Scosche KickBACK Case for the iPhone 3G
The Scosche KickBACK case is a unique entry to this round up due to its dual personality. On one hand, it functions as your regular run of the mill clear polycarbonate case. On the other hand, it doubles as a stand, allowing you to view your movies and video podcasts without having to hold it up to your face all the time. The stand tucks in when not in use. Silicon feet on the front and back of the case also keep it from sliding around whether you place your iPhone down on the screen or on its backside.
Installation of the case is fairly straightforward and is accomplished by simply pressing down on the two halves till they snap together. The case also comes with a second non kickstand back piece in case you never want to use the stand piece. I can't really see why you wouldn't. A thin screen protector is also included and applies seperately from the two main pieces. You can even customize the silicon feet with included black and pink ones. A special tool is also included in case you want to remove the case to switch back pieces for instance or if you want to use your iPhone dock.
I wondered why Scosche included the second back piece and then as I was playing with the kick stand, I noticed just how vulnerable it would be if someone where to knock it off a surface while in use. It would probably snap off. Luckily, a non kick stand back is also included for those types of emergencies. Speaking of the stand, it really doesn't like standing up on smooth surfaces. The case does stand up though to scratches thanks to those silicon feet suspending it off surfaces.
The Scosche KickBACK case comes in three colors: Clear (as shown), Black, and Pink. Retail price is $29.99 US.
Mophie Hard Case Plus for iPhone 3G
Mophie makes a ton of iPhone 3G accessories. In fact, we recently reviewed their Mophie JuicePack for the iPhone 3G which is one of the most unique power products for the iPhone to date. Mophie also makes cases for the iPhone and their Hard Case Plus is one of them featuring a polycarbonate construction with an integrated screen protector.
Like the Scosche KickBACK, the installation is fairly straight forward and simply involves alligning the two pieces and snapping them together. Removing the case isn't so easy as the fit is not only extremely tight and precise, but as a result, it's hard to get a good start to pry it off. It can be done with patience though, but I don't think this is a case you want to take on and off a whole lot.
Once the case is on, it sort of feels like it belongs. With the integrated screen protector hugging the original screen tightly, touch performance isn't degraded by a noticeably amount. Even the cut outs for the main button and speaker are cut with extreme precision and line up properly, just like the other holes for the other buttons and ports. The case also keeps the sim slot locked down so that no one is mucking with your phone without removing the case.
The only downsides are the fact that the back starts to collect swirl marks very quickly and although you can't see it in the first picture, it is indeed covered with them. I guess better the case than the phone. It also reintroduces that slippery fish feel because the case provides no grip whatsoever.
At $29.95 US, it isn't a cheapie case by any means, however based on the fit and finish it isn't cheap there. However, if you use any sort of dock, I wouldn't pick this case due to the tedious nature of the disassembly. You should pretty much leave it on till it (or the phone) dies.