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Review: Scosche Kickback Case for iPhone 4

The Scosche Kickback case for the iPhone 4 ($25) is a combination hard-plastic and silicone-rubber case with a built-in stand capable of holding up the iPhone in landscape orientation. While not the thickest dual-layer case we’ve seen (the silicone rubber layer is very thin), the Kickstand still manages to offer above average protection in a slim, pocketable shape. Overall, the Kickback is a well-designed, functional case, with our only complaint being the single angle provided by the stand. The case is compatible with both the Verizon (CDMA) and AT&T (GSM) iPhone 4.

We’ve reviewed several iPhone cases with built-in stands, and the added functionality of a stand can come in handy more than you think. But it’s important that the stand offer a variety of angles for a variety of situations (see the ZeroChroma Teatro as a good example). Unfortunately, the Kickback’s stand only offers one viewing angle, which is in landscape. Attempts to use the stand in portrait caused the iPhone to wobble and fall over. One positive characteristic of the stand is that it lays flat and out of the way when not in use.

Cases that combine hard-plastic with silicone rubber are designed to mine the best qualities of both materials. We wouldn’t consider the Kickback a true combo case, as it’s almost all hard plastic. The case has only the thinnest layer of silicone rubber lining inside. The rubber keeps the case from scratching up the iPhone, but the small quantity means the Kickback is not as strong as we’d like in the area of shock absorption. But that’s not to say the case lacks any protection—we rate it as above average. It’s just not on par with protection-focused cases like those from Otterbox.

The exterior of the case is a high-quality, glossy hard-plastic. Our Kickback was white trimmed with gray, but it’s also available in black and gray versions. Aesthetically, we found the glossy exterior to be modern and attractive, providing a surface similar to the previous generation iPhones (the 3G and 3GS) while maintaining the iPhone 4′s new contours.

To help provide better grip, the Kickback has four triangular strips of silicone near the four corners of the case. When held in one hand, the rubber comes in contact with your fingers and helps prevent the otherwise slick plastic from slipping in sweaty hands. It’s not the most comfortable case we’ve reviewed, but it is generally pleasant to hold.

The case does a good job of staying out of the way of using the iPhone. There is a single wide cutout area for the iPhone’s ringer mute switch and volume buttons. This wide area makes the case compatible with both CDMA and GSM versions of the iPhone 4 (Verizon and AT&T iPhones in the US). For the iPhone’s sleep button, the case covers it with a raised area of silicone rubber that simulates a button. The button works accurately when pressed, but doesn’t feel quite as tactile as the normal button.

Conclusion

The Scosche Kickback ($25) is a good-looking dual-layer case with a built-in stand. Well-designed and offering above-average protection, the case has few faults. Our only complaint is the single angle provided by the stand. We rate the case an 8.0 out of 10, highly recommended.

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