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GadgeTell Review: iPhone 4 Ballistic Smooth Case

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If you’re looking for an affordable iPhone case that offers protection and a colorful design, but you don’t mind a few quirks, then the Ballistic Smooth Series case may be the right one for you.

Packaging and Design

Last week, Ballistic sent me a cool purple case to try out. I’m always looking for new designs and trends for my iPhone case, so I was excited to give this one a whirl.

The case is packaged in recyclable, red and clear plastic. I think it looks like an old VHS container, but that doesn’t deter me from breaking it open. Ballistic’s slogan, “Designed to Survive Life,” is proudly stamped on the back, while the front boasts the claim that the case can be dropped up to six feet.  Inside the packaging are instructions for installation and for how to use the Ballistic Corner bumpers. The Smooth Series comes with a one-year warranty.

Once I cut through all the “clear tape” and get to the actual case, I’m impressed with its simplistic, yet stylish design. I like that there isn’t a lot going on – just one, all-over color and four changeable corners. I notice that my case is slightly rough to the touch; it has a grainy feel to it that I can’t get quite used to. The Smooth Series case comes in six color choices: black, charcoal, hot pink, purple, orange, and teal. Each case then comes with four sets of four Ballistic Corners. Mine are teal, white, purple, and black. I do wish that Ballistic had included a small container to keep the corners in; I feel like they are easy to lose.

The Ballistic Corner bumpers are made of a bouncy silicone and are interchangeable; they help the case bounce back from drops. I like that by changing the bumpers, I can customize the look and feel of my case, and I can also adjust the level of protection. I decide to go with black; they protrude the most out of the case, but they offer the greatest protection.

Ease of Use

Overall, the Smooth Series’ ease of use is pretty contradictory. On one hand, it’s easy to slip the iPhone 4 into the case. It basically snaps in place, which I like. On the other hand, it’s pretty difficult to get the case out once it’s in. I have to forcibly push my phone out by struggling against one of the bottom corners.

The same thing happens with the Ballistic Corner bumpers. They are really easy to pop out, but hard to pop in. It takes a firm push to insert the corners into the holes, so I wouldn’t plan on changing my corners too often.

One thing I do like is that the case offers protection to my screen by having raised lips. If I drop my phone facedown, the case doesn’t let the phone touch the hard surface. A thing I don’t like, however, is that the case completely covers the power and volume buttons, making them stiff and unresponsive. I have to really push down on them to get my phone to work.

Final Verdict

At $29.99, the Ballistic Smooth Series case is a relatively good value. It’s slim, colorful, and customizable; it also offers good protection. If you don’t mind the stiff buttons or that the bumpers are hard to change, then this case will probably work for you.

Product [Ballistic Life Style Smooth Series Case]

Also, just for fun, here’s a video of Australians attempting to destroy Ballistic cases by throwing them out of cars and dropping them off buildings.

 

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