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Category: Hardware Published on Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Protect your iPhone with a New Case 


So, you got a grand, spanking new iPhone for Christmas. Looks nice, doesn't it? But what are you doing to keep it that way.

Fear not! There are several companies that have got you covered - - - some better than others.

Companies such as Pong, Proporta, OtterBox, Concord Keystone, LifeProof, ZeroChroma, Incipio, MyKase and CaseMate provide the best protection for the iPhone, although some of them may be lacking in the fashionability department.

Others from Belkin,  Moonstone, Zagg and, again, CaseMate are basically shells that only provide protection for the back and sides of the phone, but fill the need to be more fashionable or artistic or even glow in the dark.

Here are a few of my favorites:

The Pong case for the iPhone 4S ($49.99) is the first case I've seen that offers protection from radiation and enhances the signal strength of the phone's antenna. According to the folks at Pong, the case is able to reduce the radiation health risk using a micro-thin anteannae module that redirects cell phone radiation away from your head and body.

The Proporta Aluminum-Lined Leather Case ($39.95) and the Lalita iPhone case ($49.95), also from Proporta, are great looking and offer decent protection for your iPhone 4 or 4s.

The aluminum-lined case provides decent protection for your phone without sacrificing style. Neither cumbersome nor bulky, this case fits snugly around the phone and protects the screen with an aluminum lined, flip-down cover. It's also made out of high-quality, handcrafted leather.

The only drawback is that there is no cutout for the control key on the bottom of the phone that gives you access to your aps, Siri and the keyboard. Because of this, it takes a bit of extra effort to press down on the key through the leather.

The Lalita case is basically made for women who want extra protection when carrying their phones in their purses. It's designed like a clutch wallet, completely protecting the phone from damage.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using this case. Unless you're using the speakerphone, you need to take your phone out of the case to use it (a minor inconvenience). The much larger problem is that the phone won't fit in the case if it's protected by either a shell or another case.

This, to me, is a big oversight by the folks at Proporta. How hard would it have been to make the section of the case that holds the phone a bit larger and provide an insert for those that want to use it without additional protection?

Also, there is, again, no cutout for the bottom control key.

The LifeProof case ($79.99) may not garner any style points, but it earns high marks in the iPhone protection category. The iPhone is actually sealed in this case, protecting it against everything from water to sandstorms. In fact, you can submerge your phone in up to 6.6 feet of water without damaging it.

Two other cases that provide complete protection for your phone are the NautiCase ($49.99) from Concord Keystone and the Tank Case ($60) from CaseMate. Although they don't provide the extreme protection of the LifeProof case, they will protect you phone against sand, dust and splashes, plus all the bumps and dings that occur during normal use.

Again, neither of these cases will win beauty contests, but they do provide peace of mind when you need to protect your expensive iPhone from the elements. Also, both case come with removable belt clips. In addition, the NautiCase comes with a built-in stand, enabling you to watch videos without laying the phone down on a table or holding it in your hand.

In addition, the Tank Case provides additional protection with a retractable screen shield. The LifeProof case has a thin glass cover for the screen while the NautiCase screen cover is made of thin film material.

Incipio appeals to our more whimsical nature with the M&Ms Dotties Silicone iPhone case ($34.99). This case offers basic protection for the back and sides of the phone, but is decorated with colorful M&M "dots." It also comes with a clear screen protector, a cleaning cloth and an applicator so you can customize the case with more dots.

Again, these are my favorites and offer more protection than the basic case. For more information on any of these and other cases, check out the manufacturers' websites.

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