Griffin Reveal iPhone 4 Case: Better than the Bumper

The Reveal iPhone 4 Case from Griffin is what the Apple Bumper case should have been if Apple was more interested in protecting the phone than fixing the reception issues. Due to the reception issues, one thing is sure you have to have a case if griffin case 1you want a good signal while holding the iPhone 4.

(Update: The Griffin Reveal iPhone 4 case is now available at for just $13.26.)

I reviewed a case from Hard Candy called the Bubble Slider. I really like that case, but after the review noticed one minor  flaw which I wish I had experienced before I wrote it. The case interferes with the GPS signal quality. I tested this to make sure it was not intermittent. Every time I used my GPS app (Navigon) with the case on the app was very inaccurate. Every time I took the case off, the GPS reception quality improved and was very accurate. If you don’t use GPS that often, the Hard Candy BubbleSlider is a great solution. I use my GPS a lot, so I began looking for a new case.

When I first saw the Griffin Reveal for iPhone 4 I was not impressed. It looks at first glance like an Apple Bumper knock-off. I looked at the Bumper on a friend’s iPhone and was concerned that it would not protect the back of the iPhone 4. So, Griffin’s version seemed like the same for just a few dollars less. But on a second look I realized that it was more than a rip-off. In fact it was a great improvement over Apple’s Bumper. The differences is Griffin’s case has a hard clear plastic shell to protect the back of your phone.

IMG_0480The case has a rubber edge to keep your hands off the metal antennae on the iPhone. In addition, the polycarbonate shell backing prevents scratchs to the glass on the back of your phone. The combination is very functional. It offers good protection for three reasons:

  1. The back of the iPhone 4 is covered to keep it from getting scratched.
  2. The edges are protected with a rubber material that will absorb the shock of a drop. I accidentally tested this when I dropped my iPhone 4 while trying to hand it to my son. Instead we dropped it on our cement basement floor and there wasn’t even a scratch on the iPhone. Now it did ricochet off my keyboard drawer on my desk and then  fell about three feet to the floor. The case did its job.
  3. The rubber edges provides grip that makes holding the phone easier without having that rough feeling that some rubber cases have. I like the smooth rubber.

The case is not only protective. It also deals with the reception problems with aplomb and the rubber edges keep it from sliding around on a table or in your car.

The final reason I really like this case is the way it looks. There are two versions a white and a black one (see pictures below for black version). I chose the white case and it stands out. The clear back reveals the Apple logo if you like to show off your fanboy status. However it also reveals dust or dirt that gets into the case as well, so keep it clean.

There are cutouts for all the ports. The bottom cutout is wide enough for the Apple-suppllied USB cable to plug into the dock connector. There are also two cutouts for the iPhone’s external speakers. On the top the headphone jack cutout is large enough that your jack will fit perfectly. The side cutout for the mute switch makes it easy to flip off when needing to quickly mute the phone.


There is no cutout for the power button on top or the volume buttons on the side. Instead the rubber is raised slightly so you can feel where to push. The rubber is thinner at those three points so it is very easy to push the buttons. Some cases are thick and these buttons are recessed and therefore hard to access. Not with the Reveal for iPhone 4 case.

I got my case from Best Buy and on their site some reviewers complained that the cutout on the clear back for the camera and flash interferes with the flash reflecting the  light back into the lens causing some flair. I tested this repeatedly and never once had this problem.


The case is $24.99 from Griffin. But you can find it elsewhere online for much less. There is also a model with a patterned backing instead of the clear one in this review (see last picture below). If you don’t like the white, try the much more subdued block model.

The Griffin Reveal case is now available at for just $13.26.


  • Doesn’t add bulk to the iPhone small and lightweight
  • Protects the edges and back of your phone
  • Alleviates the reception problems when holding the phone in your hand
  • Attractive white edges with clear back to see phone back
  • Buttons are easily accessible even in the case


  • Some reports of interference with camera flash
  • Clear back does reveal dust inside case