You’ve got your new iPhone 4 and for most of you now comes the decision of selecting a case to protect your investment. There are a few manufacturers that have cases available at launch, including Belkin. If you are considering the Belkin Grip Vue for iPhone 4, read on for our full review.
The packaging is non-descript and in my case a bit misleading, but in a good way. With the case wrapped in the hard plastic packaging, I assumed the Grip Vue was more of hard plastic case. I was pleasantly surprised to find it was more of a grippy, yet firm material. This is in no way a flimsy silicone case, but has more give than a hard plastic shell.
The iPhone 4 fits perfectly within the Belkin Grip Vue. The display is the only part of the phone that is not protected, but that’s easily solved with a screen protector of your choice. There are plenty of good choices include Zagg, Wrapsol, BodyGuardz and others. Stay tuned to everythingiCafe as we plan to review a number of those products in the coming weeks.
The material feels good and allowed for a solid grip on the iPhone 4. Unlike the Apple Bumper case, the Grip Vue is molded to the shape of the iPhone 4, retaining the sharp lines of the new design. If you look at the photos, you’ll notice the thickness of the case, that ultimately add to protection in the event you drop your iPhone. We don’t drop test iPhones in our review, but you shold feel relatively comfortable that the Grip Vue would provide sufficient protection against an accidental drop. You won’t notice added thickness in daily use, as I didn’t find it added any sort of bulk to the iPhone 4.
The biggest plus of the Grip Vue was how the iPhone 4 looks while in the case. Since it’s transparent, all the design elements and beauty of the iPhone 4 is on display. The back of the case is not completely transparent. While the Apple logo and iPhone logos are visible, the shiny black background turns to a slate gray. For some of you, this will be a plus, some not so much.
Getting back to the thickness of the material used in the case, as this had a negative impact on usability. The hard buttons (volume up, volume down, power) are noticeably more difficult to press. I found myself holding the iPhone 4 with one hand and using the other hand to power on/off. Using the volume buttons gave my thumb a workout. Access to the ringer switch is hindered by the thickness of the plastic to a level that’s completely unacceptable.
The Belkin Grip Vue for iPhone 4 is a mixed bag. It provides adequate protection, feels great and retains the iPhone 4’s good looks. While the Belkin Grip Vue fits the iPhone 4 perfectly, the thickness of the case negatively affects to perform everyday functions like adjusting your ringer switch or easily adjusting the volume. Over time, there might be some give in the case that makes it easier to press the various buttons. The inconvenience might be worth the trouble given the sharp looks and solid protection offered by the Belkin GripVue for iPhone 4.
The Belkin Grip Vue retails for $24.95 and is available at Best Buy.
For additional reviews, check out this topic in our iPhone forums.