iPhone Protective Cover Reviews: Shields verses Skins
Most new owners of the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS are looking for a iPhone protective cover to protect their new phones. A few protective solutions have crossed my desk over the past year and I tested them out on my iPhone 3G. Most reviews I have read online are either written by someone who is making it up or they got the product and looked it over quickly and then wrote a review. I actually have used these two solutions I am reviewing. Novel I know.
There are various ways you can protect your iPhone, using a shield or case/skin. For this purposes of this review I will be focusing on the invisibleShield (TM) for the Apple iPhone 1st Gen/3G/3GS and the OtterBox for 3G/3GS iPhone.
OtterBox for 3G/3GS iPhone
OtterBox puts out a nice series of skins and cases that provide a high-level of protection again most of what you put you iPhone through. They range from starter skins from OtterBox Impact Series ($19.95) to the OtterBox Defender
( $49.95), which offers a highest level of protection. I tested the OtterBox Defender for the iPod iTouch and iPhone 3G. All I have to say is, AWESOME! The OtterBox Defender Series provides 3 layers protection. The first layer consist of a very thin clear membrane that covers the iPhones touch screen and prevent scratches and dings with out compromising control. The second is a hard polycarbonate skeleton that snaps on and surrounds your the iPhone. The final layer that wrapped around the skeleton is a silicone skin acting as a shock absorber. The access to all buttons, ports and functions is excellent and I didn’t feel like the iPhone was an less responsive. It took me about 2 minutes to put the OtterBox Defender
over my iPhone and most of that was waiting for my cleaning solution to dry.
The OtterBox Defender iPhone version of the case has a belt clip, that can be replaced for $14.95 if you loose it and
The OtterBox Defendercase fits perfectly into you hand and is very ergonomic. It has a integrated shield that allows for full and easy control of your iPhone. It also has a lot of shock absorbency, snug fit, and it looks great. If you want to go up in save some money but don’t want to sacrifice quality you can get the OtterBox Impact Series.
OtterBox Defender is a bit bulky for some and you have to remove the skin if you plan on using a dock to synch. Works better when you just plug-in using the cable.
invisibleShield (TM) by ZAGG
The invisibleShield (TM) has gotten a lot of reviews and was praised by MacWorld and MacLife. The kit is $24.95 (+ tax and shipping) and comes with all the tools you will need to get started. Overall it comes with a lot of documentation, they even have a video on their site to walk you through the process.
The product is low profile, adding no extra bulk around your iPhone. It is scratch proof, adds grip and has a lifeime guarantee. Zagg’s invisibleShield has great customer service to answer questions and there is a lot of documentation on the product through Zagg and other outlets.
The reality of installing the product over your iPhone is not as easy as they make it appear. The invisibleShield says that it is easily installed and gives you all the materials to get you started. After cleaning your hands and prepping your iPhone you have to spray it with a “Wunder” solution that will help you apply the invisibleShield . Now with my new phone in hand I was a bit reluctant to spray it with anything. But I did. Now wet I tried applying the shield. The guy on the video makes it look so easy. What ever I did I was unable to get the invisibleShield on my iPhone and have all the port openings line up. I found the invisibleShield ill fitting and no matter what I did I could not get the receiver opening and Menu button to line up. Either opening was always partially covered up. The invisibleShield sides would not wrap neatly around the curved sides as shown in the video and I wound up frustrated, with two balled up clumps of military grade plastic. This product was overall a disappointment. Customer Service was great however and I sent back the invisibleShield and got my money back.