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Case Review: Griffin Reveal Etch

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.

Conclusion:

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.

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  1. Selcouth says:

    Thanks for the review, found it helpful. I would suggest though that you clean the iPhone before taking photos of it. Nasty smudges.

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  2. Mike says:

    Will a screen protector fit, or will the case mangle the edges?

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  3. Mike :

    Will a screen protector fit, or will the case mangle the edges?

    Hi Mike. I’m not sure on the screen protector front. It didn’t ship with any, but I think it would be able fit. Can’t say for certain, though.

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  4. Thomcarl says:

    Just ordered one for my iP4, Apple gives a delivery date of 1 sept.

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  5. Amy says:

    Thanks for the reviews. They were helpful in ordering my free case. Shipping estimate is 6-8 weeks which seems a bit long, but what the hey. It’s free!

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  6. Deepak says:

    Your review did not show (picture) the space between the bottom port and the rubber. Do the old usb charging cables fit ?

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  7. Michael says:

    Good review! Do the rubber sides make getting your phone out of your pocket a hassle? Does the rubber catch in your pocket? Also, does the rubber collect lint from your pocket?

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  8. tbarribeau says:

    Deepak :

    Your review did not show (picture) the space between the bottom port and the rubber. Do the old usb charging cables fit ?

    I didn’t have any trouble with older charging cables, but I don’t have a dock, so I can’t give you any information on that front.

    Michael :

    Good review! Do the rubber sides make getting your phone out of your pocket a hassle? Does the rubber catch in your pocket? Also, does the rubber collect lint from your pocket?

    Nope, didn’t have any problems with the rubber at all!

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  9. Deepak :

    Your review did not show (picture) the space between the bottom port and the rubber. Do the old usb charging cables fit ?

    I didn’t have any trouble with older charging cables, but I don’t have a dock, so I can’t give you any information on that front.

    Michael :

    Good review! Do the rubber sides make getting your phone out of your pocket a hassle? Does the rubber catch in your pocket? Also, does the rubber collect lint from your pocket?

    Nope, didn’t have any problems with the rubber at all!

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  10. Billy Jingles says:

    I just got mine in the mail today and like it a lot.

    FYI, the “tiled rectangles” pattern… it’s called carbon fiber :-)

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    • Alan says:

      FYI, the “tiled rectangles” pattern… it’s called carbon fiber :-)

      It may be meant to look like carbon fiber, but it’s polycarbonate.

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  11. Billy Jingles says:

    Agreed, but the pattern is still called “carbon fiber”.

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  12. Chris Bill says:

    I guess the burning question is does it fix the antennagate problem?

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    • Alan says:

      Any case that prevents you from touching the sweet spot will help out with the “fatal” attenuation the iPhone 4 will suffer in weak signal areas. In strong signal areas, there isn’t much of a problem other than the typical attenuation that happens with all cell phones when hands, fingers, heads, etc, interfere with wireless signals.

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  13. Billy Jingles says:

    Any case other than one with metal edges “fixes” the “problem”.

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  14. Milando says:

    I received my free case from apple. It mangled my Zagg screen protector. Luckily it has a guarantee. The case looks good, but I need the screen protector, so therefore it’s no longer being used.

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  15. Brn says:

    FTR, the case doesn’t fit properly over a full-body BSE skin. Hard to believe, but I guess the tolerances are that small.

    Major PITA, but hey … it was free from Apple, right?

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  16. Josh says:

    Case works with Zagg shield front but not with the full body shield. the back of the iP4 has to be naked.

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