I truly believe the best iPhone case is no case at all. Adding a case to me seems to hide some the the beautiful industrial, simple design. I am very careful with my phone. My phone is with me all the time. It is my computer away from the computer. That being said in the past it has taken some unfortunate spills. Lucky with no damage but nerve racking none the less. Recognizing my luck was probably ending I decided to get a case.
Defining my case needs 1. The case must have a hole in the back so I can shoot photos and videos without removing the case. 2. I wanted full access to the charging port and the headphone port without hassles. 3. I wanted it to be as slim as possible and preferrable withouth a sticky texture on it so if I put it in my pocket a ton of lint does not come out. 4. I want direct access to the volume and ring silence switch.
It seems like during the lifespan of a phone, if you use a case you end up going through several because you can’t find the perfect one. To try and minimize these purchase I thought about what I would really want if I had to have any case at all.
Cases I considered: 1. Apple Bumper I have had two or three of these and while I think they provide some very basic protection to the edges of the devices I think they do not last very long and not worth the $29. 2. BookBook. I really liked this idea for a case. From a minimalist point of view I liked the idea of using the phone case as a wallet. Combining the two would be great. After checking out a friends I found that it was a little thicker than I liked and there was not camera hole so I ruled that out. 3. Hex Solo. This case seemed to fit all my basic needs. Again there is an option to “use” this like a wallet. There are 2 cards slots which could be used to hold a drivers licensce and a credit or debit card. 4. 4. Hex Code Wallet for iPhone. This case is very much like the BookBook case. It has a closed structure and allows you to carry a few cards. It also does not have a hole for the camera like the book book. To keep it closed there is an elaastic strap much like a Moleskine notebook. 5. Incipio iPhone 4/4S feather Ultralight Hard Shell Case. I liked the “shape” of this case . It mimimics the Hex Solo design. The thing that really put me off on this plastic case were the images that users uploaded from Amazon. There are several images of the case peeling after normal wear and tear. 6. elago S4 Handmade Genuine Leather for iPhone 4/4S. I actually did receive this case as a gift. The leather was very high quality. The phone initially went into the case well but very quickly stretched and tipping the case over allowed the phone to slide halfway out. There are covers over the volume buttons but they did not interfere with the usability. 7. Vaja iVoution Grip. Two things which disuaded me from making the purchase. One the price is very high for a case it is $75. The second thing is there is no protection on the top of this case. It is almost like a sleeve for the bottom only.
About two weeks ago I bought the Hex Solo. So far I am very happy with case. I will not be using it as a wallet or a card case. The leather that covers the shell is very thin but high quality. The two card slots on the back of the phone look very nice but I was afraid that they would completely stretch out I just opted to ignore them. It also met all the design concerns I had hoped for. Time will tell if it will wear well but so far I am very happy.