A Look At 4 Different iPhone/Touch Cases From Speck

On April 22, 2009

The day I got my new MacBook I immediately put a Speck SeeThru hard shell on it. At $49.95 it was expensive but, having now used it for a number of months, it was worth every penny. The case is clear, doesn’t add much thickness or weight and offers amazing protection for my MacBook, giving me piece of mind without my having to "baby" it. I highly recommend it!





















Speck was kind enough to send us a few of their iPhone and iPod Touch cases to review so today we’ll take a quick look at a few. We’ll look at their CandyShell, PixelSkin and QwikDraw for iPhone3G and their Fitted case for iPod Touch.



From Speck:
Never before has the flexibility and protection of a soft rubberized case been combined with the durability and scratch protection of a sleek hard shell in a seamless single-piece design… until now. CandyShell’s soft, colorful rubberized interior keeps your iPhone 3G insulated from life’s bumps and knocks, while the shiny outer hard shell protects it from scratches and lets you slip it in and out of pockets easily.

* Lightweight, flexible one-piece design combines the insulation of a skin with the durability and sleekness of a hard shell
* Glossy outer hard shell slips in and out of pockets easily and protects from scratches
* Colorful, contrasting rubberized interior offers extra shock absorption from drops
* Includes cleaning cloth and removable screen protector film for extra scratch resistance
* Openings to all ports, controls and sensors
* Available in four deliciously sweet and savory color combinations
* Voted "Best of Show" at Macworld 2009 by iLounge.com and iProng.com!

O U R    T A K E . . .

The CandyShell offers a nice compromise between a hard shell and  soft skin. The inner material offers both scratch and shock protection while the hard outer shell is tough, not prone to tearing the way skins are and feels good in the hand. The case completely wraps the iPhone in these two layers of protection while leaving the screen completely accessible.

It offers this protection without adding any significant size or weight to the device. This is always a consideration! It leaves all ports and connectors accessible although the silence switch becomes a bit difficult to reach due to the shell and the small opening. You can reach it, but you have to push your finger in a bit to do so.

The screen is not, of course, protected at all. Then again, it is never protected by ANY case with this kind of form-factor.

It comes with a screen protector to help prevent scratching but nothing, short of a material that inconveniently drapes over the screen, is going to protect the glass if the iPhone drops and lands on its face.

What I Like:
Tough on the outside, soft on the inside
Nice color choices
Holds the iPhone inside VERY securely without snaps etc
Gives awesome protection to everything but the screen

What Needs Improvement:
Doesn’t protect the screen
Adds some bulk

$34.95 from Speck


From Speck:
PixelSkin’s lightweight, form-fit helps protect your iPhone from bumps and scrapes, while the textured tile pattern provides a comfortable, tactile sensation in your hand and a no-slip grip. The case offers openings to all ports, controls and sensors for convenient accessibility.

    * Soft-touch tiled pattern offers added comfort and grip
* Lightweight design protects without adding bulk
* Access to all ports, controls and sensors
* Available in 7 yummy, tasty colors!

O U R    T A K E . . .

Take one part flexible skin, double its thickness and a textured pattern for both grip and aesthetics and you get the PixelSkin.

I’m personally not a fan of this style case and I definitely don’t love the pink color of the review unit we were sent but if you want REAL protection for the scratch-prone iPhone 3G this is a great option.

It protects everything but the screen, holds the iPhone inside securely, and offers excellent bump protection. The material is exceptionally thick (in a good way) and the design adds a super degree of "grippiness".

If you like this style of case this is definitely worth a look as it offers superb protection and a great way to ensure you never lose your grip on your iPhone.




What I Like:
Gives superb protection to everything but the screen
Numerous color choices
Adds excellent grip to an otherwise slippery device

What Needs Improvement:
Doesn’t protect the screen
Expensive for a skin (but it is not JUST a skin)

$24.95 from Speck



From Speck:
Be the "fastest iPhone in the west" with QwickDraw, Speck’s spring-loaded, quick-release extra secure swivel holster. The super-secure Speck quick-release latch keeps your phone locked in place during mighty important activities, like sitting down at the saloon, climbing into the saddle, or rounding up your herd. With just a simple flick of the quick-release latch, you can whip that phone out and dial your local posse.
    * Spring-loaded quick-release latch keeps your iPhone extra secure
* Versatile rotating belt-clip allows horizontal or vertical wear
* Soft, lined snug-fit cradle
* Sleek, low-profile design
* Clean, black textured surfaces with stitching details
* Fits both iPhone 3G and original iPhone

O U R    T A K E . . .

There is no question that the QwickDraw is the most unusual of the cases we are looking at today. If you are a "wear your iPhone on your hip, keep it naked and use a holster" kind of guy or gal this may well be the case for you.

The holster is made from nice quality leather wrapped around plastic. Without question it is high quality as both materials and finish are top notch. It holds the iPhone face out with secure clips on all four sides. The back of the holster has a sturdy clip that ratchets a full 360 degrees and feels strong enough to endure a good bit of wear and abuse.

The unusual feature of the holster is the locking mechanism that holds the iPhone inside. It springs open or close to both hold the iPhone in and make accessing it later simple. In addition, since the iPhone is held face-out, you can simply pull the holster off your belt to look at, or use, the device.

I’m not a holster fan since I prefer to just keep my iPhone in my pocket but if I were this is likely the holster I would use.

What I Like:
Excellent material and build
Well designed for real-world usefulness

Fits both gen iPhones

What Needs Improvement:
Requires that the iPhone have no other protection such as an InvisibleShield
VERY tight fit at first

$29.95 from Speck



From Speck:
Dress your iPod touch for success with a chic Fitted case by Speck! This hard shell case with tailored outerwear adds fabric-wrapped class and an inviting feel to your device as you browse through your songs, videos and podcasts. The simple, snug, snap-together design gives you full access to your viewing screen, controls, ports and plugs. Available in black pinstripe, Fitted is a fashion statement that proves hip can be practical!

    * Hip, stylish fabric wrapped over a protective hard shell
* Creates a highly personalized, original look
* Protects your iPod from scratches and scuffs in style
* Simple, two-piece snap-together design
* Complete access to all ports, controls and sensors
* Slim and lightweight — doesn’t add bulk
* Comfortable, textured fabric for extra grip

O U R  T A K E . . .

These are probably my favorites of the cases we are looking at today. The Fitted case offers a minimalist approach to protecting the device while still covering everything but the screen. The two parts fit together perfectly and feel as if they will only come apart when you want them to. On the 2nd Gen Touch all the posts and controls were fully accessible.

I have used many similarly styled cases in the past but this one is different. This one has a nice material covering the back. It feels rugged enough to withstand a gd deal of use and abuse while softening what is otherwise a hard, plastic case. The material not only feels good in the hand but it also adds a significant degree of "grip" to the device. While all plastic cases feel as if they might slip from our hand if you are not careful, the Fitted feels as if it is not going anywhere thanks to material that is rough enough to create friction while still feeling comfortably soft.

In a word where cases all start looking alike, the Fitted from Speck stands out with just enough aesthetic appeal.

What I Like:
Good protection
Low profile
Looks AND feels nice
Protects without any loss of functionality

What Needs Improvement:

Can’t tell yet how the material will wear if it gets damn or sits in a pocket with a lot of lint.

$29.95 from Speck