and generally have flat sides which simply add more material and bulk. I hope the iphone5 returns to the rounded back as the rumors claim.
on September 24, 2012
I just received this one today, and cannot be happier with the aesthetics and function of this item. For the price I was a little skeptical of the quality, but it's quality is better than the asking price reflects in my opinion. There are tons of options out there for the iPhone 4/4s, but this one is an elegant solution without breaking your wallet (instead you can use this as a wallet, lol).
I'll go over some of the pros and cons I can see.
◉ Has a plastic holder for the iPhone -- fits exactly.
◉ Cut-outs for all iPhone buttons, charger, speakers, headphone jack, and camera.
◉ Outside is black leather (this isn't fine Italian leather, but it's decent quality).
◉ Magnetic closure is easy to open and close.
◉ Perfect size for the iPhone 4/4s
◉ Two card slots and a larger slot for storage of cards/money.
◉ More elegant looking than many of the bumper-style cases.
◉ Quick shipping from this vendor (Seller1ON1), received in two days and I'm not on Prime, this was standard shipping.
◎ The inside is not lined with leather (card slots area), I'm not sure what material it is, but I can feel a textural difference. It feels like a rubbery material. Not a big deal IMHO.
◎ The sewing thread in the item picture shows white thread, the one I received has a bronze color thread. Not a big deal either, but I think white or black would look better.
◎ Thin leather may not last that long.
I like this case, for the price it is a real value. I usually carry my iPhone in a front pants pocket and this will keep my phone from getting scratched by accident and can double as an "all-in-one" solution so I don't have to carry a wallet as well. I'm not sure how long this will last, but for the price I can always order another if this one gives out.
Overall I highly recommend this item.
on February 7, 2015
the case came sooner than I thought it would which was nice. But it was melted and warped. Definitely won't buy another $1 case!
on September 26, 2012
I was really excited for this phone cover, and even more excited when it arrived early.
That was the end of my excitement.
A corner of the cover which holds it in place was broken off, and part of the design was cracked. The case will fit on my phone and it looks cute, so I am not going to hassle to return it since it was so inexpensive. However, the price matches the quality. I have purchased better covers for less $. Only buy this product if you plan on using it as decoration once in a while, because it will not protect from any damage.
on October 17, 2013
I absolutely hate this case. I feel scammed. I look at my case and I look at the picture and I just feel disappointed. The picture is nothing like the case. My case that I got looks absolutely terrible. It looks like somebody just printed a color picture in very very very low quality. I want my money back. I HATE this case.