G-Form Extreme Grid case for iPhone 4/4S offers formidable protection and a distinctive look [Review]

The G-Form ‘Extreme Grid’ is possibly the coolest iPhone case I have ever owned. The case comes from G-Form, a company originally created to revolutionize impact protection and vibration dampening in competitive athletics through the use of advanced polymer technology. Finding great success in that field, G-Form moved into electronics accessories and military and tactical gear. You may best remember the company following a viral YouTube video that showed the company dropping an iPad from the edge of space clad in nothing but its ‘Extreme Edge’ case. Crashing to earth near Area-51, the iPad hit the deck fully functional, an absolute marvel of polymer engineering.

It is this heritage and expertise that brings us the Extreme Grid Case for iPhone. The case consists of two parts, a tough but flexible exterior shell (that’s the black part of the case) and an inner core (the yellow bits). The inner core features G-Form’s Reactive Protection Technology (RPT), which is a composite blend of Poron XRD material and other G-Form materials and technology. In short, it’s tough… really tough. The undeniable selling point of this case is its unrivalled protection, which I think is certainly as competent, if not more so than the protection offered by Otterbox. The protection covers all areas of your iPhone through 360 degrees of impact protection. The technology developed by G-Form is incredibly sophisticated. I can’t demonstrate what I’m about to say, but I can tell you that the protruding yellow material in the pictures you see is rather flexible, almost squishy. However, on impact this material stiffens for a split-second, absorbing over 90% of the impact, before returning to its former state. That means that the case almost nullifies the forces placed on your iPhone when you drop it, bump it, run it over with a tank… etc. I’ve carried out numerous drop tests, and I feel totally at ease with my phone inside the Extreme Grid, were this review centred around protection alone, it would achieve a 10/10 without breaking sweat.

That being said, there are other aspects of the case to consider, so I’ll start with the good. The design of this case is somewhat controversial. Speaking with friends, I found most of them found it really cool and funky, but a small minority of them thought it repulsive. That being said, I can only attest that it is incredibly well made and designed, and that personally I find the looks of the case to be awesome. It looks really badass, and love it or hate it, it really does grab people’s attention. The case is available in a range of different colours, the choice shown, black, blue, orange, ice (somewhat transparent), purple, white, green and pink.

To that extent, this case if formidable, and its pros are so overwhelming that after a day or so of use, you forget about the few minor setbacks, but to make this a fair review, I feel obliged to mention them regardless. The exterior buttons on this case are pants. Granted, any kind of separate button for the lock button and volume switches would most likely compromise the structural strength of the case. However, it’s still hard to push the buttons, not impossible, but taxing nonetheless. Secondly, the cases exterior black shell, being flexible, has a tendency to “come away” at the sides a little, and therefore the fit around the front face of the iPhone isn’t quite uniform. Neither of these drawbacks make the case bad, and shy of a little inconvenience, I’d hardly call them drawbacks at all.

Overall, this case is awesome. I’m really digging the case’s design and its formidable protection. If it’s safety you want, then look no further, if it’s design you’re after, then this may well be up your street too. The looks are distinctive, which may not be to everyone’s liking, but this case is still a fantastic protection solution. And, retailing at $39.99, it won’t break the bank either.

If you find yourself convinced by what I’ve said and you’d like to pick one up, click here for the US store, and here for the UK store. If you hail from Europe, the cases will ship to the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands, Austria, Germany, Portugal and Spain. I should warn you now that the UK store is currently offering these cases at a discount price of £15, half the £29.99 usually charged, there’s even an extra £5 discount if you buy it in Ice or Blue. For a full list of countries where the Extreme Grid is available, click here. For any questions about the case head on over to my Twitter @TiP_Stephen.

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  • centralcoastfreeride

    Good review, but missed some important points! They have another style case that you didn’t show which I think is a way cooler design. Also, no problems with the buttons or materials…and no I am not a G-Form representative. Just love the company and it’s products. 
     
    link is an image of the other case w/ color options 
    http://www.technologytell.com/apple/files/2012/05/g-form-iphone.jpg

  • TiP_Stephen

    @centralcoastfreeride I know they do another style case, but I wasn’t reviewing those cases, I was reviewing this one. I have no problem with the materials, but the lock and volume buttons require too much force to make pressing them comfortable.

  • http://www.drcarsonliu.com/ Patty Corley

    Crashing to earth near Area-51, the iPad hit the deck fully functional, an absolute marvel of polymer engineering.