Perhaps the Case-Mate Egg for the iPhone 4 & 4S ($15) wasn’t designed to be a stress relief toy, but that’s exactly what the hundred or so rubber nodules that stick up from the back of the case remind me of. And while this “accidental” functionality is nice, what’s really important is that the Egg is an excellent all-around case that gets all of the basic design elements right while being one of the more affordable iPhone cases out there. Read on for both my video review and text review below.
Silicone Rubber. The affordable Case-Mate Egg is made entirely of silicone rubber. The elastic material makes the case a cinch to slip on and off. The case fits tight around the iPhone, hugging the corners with no looseness like that found in some other cheap, poorly designed rubber cases. Still, like any slip-on case, when the right amount of force is applied, a corner can still sometimes come undone. Fortunately with the Egg, such occurrences were rare.
The other downside of some silicone cases is the ability to attract lint when stored in pockets. I didn’t notice this problem with the Egg, but it could have been the light blue color of the case hiding the lint.
Protection. Silicone rubber is great for shock absorption, and the more of it, the more shock absorption. The Egg has about medium thickness when relatively compared to other silicone cases I’ve reviewed, and thus supplies about a “medium” amount shock absorption. I felt comfortable dropping the case from a normal waist-level height, but the Egg isn’t exactly a throw-it-against-the wall kind of case.
The Egg has a rim that sticks out above the iPhone’s screen about a millimeter. This provides some protection when the iPhone is laid face-down on a table, preventing the screen from coming into contact with surfaces. The case’s rim may also provide some shock absorption if dropped at the right angle. However, any iPhone case that does’t completely cover the iPhone’s front screen (as most cases don’t) creates a risk of the front screen shattering if the screen catches the edge of a rock or table corner.
Accessibility. The Egg is a well-designed case that doesn’t get in the way of everyday use of the iPhone. All of the iPhone’s ports and switches are accessible when you need them, the camera works fine with the case on, and all buttons work accurately when pressed. There is a large cutout area that leaves the dock connector and bottom speaker and microphone uncovered. Everything you need to plug in or press works with the case on.
Grip and Comfort. Another positive of silicone rubber is improved grip. The rubber material is a lot easier for fingers to hold on to than the iPhone 4′s double-glass sides. The raised nodules also supply added friction, improving grip even further.
In terms of comfort, the case and its rubber nodules remind me of a stress-relief massage toy, making the case quite relaxing to hold on to. I soon found myself running my fingers over the raised rubber nodules unconsciously in a soothing manner. I’m not sure that’s what Case-Mate intended them for, but it worked.
Style. With a bold design like the Egg’s, the beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. I liked the design, as it’s both functional and unique. The case is also well made, with nice smooth lines and rounded edges. No frayed edges from poor machine cutting here. Stylishly unique without being garrish is how I’d describe the Egg. It’s also available in several colors, including traditional black.
Weight & Thickness. The Egg is a lightweight case, although not the lightest I’ve seen. In terms of thickness and general added bulk, the Egg is of medium thickness relative to other cases I’ve reviewed.
The Case-Mate Egg is an all-around well-designed case that doesn’t get in the way of using the iPhone on a daily basis. The Egg has style too, with its raised rubber nodules and the 3D-rounded-bumps pattern on its back. Medium shock absorption, a good fit, and an affordable $15 price tag combine to make the Egg a case worthy of wrapping around the iPhone. We rate it an 8.5 out 10, highly recommended.
- All-around, well-designed case.
- Doesn’t get in the way of using the iPhone on a daily basis.
- Rubber nodules on the back are relaxing to touch.
- For protection-focused buyers, only medium shock absorption.