Provides: iPhone 4 protection
Developer: Scosche Industries
Minimum Requirements: iPHone 4 (AT&T)
I’m beginning to think it’s just impossible to make a decent iPHone 4 edge (or bumper) case. I’ve tried a few out now—from Apple and various third-party manufacturers—and never found one I was willing to keep on my iPhone past the review period. This is unfortunate, because I’m a fan of skins, and a good bumper could really complement the look while adding a solid layer of protection. Instead, they’ve all been disappointing for one reason or another (or more). And unfortunately, I have to say the same of Scosche’s bandEDGE g4.
Normally, Scosche gives us top of the line products. In fit and construction, the bandEDGE continues this tradition. It’s a combination of a polycarbonate strip attached on each side to a rubber edge. The polycarbonate strip is clear on all but one model, allowing you to see the aluminum edge of your iPhone. The rubber comes in black, pink or purple. There’s also a model with black rubber and a black polycarbonate strip.
Aside from creating a sharp look, this combination provides a rigid frame that’s still somewhat simple to get on and off. The rubber fits over and around the front and back of the iPhone, raising the surfaces off your desktop. And yet the bevel doesn’t interfere with your thumbs and fingers much when you’re trying to access the edges of your display. The kit comes with protective films for the front and back, so you’re getting good protection for your money. However, removing and reapplying the bandEDGE did start to push up areas of the protective films where the rubber edges had to squeeze up over them.
Unfortunately, though there are also problems here. The first—the dock port opening isn’t wide enough for many third-party devices—is pretty standard. I’ve grown used to this by now, but that doesn’t mean I’m any happier about it. I’m also not happy about the headphone jack opening. It’s wide enough to accommodate Apple model earbuds and the majority of the headphones I have around that were designed for iPhone use, but the opening is too tight to handle the Koss headphones I use at work. If your headphone miniplug is any wider than that of the Apple earbuds you never use (but hopefully haven’t thrown away), you’ll want to steer clear.
One other problem is new to bandEDGE in my experience. The power and volume buttons are too hard to push. All are built into the polycarbonate strip, and you really have to shove them in pretty hard in order to make a connection with the iPhone’s buttons. It’s a significant and unfortunate flaw.
Honestly, I was going to give the bandEDGE g4 a lower rating than I am. But considering what you get for the price, it’s not a bad deal. I like the construction and functionality, and it really is the best bumper style case I’ve tried at this price level. It’s not everything I want it to be, and the button issue is very annoying, but there’s enough here to make me think that maybe, eventually, someone’s going to get it right.
And that it just might be Scosche that does.
Buy the bandEDGE g4