Provides: Extreme protection and transport for iPhone 4
Minimum Requirements: iPhone 4 (AT&T or Verizon)
The ToughSkin Case for iPhone 4 makes absolutely no apologies for what it is, and I respect that. It breaks two or three of my rules for iPhone case design, but it does so with gusto, so I’m not going to fault it for that. The ToughSkin is about protection, after all, and that’s pretty much it. And yet there are a few design elements here that clearly indicate the developers understand protection is kind of pointless if it renders the phone unusable.
ToughSkin Case is kind of a misnomer, as there’s nothing skin-like about it. It’s more of a cast. A thick, rubber cast textured like a tire.
But before you even get to that, there’s an inner plastic shell into which you snap your iPhone, covering the back. This is, in fact, my only major complaint about the ToughSkin, as it’s extremely, extremely difficult to get your iPhone back out of this shell when you want to. I had to pry it off with a pocket knife, and that’s just ridiculous.
You can use this “inner case” on its own, or you can then slide it with phone into the ToughSkin. This adds quite a bit of bult to your phone, but that’s what you want if you’re considering a case like this. It’s substantial and easy to grip, an you’ll never had to worry about drops again. Speck even includes screen protection to keep you save from scratches.
You’d think that this much bulk would hurt the iPhone’s functionality, but it really doesn’t at all. The openings are all wide enough to accommodate the added cushioning, although you’ll most certainly need a dock port extender if you intend to dock your iPhone with third party devices while inside the ToughSkin. Even then, the added thickness may make this a futile task. The power and volume buttons are covered, but are easily used with the buttons on the outside of the skin.
The ToughSkin Case also comes with a holster that holds the iPhone securely, but not so tightly that you can’t easily remove it when needed. You can have the screen face out or inward for additional protection, and you can rotate the holster clip to orient the iPhone the way you prefer. And should you need it to, the holster’s belt clip can be used as a viewing stand.
It’s notable that the ToughSkin Case for iPhone 4 is available only in black. What other color could it be? Camouflage, perhaps? This is not a case that wants to make a fashion statement or slip inside your pocket or purse for casual use. This is a case for those who are out getting work done. Who put their iPhones through more than just a daily commute. It’s superior protection offered in a functional manner, sacrificing only sleekness (and fashion) along the way.
Just be aware of that inner shell. It means trouble.