[Review] SwitchEasy CapsuleRebel for iPhone 4
If you've been around the iPhone world for a while, or even if you haven't, more likely than not, You've heard of SwitchEasy. While not as popular or readily available in retail as competing products from better known brands like Incase or iSkin, whom have, in comparison, been around prior to the iPhone's introduction, SwitchEasy bring a lot to the table, and have become known for pushing out some rather smashing products in their time.
The CapsuleRebel, now in it's fifth generation (preceded by the "Capsule" for iPhone, along with the CapsuleRebel, RebelSerpent and CapsuleRebel M all designed for 3G/3GS) has returned, and adapts itself to the new, striking industrial design of the iPhone 4, and brings many welcomed improvements over the previous generations that new customers, as well as existing customers who return to the CapsuleRebel to protect their new i4 will love.
The new CapsuleRebel for iPhone 4 keeps the iconic "spine" and overall "hybrid case" concept found in previous generations of the case, which serves as much to protect the case as it does to provide an additional aesthetic element to the product, made from an injection moulded piece of GE Lexan material, flexible enough to allow for easy installation, but tough enough to make it a pain to get off, as well as durable enough to provide some minor impact protection in drops and general daily scuffs.
The second piece, a TPU like shell which SwitchEasy market as "ADSP" or Adaptive Dynamic Soft Polymer (say it five times fast...) gives the Rebel much of it's protective qualities beyond the stiff Lexan spine, mentioned above, the material is a mix between TPU and Silicone, with the tight fit of a TPU case, but giving it a nice texture and the ability to be somewhat more flexible than TPU, while not observing any of the "lint magnet" qualities of Silicone, and preserving the ability to be produced rather quickly and in a large selection of colours. While in photos the two pieces look to be the same colour, the ADSP shell is a slightly off-white cream colour while the spine is a very clean, pure, bright white, it's worth noting the other colour options of the Rebel have spines and shell's that match precisely.
In the hand the Rebel feels rather nice, Not overly bulky but not overly thin to make you doubt the protective qualities of the case, the spine adds a lot of nice points for gripping onto the device, and most users should have no issues with the case slipping out of their hands under most circumstances, I found it rather easy to grip, even while running to catch a Light Rail train a few days ago. The packaging advertises "easy grip" and I feel the product delivers on that promise rather well.
All buttons (sleep/wake, volume up and down) are covered by a layer of the ADSP material and the spine has been adjusted in this version as to prevent the "sagging" previously found on the 3G/3GS version of the rebel in the area of the dock connector, furthermore the adjusted spine keeps a nice clean line where the case meets the front of the device, and prevents the somewhat uneven, messy looking protrusions of the ADSP material that was found in the older CapsuleRebel designs due to the way the spine attached to the case and device.
Besides some rather interesting and well priced case designs, SwitchEasy are also known for literally including "everything but the kitchen sink" as they reiterate on the product pages for most of their cases, Included in a small "goodie" box with most of their products are two dock adapters, in Piano Black and Pearl White designed for the Apple Universal Dock or almost any other Apple certified accessory which accepts dock inserts, beyond that are two dock port covers and two headphone port covers, which I highly suggest anyone who purchase any SwitchEasy product take advantage of, along with some very basic instructions and a video stand in either white or black.
Also included are two Crystal Clear screen shields, Unlike most of the shields you get as pack-ins with products, I can vouch and say that SwitchEasy have among the best quality shields of anyone, and I've elected to use them over the Best Skins Ever shield I had used previously or even GhostArmor that I had installed on all my previous BlackBerries.
In closing, The CapsuleRebel is a great option for anyone in the market for a good i4 protective solution, that doesn't add too much bulk and gives their device a very individualised look, For a very reasonable price of $27.99 (£19) on the SwitchEasy website it quite frankly, puts the i4 Bumper from Apple to shame. The case can be bought on SwitchEasy.com or via Amazon in your local region. At the time of writing, only Amazon.com (US) and Amazon.co.uk had any of the series for i4 in stock.
Pros: Great protection, Good value for money, Includes a massive amount of pack-ins for the price and SwitchEasy support is known to stand behind their products 110 per-cent.
Cons: As opposed to previous generations, the new spine doesn't allow the device to lay completely flat on surfaces when the device is set on it's back, however the lip created on the front with this case should allow for some nice lay on the table action without any worry of dust or particulates coming in contact with the glass. Somewhat limited colour availability versus the 3G/3GS series, and at time of writing, no option to purchase additional spines as part of the "RebelEssentials" line.
(A few notes... This is the first review I've done in about a year of anything, and is more designed to be something that covers the core essential points that you'd be looking for if you are debating picking up a CR for your i4, and may not cover every little detail, constructive criticism is of course welcome and appreciated as it helps me gauge if further reviews would be wise, and how I can improve to make my views more relevant and useful to the community in general.
Do remember I'm 17, and a student, studying for a GED with aspirations to work in graphic design, I don't take my device out to a punishing jobsite every single day and therefore can't provide any details as to how this might work in that situation. )