Having used a number of cases over the years, you develop favorites. If a case is popular enough, the manufacturer will usually come out with a follow-up. Like your favorite movie, sometimes the sequel is even better than the first. For this reason, I was looking forward to using the InCase Slider for the iPhone 4S, a follow-up to the popular case for the iPhone 3G/3GS.

Incase Slider iPhone 4S Review

Like it’s predecessor, the InCase Slider comes in two pieces that slide together to create one case. The shell of the Slider is constructed of hard, yet lightweight plastic. On the inside of the case, they have included rubber guardrails, which InCase claims will assist in shock absorption in the event of an untimely spill.

Incase slider rails

With the iPhone sitting flat, you notice the height of the case is slightly higher than the display, so you could face the iPhone flat, without the display coming in contact with the surface. When comparing the current with previous generation case, this new model seems a bit bulky. It’s not that it’s heavy or unsightly, but it just adds a bit of bulk to the iPhone 4S.

Incase ports

Wide cutouts allow access to all the necessary ports. Given the bulk, some third party accessories and docks might not work with this case. If you are someone who needs to gain access to the your SIM card, this case is not for you.

Incase Slider jacks

Fit and Finish
When I first installed the case, I was reminded of how tight this case fits. In the event you want to remove the case, you’ll need plenty of elbow grease. When it’s on, it’s on. There are pluses and minuses to the tight fit. We don’t drop test our iPhones during case reviews (hey, we like to do comprehensive reviews but not at the expense of our iPhones), but we’d assume the kung fu grip it has on the iPhone 4 would benefit users in the event of a drop. One of the drawbacks of using a case that is manufactured to fit so well, is that it does not permit you to use any sort of protection on the back glass. Irrespective of the tight fit, InCase also chose to design a case that is not screen protector friendly. I talk with plenty of iPhone users, some of whom would never put on a screen protector. They feel comfortable that the display on the iPhone is plenty capable when it comes to fighting scratches. I certainly understand this group, but there are plenty on the other side of the fence. For that group, this case is not an option. It will install, but then you’ll see gradual bubbling of your screen protector.

incase slider screen protector

At a bare minimum, the company should have included a compatible screen protector with the Slider. I’d give up the included plastic stand in trade for a compatible screen protector. According to their website, InCase will be offering screen protectors that are compatible with the Slider, priced at an additional $19.95. With companies like Incipio offering screen protectors with their cases, it’s hard to justify the additional $20 InCase is asking, given the price of the Slider. These must be cut smaller, which means you get less coverage, so they are only useful when using with the Slider.

Incase Slider with stand

The case we reviewed was the glossy model and it’s pure white. When paired with iPhone 4S, it creates a very nice white-out look. For those looking to accentuate the white look of your iPhone, this case does a very nice job of it. It being glossy, this will slide in and out of pockets with ease. Glossy also means it’s tougher to get a grip on your iPhone, so you might want to opt for the matte sibling of this case if you are ok with black.

Incase Slider

This being the sequel, we would have hoped for a higher quality of manufacturing. That was not the case. On the inside of the Incase Slider for iPhone 4S, you can see a dark substance, possibly some sort of glue that was left over from the manufacturing process. Sloppy and it did transfer to my new white iPhone 4S. Sure it was removed with polishing, but isn’t the purpose of a good case to protect your iPhone against the dirt and destruction.

Dirt on inside of case

Pros:

  • Creates the ultimate white-out look
  • Super-tight fit

Cons:

  • Felt bulky
  • Brand new case had dirt/glue on interior siderails
  • Difficult to get on/off
  • Not compatible with screen protectors, which will bubble

Overall
When it comes to movies, there are the rare times when the sequel outdoes the original. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan comes to mind. When it comes to products, it’s usually the opposite. Manufacturers seize upon consumer feedback to find areas where improvements are needed and capitalize with an much improved product. Unfortunately the Incase Slider for iPhone 4S falls short of the original in a number of areas, but is still a good overall case, especially if you happen to own a white iPhone 4S. It reminded me of the fond memories I had of the first Slider case, but I can’t help but wonder who wrote the script for this one. No support for screen protectors, residual dirt from manufacturing on the interior rails and a bulky feel has left me hoping that the next version brings back everything I loved about the first case, with a few simple improvements. Maybe they can send the design team to Krasnoyarsk? That’s worked in the movies.

The Incase Slider for iPhone 4S retails for $34.95 and is available at goincase.com.

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