There are people who need iPhone protection and then there are people who really need iPhone protection.
I fall into the former category, as I like to think I’m pretty careful with my iPhone 4, but since I’ve been testing the X-Protect from G-Form, I feel as if I could toss it across the room and it would be just fine.
The G-Form folks say the $39.99 X-Protect offers 360 degrees of extreme-impact protection, and I believe them. The case is made with something called Reactive Protection Technology, which produces a high-tech dense foam surrounded by a rigid exterior skeleton. The interior of the case is soft and squishy like a wetsuit. The X-Protect doesn’t have any type of covering for the phone’s screen.
There is a video on the G-Form website of iPhones being punished by shooting them like hockey pucks at a real NHL goalie. The phones survive.
Available in nine colors, the X-Protect is easy to install and slide in and out of a front pants pocket.
G-Form also makes cases for tablets and laptops. An iPad case is shown in a video being dropped more than 100,000 feet from a weather balloon and surviving with no injuries.
The X-Protect is perfect for the athlete, adventurist or klutz.
• Pros: Unrivaled protection. Nice looks.
• Cons: None
• On the Web: www.g-form.com
I’m a fan of iPhone screen protectors. I’ve been using and abusing screen protectors since I was using a Palm Treo.
The biggest hassle is the installation. Getting the thing lined up just right so the buttons and openings are exactly aligned can be frustrating, and rarely are you able to remove and retry the installation.
ScreenPro has a new line of screen protectors for the iPhone that includes a nearly foolproof installation system. The screen protector comes mounted in a plastic template that perfectly fits your iPhone 4 or 4S. The protector is sandwiched between two sheets of plastic. Simply peel off the first tab to expose the screen protector, snap your iPhone in the template and remove it. The screen protector will adhere to your phone in perfect alignment. Then use a credit card to work any bubbles to the edges and peel away the second tab.
A video on the ScreenPro website shows the entire process completed in one minute. I can vouch for that time. I spent more time cleaning dust off the iPhone than I did installing the screen protector.
The ScreenPro is available in clear ($14.99), matte ($15.99) or privacy ($17.99).
SCREENPRO CLEAR SCREEN
• Pros: Easy to install. Good protection.
• Cons: Not cheap.
• On the Web: www.screenpro.com
I’ve used several iPhone cases that had a built-in battery to recharge the phone’s internal power source, but those were bulky and useless anchors once they were used up.
The Third Rail Mobility Slim Case for iPhone 4/4S is a two-part system of hard case and battery. The idea is you keep the phone in the case and attach the battery when you need a charge. When the battery is used up, simply pop it off and slip it in your pocket or bag.
The Slim Case system, which costs $89.99, has both case and battery. Additional batteries are available for $59.99. The batteries can stack to provide days and days of power. Each battery holds 1250 mAh of power, a bit less than an iPhone 4 battery, which holds 1420 mAh.
The battery is easy to install and remove. It might be a bit too easy to remove. In my jeans pocket, I was able to make the battery disengage from the case more than once. In a bag, that was not an issue.
The battery is charged through a micro USB cable, either while mounted to the case or by itself. The battery can also provide power to your other portable devices that charge via USB with an included cable. Battery life is displayed with a 5-LED status indicator.
THIRD RAIL SLIM CASE
• Pros: Nice design. Stackable batteries.
• Cons: A bit too easy to knock the battery off the case.
• On the Web: www.thirdrailmobility.com