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Griffin Reveal iPhone 4 Case: Better than the Bumper

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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 Amazon.com 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.

IMG_0478IMG_0479

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.

IMG_0482IMG_0483

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 Amazon.com for just $13.26.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

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

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IMG_0481

Kevin loves notebooks, tablets, gadgets and photography. He grew up with computers starting out on a Vic 20 and Commodore 64. The first computer he owned himself was an 8086 Compaq Deskpro. His foray into tablet computing began when he bought a Samsung Q1 Ultra. The smartphone market opened up for him with his Palm Treo 600.

18 Comments

  1. cell phone leather Flip cases

    July 22, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Its really great, this blog has got really very great article which helps us to know what is actually going on. Keep it up! Good luck for the future success of this blog.

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    July 22, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Its really great, this blog has got really very great article which helps us to know what is actually going on. Keep it up! Good luck for the future success of this blog.

  3. anonymus

    July 22, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Nasty video song!!!

  4. Roomy

    July 22, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    That is one ugly case!

  5. Prabhat

    July 22, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    It does washout the pictures taken with flash. I returned it for this reason and now bumper will be free. Also the back plastic cover is prone to scratch more than the glass back on iPhone 4.

  6. pooper scooper

    July 22, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Not so sure I agree with this review. Cases that cover the phones back always scratch it. This is because dust and other things wedge themselves in there and get between the case and the phone and act like sandpaper as the phone lives in the case. This is why the Apple bumper is brilliant. It protects the phone (for the most part) from scratches when laying flat on a table or falling over without the constant rubbing on the phone shell.

  7. Yuantrouble

    July 23, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    looks like the fit and finish could use some work…I see a lot of flash and the gating point is on the outside corner? how about the metal buttons?

  8. Stephanie Summers

    July 24, 2010 at 11:16 am

    It is too bad that they do not release a white colored case.

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    July 29, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Good advice. We often advise our students to take a step back and understand what they are getting into. This article reinforces that concept with some practical advice.

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    December 4, 2011 at 4:21 pm

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  11. Erika

    December 7, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    I like the white case but the only problem that i really have is that it gets dirty very fast and i cant get it as clean as it was before! :-/ The rubber like absorbs the dirt and will not clean with anything

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    December 22, 2011 at 12:29 am

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