The CaseCrown Polycarbonate Glider ($10) is a thin, hard-shell slider case with a removable bottom for docking. Although simple in appearance, the case has a few nice subtle design touches, like a non-slip surface, which feels exactly like you’re holding a soft silicone case instead of hard plastic, and a felt lining interior that prevents the case from scratching your iPhone. Overall, it’s a slim, form-fitting case we can recommend for those looking to preserve the general lightweight feel of the iPhone and willing to accept only light protection.
The CaseCrown Glider is what’s known as a slider case, meaning you slide the iPhone into the case guided by the curving sides that serve as rails and which also secure the iPhone in place. The case is split into two pieces. The smaller bottom part is meant to slide off for docking purposes. But the case can be used with most docks even with the bottom half on, the exception being those tightly molded to the iPhone 3G(S)’s shape.
Our favorite feature of the Glider is its surface. While the case is made entirely of of hard plastic, the surface simulates the soft feel and grip of a silicone case. We’re not sure how CaseCrown accomplished this, but we like it a lot. It feels good in the hand, unlike most hard plastic cases that usually have an unpleasant “cheap plastic” feel.
Aesthetically, the case has a plain, matte look. There is no gloss to the surface. The only decoration is a shiny chrome CaseCrown logo on the back. While we question the need for a logo at all, we liked the shape and shininess of it, as it matches the still viewable chrome rim of the camera lens, ringer switch, and volume buttons. If matte black isn’t your thing, the case is available in 5 other colors: white, pink, red, blue, and purple.
In a nice design touch, the inner surface of the case has a thin layer of felt to help prevent the case from scratching the iPhone as it’s slid on and off—this kind of protection is usually missing in many cheap hardshell cases.
The case is extremely lightweight, adding only a few ounces to the iPhone’s bulk. And its svelte shape hugs the iPhone’s curves perfectly, maintaining the overall shape and keeping the iPhone pocketable.
The case offers good accessibility to all of the iPhone’s buttons, ports, and switches, with wide cutouts for these areas. The rims around these cutouts were all smooth, a sign of good manufacturing. We sometimes come across cases with jagged surfaces or extra material hanging off due to poor cutting.
We did experience one annoying problem with the case. Occassionally, we discovered the two sections of the case had slid apart from each other while taking the iPhone out of pockets and bags. Usually, the separation was just a centimeter or two, but still enough to annoy. We should note in fairness, however, that the case doesn’t slide easily—it takes a good amount of force—so we had little fear of it every coming completely off, but these accidental separations were nevertheless a slightly annoying, if rare, occurrence.
The CaseCrown Polycarbonate Glider is a thin, unobtrusive hard shell case with a surprisingly soft-feeling surface. It’s a case we enjoyed having on the iPhone on a daily basis and found it to be one of the better thin hardshell cases we’ve tested. But we have to stop short at calling it a premium case, as it’s still mostly just a thin piece of plastic. Still, we can highly recommended it for those looking for a lightweight case and assign it an overall rating of 8.3 out of 10,