A hands-on of Speck’s ‘Fitted’ for the iPhone 4, as well as something of a head-to-head with my old iFrogz Luxe case.
Apple finally came through and shipped my Speck Fitted case for my iPhone 4 (their treat) after over a month and a half of waiting. The problem likely lies in the fact that virtually every iPhone 4 user has requested either an Apple Bumper or one of the select cases Apple had prepared for this Program.
But as for the case itself, prior to ordering this case, I did a bit of research in effort to find the little bits of info that were available for the few cases Apple was offering. I was looking for a case similar to my iPhone 3GS’s old Incase Slider, but maybe something with more of a grippy material like the iFrogz Luxe case. I’d reluctantly bought my Luxe case from AT&T on launch day due to the lack of selection, and have come to accept as a decent alternative. Long story short, I think I’ve settled on the Speck Fitted.
Incase recently disappointed me when they update their Slider line of cases for the iPhone 4. For a mere $35 you get nothing but a slab of plastic, minimal cushioning, and likely lackluster drop protection. I’d seen a few reviews, watched a few YouTube unboxings of the Speck Fitted case and figured the only downside I could fathom might be the material and design aback the case.
First of all this case is not a slider. Ever since I’d begun using the Incase Slider with my 3GS over a year ago, I thought that the slider form-factor was the only way to go. It’s probably the sleekest and simplest form-facto to use, but I must say that the robustness of this Speck case has a lot to do with the fact that it’s not a slider. There’s no clasping mechanism on the back, nor does the case rely on sheer friction to stay together. This case uses a bezel-type system that puts a snug fit to the iPhone 4 and is significantly more difficult to remove from the iPhone. The construction of this case would likely do a good job of staying in place if dropped. A bezel-type plastic piece snaps onto the face of the iPhone while the backplate holds the iPhone in place. Overall it makes for a very snug fit without a lot of looseness or openness around the phone.
The Fitted also provides better protection in the critical areas on the iPhone 4. If you can see in the images I’ve posted, the iFrogz leaves the volume/silent switch area of the iPhone 4 very exposed. The Speck Fitted case wraps around every side and edge of the phone, and while it doesn’t offer covering for the sleep/wake or volume buttons (think, Apple Bumpers), everything is protected sufficiently.
The build quality seems to be a huge step up from the iFrogz Luxe in particular, and probably one of the better made cases available. The Luxe has its issues with the clasping mechanism on the back, as well as there being a little give in the side of the case. The cut-outs seem not to be an issue on either the iFrogz Luxe or the Speck Fitted, although the quality of the Fitted is better.
Another topic of concern with iPhone 4 cases is potential interference with the flash. Since the introduction of the iPhone 4’s LED flash, consumers (and finally case makers) have realized that the materials used with these cases around the camera/flash cut-outs can cause reflection that can help distort and/or washout images with flash. I can report that I’ve seen no problem with flash interference with either one of these cases. The material used on the design on the fewer of the Speck Fitted case is indeed some kind of cloth. It does, however, seem to be treated or have a thin layer of some protection on top of it. While this adds style to the case, this material, along with the rubber Speck logo may not be as robust over time as one would hope. The black material used for the internals and edges of the case is similar to that of what the entire Luxe case is made of. It’s made of some type of plastic with a rubbery outer layer for enhanced grip. On that note there is no velvety smooth material inside the Speck Fitted. However, the inside is made of that same soft, rubbery plastic that shouldn’t scratch the glass backing of the iPhone 4.
Only time will tell how well this case holds up. But I’m sure I’ll be leaving the iFrogz Luxe behind in favor of this Speck Fitted. It seems to provide a little better protection for my iPhone 4, while adding a bit of style to it as well. This particular Fitted case is the Darkest Tartan Plaid style. Speck offers about three or four other variety of this exact case in different colors and patterns.
My actual iFrogz Luxe Review can be found here.