After I finally got an iPhone, I was torn between the desire to leave it uncovered so I could see its beauty and the need to protect it from bumps and scratches. I bought an Apple Bumper Case the same day I got my iPhone 4, but I’m always willing to try out a new case. When I received the Snugg Luxury Wrist Strap for iPod nano, I discovered that Snugg had also sent along a few other products. One was the Silicone iPhone 4 Case with Jibitz Pop Out Letters. I was happy to give it a try.
The Snugg iPhone 4 case is made of a soft, flexible silicone. I received a blue case; apparently this is the only available color. The back of the iPhone 4 is completely covered by the case.
The sides are covered, save for openings for the headphone jack and microphone on the top, the mute button along one side, and the speaker grills and the docking connector on the bottom. I had no trouble connecting a headphone plug nor the charging cable through the silicone case. You can see that the mute button is open, but it is a bit crowded by the bottom of the opening. Perhaps this case was designed when only the AT&T phone was available. (I have the Verizon iPhone.) There is no opening for the SIM card tray that the AT&T version has, though. There are molded buttons over the locations for the sleep/wake button and the volume buttons. All three of those buttons worked well through the silicone case. The volume buttons don’t have any markings to identify which is volume up or down.
The case wraps around to frame the front of the iPhone 4. The case is shaped to leave the ambient light/proximity sensor, front-facing camera, phone speaker, and home buttons free.
Taken with iPhone 4 back camera - no flash
Taken with iPhone 4 back camera - using flash
You can see there’s a large opening around the back camera and its flash. This opening is lined with white silicone. I found that all this white caused pictures taken with the flash to have a milky, foggy look. I assume this is caused by unexpected reflections of the light from the flash. (The pictures were taken with my iPhone’s camera while in the Snugg silicone case. They were not edited except to resize them to fit the constraints required for the website.) I did find that removing that white lining seemed to fix the problem using the flash.
The back of the case has a grid of small white squares. You receive a packet of 26 Jibitz pieces that are used in place of these white squares. You may already be aware of things like the Snugg Jibitz. I first heard of something like them a few years ago when I had a pair of Crocs shoes. Those Crocs’ Jibbitz (note slight spelling difference) were decorative pieces – letters, animals, flowers, etc. – that snapped into the holes in the tops of the Crocs to decorate the shoes. The Snugg Jibitz pieces that came with the phone case have a similar purpose. They are the same size and shape of the white pieces that come with the case. I received a set of orange silicone Jibitz with the alphabet on them. To use them, just pop the white pieces out of the back of the case and push the Jibitz in. The set of Jibitz I received had only one of each letter. I was able to spell my name, but someone named Ann or Billy won’t be. I don’t see that you can purchase extra sets of Jibitz.
The Snugg case doesn’t add a lot of bulk to the iPhone 4. It makes the phone a bit thicker because of the Jibitz (true for both the white or the lettered pieces), but it’s not a lot wider. The case doesn’t round off the edges of the iPhone 4 like the Apple Bumper does.
The case goes on the phone very easily because it is so flexible. This flexibility means that the edges of the “frame” on the front of the phone are very easily pulled away from the phone. I was afraid that an edge would slide off the front of the phone as I picked it up and cause me to drop it, but that hasn’t happened.
Despite being made of silicone, the case hasn’t picked up a lot of lint. It doesn’t have the gummy, overly-sticky feeling like silicone cases I remember from the past. It is grippy and improves my hold on the phone, but it doesn’t have an unpleasant feeling.
The Snugg Silicone iPhone 4 Case with Jibitz Pop Out Letters is a nice case. People who like having all but the screen of their iPhone 4 cover will find that the case is protective, and those silicone Jibitz add an extra layer of cushioning to the back. You can use headphones and a docking cable without removing the case. It’s only available in blue, but the color is sedate enough that it shouldn’t be out of place in a business situation. You can leave it with the plain white squares, or you can personalize your phone with the supplied Jibitz. For about $20, it’s a good deal.