I’m a phone case fanatic. If my phone’s not in a case, I feel like it’s undressed, unprotected for the world. So the challenge with a new phone is often that the cases lag behind. The iPhone 4, which I got yesterday (mock me or applaud me now) is no exception. A few thoughts for those pondering case options.
My Old But Perfect Flip Case
I tried several cases when I got my iPhone 3G two years ago and settled on the perfect one, a Belkin Folio Flip. It’s awesome. Since it’s leather, it slides into my pants pocket without getting stuck or picking up lint the way some of those rubber cases do.
Better, it has a cover that flips over the top of the screen, keeping it always protected:
Inside the cover, a small bit of Velcro keeps it in place. I like that, rather than having a bulky clip or metal catch.
Flip the cover back, and it tucks on the rear of the phone, nice and out the way:
Inside the cover, there’s also a small pocket where I keep a spare credit card along with some emergency cash:
This has saved me time and again, when I’ve forgotten my wallet for some reason.
After two years, this case is still going strong. I wondered if Belkin had a new version for the iPhone 4. While waiting in line yesterday for the new iPhone, I visted the Belkin site and found that they did, one called the Verve Folio. But apparently, it’s not yet available for order. Meanwhile, the Apple store itself seemed to only have those stupid “bumper” cases — and in only one color. What to do?
POSTSCRIPT: Belkin no longer lists the Verve Folio on its site in the US. It is still listed as coming in the UK here.
Old Case, Meet New Phone
Well, after I got my iPhone 4, I tried sliding it within my old case. It fit. Like fit really well. It fits just slightly looser than my iPhone 3G, so I’m careful not to hold the case upside down, lest the phone slip out if the flip top is open for some reason. But to be honest, the old phone would have slipped out, if I held it that way.
The pictures above show the new phone in the old case. I know the pictures aren’t the greatest – I shot them with my old phone. But hopefully you can see that it does fit within the old case really well.
As for the camera, there’s an opening in the back of the case for the 3G camera. This works fine for the iPhone 4 camera (though it covers the flash). You have to be a little more careful to make sure the edge of the hole doesn’t block your shot. But I shot this video and this photo:
out of the case yesterday just fine. As for the front camera, nothing in the case blocks that. You can’t put the phone in a dock with this case (I don’t think), but I don’t anyway. You can easily plug in your charger through the bottom opening.
Buy An Old Case & Save!
I’ll probably get the new Belkin case, when it’s finally available. But if you’re pondering a case option, I’d highly recommend getting one of the old Belkin Folio cases until your perfect choice comes along. Since it’s now “old,” I found it here on Amazon for only $10. If you don’t mind pink, you can get one here for only $5. (Both those links and the Amazon ones below, by the way, earn me a tiny bit if you purchase through them).
Don’t like flip cases? Well, my wife has one of those Paul Frank rubber cases for her iPhone 3G. It’s now holding her iPhone 4 pretty well. Looking at Amazon, I see these cases now going for $9, half the normal price (such as here and here and here).
Bottom line. Can’t find a case designed for the iPhone 4? Go try some of the old iPhone 3G and 3GS cases. You’ll probably get a nice one that’s heavily discounted and which will fit your new phone really well, until the specifically designed cases come along. And they will come, plus some are out there already. Below is an Amazon search box that lists some of the iPhone 4 cases currently available
Saving On Screen Protectors
Along with cases, I’m also a big screen protector person. I’ve become a big fan of Zagg protectors after I got one for my iPad. I went with the full body option, since I’m still waiting for a decent iPad case to come along. The back protector gives me a nice grip feeling, while the front slid on pretty well, and after a day, the little microbubbles did go away as promised.
NOTE: The link above to Zagg is an affiliate link, so I earn if you buy through it. To learn more about my experiences with Zagg protectors, both good and bad, see Review: My Life With Zagg invisibleShield Protectors.
Another tip. Leave the screen covering that came with the iPhone originally on, until a new one arrives. Cut the two tabs at the bottom of the front and rear, and you’ve got a nice temporary protector that doesn’t get in the way of using your phone, especially within a case. Also be sure to cut the openings around the cameras, flash, microphone and speaker. I left the speaker covered and could hardly hear anything, at first. I thought my phone was broken until I realized my dumb goof.
Oh, About The iPhone 4
A couple of people have asked me what I think about the iPhone 4. I might do a longer post on this in the near future. Originally, I hadn’t planned to get one at all. I was (and still remain) convinced that a version will come to Verizon in the near future, and I’d love to leave AT&T. But the peer pressure got to me.
OK, it wasn’t all peer pressure. I’m out at too many places where it would be handy to have a phone that shoots video (and I didn’t know about iVideoCamera that lets the 3G do this, thanks Greg Powers for the tip). So many people use the iPhone that I also felt I needed to have it to better understand some search apps. Most of all, I still like the iPhone interface over Android. Sorry Android fans and those who work on Android, but I do.
Android’s getting there, really getting there, so maybe down the line, I’ll make the jump. That’s especially so if the touch typing improves. But for now, I’m staying iPhone. Having skipped a generation, I decided to dive in.
So far, it’s not that magical. The screen looks sharper to me, but I haven’t had an “oh wow” moment. I’ve only been to a few web sites, and the text is crisper. But I don’t feel my life has changed because of it. Maybe when more apps that use the higher resolution appear, I’ll change my mind.
The multitasking, as best I can tell, is really just task swapping in most cases. You shut an app, go to another one, and if you go back, the app you left is still where you left off. That’s nice, especially since I’ve missed this from my time with Android phones. But I’d sure have loved if I could have somehow swiped between apps, like swiped and moved the screen to a new one as with Spaces on the Mac.
What I notice most is that it is so much faster than my iPhone 3G. That’s to be expected, since my other phone was two years old. If I had an iPhone 3GS, I don’t know that I would have made the jump, since that has video, probably the biggest thing I was lacking on my old phone. I’d have likely upgraded to iOS 4.
For more of my thoughts on the iPhone, as well as the iPhone versus Android, see some of my past posts below:
- No, Your First Impression Isn’t Wrong: Android ISN’T As Nice As The iPhone
- Upgrading The iPhone to iOS4 – The Quick & Dirty Way
- Life With Verizon Mifi, The iPad, Mobile Broadband & Everything (covers the Sprint EVO a bit, here)