5 hard-working iPhone 4 cases

The iPhone 4 is launching this week, so how will you outfit that cool, new form factor? When it comes to cases, there are a lot of options arriving than just those colorful but backlogged Apple bumper cases — which have a great look, but only offer minimal protection (mostly for that slick wrap-around antenna).

Adriana posted a pretty sweet iLuv round-up of iPhone 4 cases, while Bob kicked off a series of company spotlights focused on the new case collections — starting with Case-Mate‘s new offerings.  So if you have a particular favorite brand, keep your eye on Today’s iPhone as more come into the fold.

My own assessment of cases has me looking across the brands. I searched for rugged protection, good looks, and smart construction (or maybe even some extra functionality). With running around from work, to workouts, and everywhere in between, I need a sturdy case that can do more than just look pretty. Here are my seven favorites so far.

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Shield Shock — $29.99

For the same price as Apple’s Bumper, this Belkin case offers more coverage for your iPhone 4. This beauty grabbed my attention because it absorbs shocks and, thanks to its rubbery outer material, offers a decent grip on the phone. It also comes in a variety of cool colors, too: Black Carbon/Royal Purple and Vivid Blue, Black Carbon/Translucent White and Translucent Black.

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Verve Cinema — $29.99

Leather cases — you either like them or you don’t. Some people go for silicone or hard plastic, but to me, there’s something about leather that screams “sophisticated grown-up.” (It may be because executive types often carry them.) I particularly like this one, also from Belkin, because its leather fabrication not only protects, but also features a kick stand, to help to turn your phone into a mini theater (especially with that gorgeous Retina Display). Plus, the slim case fits snugly while allowing better access to the home key than other similarly designed cases.

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Elan Holster Metal — $34.99

Sometimes when a call comes in, you can’t drop everything to dive into your pockets or tightly packed purse to dig it out. (This is especially true when you’ve got your hands full of files, shopping bags or small children.) That’s why I love a holster. Easily clipped to a waistband or belt, it allows you to keep that device handy for no-fuss phone access. And I particularly like the slick design of Griffin’s Elan Holster; it’s a horizontal hard case coupled with a soft inner lining, and the flipcover is trimmed in metal, so it will never curve up over time. (And do you see the inner pattern on the right? Super cute.)

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Magnet Flipper — $52.00

The Magnet Flipper by Sena is no cheapie, but the luxe looks and high functionality of this European leather case makes it a winner in my book. Like the Elan, it has a handy clip, except this one’s removable. And who needs a screen protector with that generous leather flap, which offers easy, thumb-flip-open access and magnetic closure.

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Bubble Soft — $34.95

This juicy colored case collection from Hard Candy offers a soft-touch exterior over a durably rigid polycarbonate shell. The Bubble Soft isn’t just stylish, but it’s also comes with some smart design: The bottom part also detaches! That means it not only allows clear access to the sync/charge port, but the case won’t get in the way of Apple’s optional dock or any of those new docking accessories that are sure to launch soon. Color options: Red, Pink, Blue, or Black (for soft-touch) or pearlescent White (for hard case). There are also alternate versions via the Chrome Collection — in shiny black, chrome or gold — and a non-bubbled version called Plain Candy.

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FastFit — $29.99

For workouts, a specially-designed case is a must. And this one’s high on my wish list. The Belkin FastFit boasts a smart, one-handed release clip. Made of a light material that wicks moisture away from your body, it also has a water-resistant back to keep the phone moisture-free. Plus, it stashes your ear buds right on the strap and even has an additional pocket for a key.

The FastFit looks like a remarkable accessory for fitness enthusiasts. But if you’re a fitness geek, tech geek, multimedia freak and an aesthete all in one, you’ve also got another great option to consider:

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SportShell Convertible — $44.99

This MarWare hard shell case goes wherever you go. It has a quick release, rotating clip that attaches/detaches to the armband for workouts, clips to a belt or waistband for everyday use, and pops out and locks to make a horizontal or vertical viewing stand. The case includes a clear back piece, clear backing with clip and the armband. (For a look at more MarWare iPhone 4 cases, click here.)

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Have you seen another notable iPhone 4 case? Let us know by hitting us up in the comments!

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  • Veronica

    I bought a case at the AT&T store, I unfortunately don’t remember the name however they have very few accessories for the new iPhone 4. The case was priced at $34.99 very sleek and built to protect but it didn’t allowed me to fully use the flash, that is one the perks of having the iPhone 4. The case had the extra hole for the flash but its thickness affected the flash and the pictures came out blue. A beautiful case but not useful for I had to remove the case every time I needed to use the flash. I returned the case as a defected product and explained to the staff. I got my money back but I am still looking for a new case.