The Griffin Reveal Etch ($15) is the prettier sibling of the Griffin Reveal, a see-through case we reviewed last week. The Etch shares an identical rubber border, but in place of a clear acrylic back is an attractive opaque triangle-patterned design for the back of the iPhone. Overall, the Reveal Etch is a solid case, lacking the typical flaws of lesser cases and offering good shock absorption.
The Reveal Etch‘s border is a semi-soft rubber band that is melded with the hard plastic back. The soft edge juts out from the rest of the case and thus takes the brunt of impacts, offering good shock absorption. This same band also prevents the iPhone 4’s grip of death, putting itself between your finger and the iPhone’s 4’s sweet spot.
The case leaves open for accessibility the areas for the headphone port, ringer switch, docking port, speakers, and the camera/flash combo. For the iPhone 4’s flash, we’ve had trouble with cases doing some funny things with the light, causing your photos to come out odd. There’s none of that problem with the Etch, and the flash fires at full intensity, without being blocked or bouncing around.
The Etch does cover the sleep button and volume controls with its own rubber simulated buttons, but they respond accurately when pressed.
But what we most like about the Etch over the Reveal is its looks and durability. Sure, the Reveal‘s clear plastic allowed you to see the Apple logo and all that, but it also was easily scratched, and hairs and other dirt were easily visible. With the Etch‘s opaque plastic, you don’t have any of those problems. The pattern etched on the case’s back is a tiled set of rectangles, which manages to look sufficiently elegant that even though you don’t see the amazing design of the iPhone itself, you don’t feel like you’re losing out on anything.
Sure, it goes for $5 more than the Reveal, but the stylistic improvement is worth the extra cash.
The Griffin Reveal Etch ($15) is an excellent little case. It’s svelte, looks damned stylish, and offers enough protection for day to day wear. Sure, you’re not going to take this white-water rafting with you, but as a case for running around town, it’s perfect. We recommend it, 7.6 out of 10
Be sure to check out all our iPhone 4 case reviews.