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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 06:21 PM   #1
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How do you protect your iphone? A Review.

Short Version:

Being that I'm an overprotective person I decided to invest a bit into protecting my Fido IPhone 3g. After reading some posts and doing some online research as well as trying out different cases and sleeves in the apple store I've come to a personal conclusion:

Power Support Anti-Glare Film Set for iPhone 3G + Contour Design Hardskin + Marware "C.E.O.™ Sleeve for iPhone = Satisfying protection.

Quick Facts:
- Marware Sleeve design allows easy access to phone.
- Very comfortable when placing iphone in and out of the Marware Sleeve.
- The Contour Hardskin can fit inside the Marware Sleeve snugly. However loose enough that an overprotective IPhone owner such as myself does not feel concerned.
- Very minor issue - Marware Sleeve velcro can be a bit noticeable in quieter environments. It's velcro what do you expect?
- Anti-Glare film is noticeable to the trained eye. It Does reduce brightness, however by so little that it is not noticeable after a few moments. It actually reminded me I was using roughly 20% brightness. At full brightness couldn't tell a difference.
- Anti-Glare noticeably reduces prints and smudges on the screen. They can still be seen but at a significantly reduced effect. (guesstimate is 60-70% harder to see)
- With Contour Case Hardskin attached, utilizing the Mute Button on the Iphone is difficult as it leaves no access to slip a finger or nail any room to flick up once it is flicked down. (will post pictures in more in-depth review).

For the most part using the above mentioned pieces I am very satisfied with my Iphone protection. Nothing is 100% protected but I think it significantly reduces chances of scratches or fall damage.

Hope that satisfies most questions, that's a wrap for the quick review. I'll post a more in-depth review right after this one.
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 06:22 PM   #2
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All products reviewed were purchased at a local Apple Store.

As an iPhone owner I am very conscious of protecting my iPhone. God only knows how much money we actually spend on it each month. That being said, I felt the need to go and figure what best suited my needs as a casual but overcautious iPhone owner. I wanted something that gave protection suitable for most situations. At the very least something that looked decent but was functional.

My solution I feel offers a very decent protection all the while keeping my iphone sleek and cool looking. Even stylish as some would say. At the very least more complementary then not.

I started off with the Marware "C.E.O.™ Sleeve for iPhone. At first I fumbled a bit trying to get the iPhone into and out of the case. I was not used to it, however after a day or two my fingers adjusted to the feel of the case and I find it very comfortable. It felt a bit bulky, but when comparing it to some of the other ones it did not seem as bad. Besides the clip protrudes from the back which cuts out half the bulk feeling unlike some of the back-clips that clip-on for other models. The velcro lip-attachment is not bad, could also be a tad stronger, I would have preferred a strong magnet though as that makes no sound. I once walked into a meeting where I forgot to mute my phone first. When I tried to covertly remove the phone to switch the mute button, the velcro rip was equivalent to scratching nails on a blackboard. Least to say it was awkward. Although after inspecting the company website I found this little quote;
Quote:
The black C.E.O. Premiere uses a secure magnetic enclosure while the vanilla uses durable Velcro®. The black C.E.O. Premiere sold anywhere other than on Marware's website will use Velcro®.
While good to know it does come in a magnet version, that version is inaccessible to people who rather pick it up in store.

The case also came with a free film to protect the screen from scratches. It was a pretty good plastic cover. Once put on properly I couldn't really tell it was on.

Pro's:
- Very nice leather look.
- Easy to grip the iphone whether taking it out or placing it inside.
- Came with a thin screen protector plastic cover
- Does what it was made for.
- Comes with a Magnet option if bought from the website

Con's:
- Velcro lip connector could be slightly stronger, but still does the job well.
- It is a hip-case and as such will always feel bulkier then non-hip-cases.
- $34.99 is a price I find a bit much.
- It only comes with the Magnet option from the online store.

Bottom Line: Great Hip-Case. I was very satisfied with the purchase. Likely you would too.

The next product I tested was the Power Support Anti-Glare Film Set for iPhone 3G.

Until now I had been using a clear protective film from the Marware hip-case. Although almost entirely not noticeable I felt I needed something more. That is where the Anti-Glare Film came in. There isn't much to say about this product. It is a matte finish which really does remind me of my MacBook Pro screen which has a matte finish to it. I find it ridiculously reduces the smudge factor on the screen. It does have a slightly reduced brightness effect, however I feel it is completely justified by the scratch protecting barrier it creates. I truthfully don't even notice the reduced brightness after a few minutes of playing with it. Actually until I put on the Anti-Glare film I had been using brightness set at about 20% or less. I only now put it at the full 100% and it looks gorgeous. The Anti-Glare film comes with clear instructions which anyone competent could follow. The feel is certainly different, my finger doesn't slide as smoothly as it did without the Anti-Glare film. It's not a bad feel, just a different feel that I'm getting used to. Lastly the 'Power Support Anti-Glare Film Set for iPhone 3G' comes with two Anti-Glare films! Yup if one gets scratched or needs replacement for whatever reason, you've got a backup.

Note: I actually asked an Apple employee in store to place the Anti-Glare film on my iPhone. I figured I might as well let them do it so they can be responsible for any screw ups. I'd like to report they did a fantastic job!

Pro's:
- Anti-Glare works
- Reduces visibility of smudges, not 100% but enough to notice the difference.
- Comes with two Anti-Glare films.

Con's:
- Does reduce brightness, but as I said it is very negligible difference.
- Is noticeable to the trained eye.
- For $14.95 I'm not sure it was worth it. Then again sometimes you do need to bite the bullet to save way way more in case of accidents.

Bottom Line: I'll probably never know it until the day I actually scratch the screen. When that day comes I bet I'll be praising myself to high heaven that I just saved myself a little fortune.

Next on the list is the Contour Design Hardskin.

I bought the black version. Why I chose the black (I happen to have a 16g White iPhone) is because it simply looked the best out of th So far I've found it easy to snap on, snap off. Feels really nice in my hand, not too grippy not too hard-plastic feel. Looks overall sleek and nice. I won't lie to you and say I think it is stylish. It is not bad, but I have seen some others that look better. In fact I wouldn't necessarily recommend this case. I would say that I do have it, and would also tell you that I do believe you would be satisfied with your purchase of this case if you so chose it. Actually from the Contour Design website their Fusion iPhone 3G case is probably much more stylish. I haven't seen it in real life so I am basing off pictures.

To be continued... but not by much more! :p
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Last edited by VNJ85; Aug 12th, 2008 at 03:48 PM.
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 06:32 PM   #3
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I've considered a similar approach given I like having a belt clip, but find every wrap around leather case w/clip, to be too bulky.

Plus having an exposed iPhone on the hip screams of, 'mug me'.

Do you not find the Contour Silicone a tad grippy when sliding out of the Marware case? I was thinking of something more smooth, such as an Agent 18 case inside the CEO Sleeve.
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 06:46 PM   #4
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I've certainly had past phones attached by clips lifted off me while walking in a public area (painful experiences I assure you). I thought about this, and what it comes down to is that you are right, it does ask for a bit of trouble however no different then having a blackberry or any other top of the line phone on a clip (which many people do). That is why I think the Contour Design Hardskin is very valuable especially for the situations such as outside of work, or socializing/hanging out with friends. Where having a clip can be a bit over-pretentious (and bulky), this cover still looks nice and can slip into a pocket very nicely.

The grip on the Contour Hardskin I find, feels very nice in my hands. Hard-plastics I feel can slip much more easily out of a hand. As for sliding it in and out of the Marware case - you are right it is a tad grippy. I called it snug in the review since I found it wasn't a problem. It is noticeable but it certainly slides in and out easily enough that I was really ok with it. I'd be concerned if I felt I had to stretch the Marware case to fit the phone in. This is not the situation as it slides in nicely. Try it out in store a few times to get a feel.

As for the bulkiness, there is certainly a factor of that with any clip-ons of any type. I think the Marware design reduces that as much as possible since the clip is built into the back and not an addition attachment.

The Agent18 Case does look nice I haven't any experience with it though. I'd certainly try it if I had the funds. It certainly looks like a suitable option with the Marware sleeve.
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