One of the many cases available through the iPhone 4 Case program, the Speck Fitted Case ($15) is arguably the most stylish of the choices. Its two-piece construction impressed us with the protection it offers, though we did suffer a few minor accessibility issues with some of the iPhone’s ports. While none of Apple’s free cases have blown us away, the Speck Fitted is one of the better options.
When Apple announced that you could pick up a number of third-party cases for free as part of the great antennae debacle, I was instantly drawn to the Speck Fitted Case. I use a Speck case on my MacBook Pro, and adore it, so I hoped I would have the same feelings with their iPhone products.
The Speck’s patterned cloth back is its most eye-catching feature. The one offered through Apple’s program is Darkest Tartan Plaid, but it’s also available from the manufacturer in Slurple Purple, Grasshopper Green Stripe, Black & White Plaid, Lavender/Purple Argyle, SpexyHexy Purple, Dalmation Houndstooth B&W, CookieCamo Brown. I cannot state in strong enough terms how much I like the way these look. The black and white color themes match the iPhone’s aesthetics well, and the cloth has a feel of quality. And the patterned cloth is framed well by the case’s matte-black plastic edges. The plastic edges are slightly textured, improving grip.
Physically, the case is rigid and composed of two sections that snap around the iPhone like chest-plate armor. The case is protective, hard, and durable—pretty good for such a stylish case.
In terms of fit, the case fits tightly around the phone with not even the slightest hint of a rattle.
But the case isn’t perfect. The iPhone’s sleep button, in particular, is more difficult to access thanks to the case’s thick rim. And my headphones with an L-shaped plug didn’t quite fit into the headphone port. Trying to force them in just splits apart the two halves of the case.
The Speck Fitted is on the bulky side. The curved edges help to make it look visibly slimmer, but once you get it in your hand or your pocket, the size and weight become noticeable. Is it a deal breaker? It’s up to personal taste, but we can say that with the case on, your iPhone 4 won’t be the “world’s thinnest smartphone” anymore. But we liked the extra protection and didn’t mind the weight.
The other notable downside involves that ever-so-gorgeous cloth covered back. The tiny bumps in the material that give it a wonderful texture also makes it a magnet for fluff and pocket crumbs. It rapidly picks up schmutz, which, if left uncleaned, can kill the case’s stylishness.
Some cases we’ved tested have caused trouble with the iPhone 3’s LED flash, partially blocking light from the flash and creating discolored photos when taking photos in poor light. But we didn’t experience any problems with the Speck Fitted.
There’s a lot to love about the Speck Fitted Case ($15), but it’s not without a few minor flaws. It gets major points in the looks and protection categories — most cases feel like they’ll do one or the other, but the Speck does both well. But the case also makes accessing some of the iPhone’s buttons a bit more difficult and adds bulk. While these downsides shouldn’t be ignored, we feel the positives outweigh them — especially if you’re getting the case for free from Apple. Overall, we highly recommend it, 8.3/10.
Be sure to check out all our iPhone 4 case reviews.