Belkin Micra Flex iPhone 3G/3GS Case
Company: Belkin

Price: $24.99
http://catalog.belkin.com

Incase Slider Case for iPhone 3G
Company: Incase

Price: $40.00
http://www.goincase.com

As a relatively new writer for MyMac.com, there are times when I know that my editor, John Nemerovski, likes to test my ability to take on new challenges. Funny how editors can be that way, huh? When he recently asked me to write a review for an iPhone case from Belkin and combine it with a review from fellow MyMac.com writer Roger Born, I knew this was going to be one of those situations.

Anyone with an iPhone is always on the lookout for a case that will protect their phone, while providing decent protection for their investment. I’ve tried going without a case with my own iPhone for a while, but after recently cracking the back case near the connector port, I’ve learned my lesson. I’ve also tried a number of different iPhone cases, some being bulkier than others, and have found that I prefer the slimmest hard case I can lay my hands upon. I love the design and the feel of my iPhone, and I’m always looking for a case that will preserve that as much as possible.

When Belkin sent me their new Micra Flex case, just one look at it told me it was going to fit the bill nicely. The hard, polycarbonate shell was so thin it’s hardly noticeable on the phone. It couldn’t be much more than 2 mm thick! When I held it and slid it into an out of my front pocket, I could hardly tell there was a case on the phone.

The soft exterior surface of the case gave a good tactile response that stayed quite clean, even after hanging out in the front pocket of my jeans, which for most people acts as a lint magnet.

The iPhone slid into the case easily. The fit and finish were top-notch as well. The openings made for every button or port lined up perfectly and allowed easy access to nearly everything. Unfortunately, I found that the opening for the on/off switch made it a bit difficult to fully depress the button. The case stayed put securely, which is one reason why I prefer hard cases over softer silicone cases.

One interesting feature of the Micra Flex case is a U-shaped cutout on the back of the case, near the bottom edge of the phone. At first I thought, what the heck is this? I then realized that it facilitated removing the phone from the case. a simple press on the center of the cutout helped the phone pop right out. Nice! We’ve all experienced the joy of attempting to remove a phone from its case without marring the phone or case in the process. This feature eliminates that worry altogether.

After playing around with the Micra Flex for a few weeks, I began to wonder how my buddy Roger Born was making out with his Incase Slider Case.

Fade to misty dream sequence – I can hear Roger Born’s voice speaking

After I cracked the face of my iPhone, my wife gave me a spare Incase cover. It is an attractive dark metallic gray, and has a top piece and a smaller bottom piece that locks together over the iPhone. It provides excellent protection, and if I had been using it, I would not have a cracked phone. The iPhone works anyway, crack or not. The case is $40.

These cases are a joy of design. They fit perfectly, which is to be expected for something created for your iPhone, right?  But more than that, every port and orifice are also perfectly placed and sized, as they should be. There is not even the faintest whiff of sloppiness to the whole thing. How rare is that?

Someone who knows perfection in injection molding must have been the one who created these cases. Every curve, every edge has the evidence of not just good design, but loving perfection of design. Holding your iPhone with the Incase on it gives your hand tactile pleasure. And your eye receives more pleasure from the barely there case as well, because it looks perfect, like it was a planned part of your iPhone. And this does not even begin to address the perfection in how the case snuggly and securely joins – rather, locks together. How did they do that so well?

What I have with my iPhone protected by the Incase cover is peace of mind, and while that’s not a tangible aspect, it’s important when considering a case to buy.

If I would have had to chose my case, I would have likely chosen one of several colors and patterns. As it was, I inherited my case from my wife, who probably bought it off the rack at Best Buy or OfficeMax, where the choices are limited. Even more so, would I have had to choose between several choices of material; phenolic resin, polymers, rubberized or stretch plastics.  Who could choose from all that?

Incase, as I found from their website, also makes cases for every other product Apple makes. They have a case, sleeve, or cover for every laptop, nano, iPod, and Touch in existence.

The Incase website has ”projects” that include rare art and design that can be added to any of these cases, as a personal one-of-a-kind touch for the person who wants something unique for their Apple product. I am looking at getting a zippered cloth sleeve for my MacBook, in a woodgrain design.

To top it all off, this is an AMERICAN company. Gads, that is GREAT or what?!

Thanks for letting me talk about this neat little case I got for my iPhone.

MyMac.com Review Ratings:
Belkin Micra Flex iPhone 3G/3GS Case: 8 out of 10
Incase Slider Case for iPhone 3G: 9 out of 10

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