Straight up, I love my iPhone. This phone has changed my life completely. I’m the type of guy who loves to have what he wants at his finger tips – information, access to people, the ability to watch my tennis videos, and stay connected to the world around me. Recently I had the unfortunate experience of having my car towed, and I was glad to have the phone near me to figure out how to get to the pound, what TTC route made sense to take, and let’s not forget having my music library and my earbuds to keep me calm through it all.
My iPhone rarely leaves my side, which means the hunt for the right case has to be able to withstand coming to the gym, travelling on a plane, sitting in my tennis bag during a match and sitting in my favourite jeans while on the streetcar. The iPhone is starting to make its way through my office as the communication device of choice for many, and I cannot tell you how many have rocked a nude phone (sans case) or a cracked one. Immediately when I purchased my phone at the Telus Store at Eaton Centre, I was determined to avoid the fate of looking at my apps through cracked glass. So I started off with one case, and then it became a bad habit – collecting cases like I collect pens, t-shirts, and bags (those who know me, know my vices :)). Note my progression below – with each case, I was hoping to avoid something that annoyed me with the previous case. Today, I stand by the Otter Defender Series. Once I worked through all of my superifical, neurotic bullshit and worked through the tradeoffs, this was the case for me.
Speck (Hard Shell) – I was so excited to have the bloody phone that I would have wrapped it in duct tape. Months earlier I had the 8830 World Phone Blackberry – loved it, but figured it did not make sense to have both this and a blackberry for the office, hence I switched to the Instinct. After suffering with the Instinct (the touch screen lost its touch and it did not integrate with my mail folders), and nearly leaving Telus, I held out until the iPhone was available. I settled for the Speck case since I knew a member of TLGTA had rocked a similar case in another colour.
It was easy to move the phone into the case and I rocked it for nearly 3 full weeks. It was easy to move the phone in and out of the case, easy to pull it out of my jeans side pocket, but this bitch did not protect the silver chrome around the foam. Lint, dust speckles started to line the front of the phone while in the case and it drove me nuts. There was also no protection for the charging area. It also was not immune to getting scratched and when the black plastic hits light, all of the imperfections were more apparent. This one had to go, period.
Speck (Soft Shell) – Covering the chrome was my biggest beef with Speck #1, hence I tried out this soft shell case which also protects the main button on the front of the phone. Love this case even though there is little protection for the jack and the charging area. It did not make the phone as bulky as the previous case. I rocked this one for much longer than the hard shell version from the same family. Guess what got me with this one? It attracted fuzz around it like nobody’s business. I did not notice it at first, but try pulling out of a coat pocket, track pants and your favourite jeans day in and out for a month and what do you get? A Popple (click here if you don’t know what a Popple is). I admit that I took a cotton swab to that shit, no word of a lie and even soaked it in water and patted it dry, but in the end, I migrated off this case as well.
Agent 18 – I must have been thinking about the environment when I picked up this case. I’m hardly a tree-hugger, but once in a while, I’ll give time and effort to worthwhile causes, including anything “green”. What attracted me to this case was the fact that it came with a little stand so I could rock it sideways with the stand. The iPhone doubles as my alarm clock – so this made sense. Letting the little “apple” show through must have also been some preoccupation of mine at the time. It also covered the chrome pretty while. I eventally got over this one because I found it tricky to take off, plus despite the tight fit, all kinds of mess got between the case and the phone. Clear wasn’t such a good idea afterall.
SwitchEasy Rebel (Black/Yellow) – This case was a long time coming. I trusted iLounge’s rating of the case, A-, and felt it would add a little colour and stability as I moved from the office, to home and to the tennis court. I had ordered it from SwitchEasy direct, waited from December to February for it to be delivered, sought a payment resolution from PayPal against SwitchEasy, won it and obtained it from another seller. It was worth the wait and delivered where the others fell short. The case didn’t collect dust. The chrome was covered. SwitchEasy also gives great bonus items – dock for the phone, 2 protective screens, and protection for the dock. It felt like assembling Optimus Prime or dressing Lady Gaga before and after charging the phone, but I was fine with it. The design was eye catching and while it was thicker than Agent18, I lived with it. I may reuse this case again even though my dog ate the tiny dock protector that it came with.
Otter (White) – Today I use the Defender as my main case and I love this case. The phone has two layers to it, a hardshell skeleton that is easy to take off with a built in screen protector and a rubber exterior. It’s tricky to put on and take off, but it defends against my severe clumsiness. I’ve dropped this phone many times and I’m glad that it’s still in one piece. It gets its fair share of dirt, but with a quick wipe its clean again. The armour does increase the size of the phone, but the protection value it offers outweighs any reservations about its size. It also comes with a harness that makes it reminiscent of the pager I used to rock back in the 90s. I have yet to wear the iPhone in the harness (I’ve seen folks wear it and it looks like the Zack Morris pager that fits the only cell phone he used to carry at the ‘Max’), but the case allows me to watch videos while on the plane handsfree and allows the phone to double as a standalone alarm clock while I’m counting sheep. Bar none, this is the best case that I’ve found to date and if they expand their colour palette to include green, it surely won’t be my last Otter.
Clothing this phone took me from the superifical to the practical. I want this phone to last at least two more Gs before I have to spend another one with Apple.