Review: Contour Showcase for the iPhone 3G

It's about time that I'm able to finally review the Contour Showcase for the iPhone 3G.  I've been flying around the Eastern Seaboard without a case on mi iPhone blanco for the last month and half ever since Contour replied to my inquiry that they were in fact releasing a better case.  So, without further adieu, I bring you some photos.  DSC00171 DSC00172 Staying true to all other Contour products, the packaging remains the same except for name of the product on the lower left hand corner of the box.  It's definitely a little confusing when actually trying to find the right case in the Apple store when all the Contour cases are hanging in a vertical configuration with all the same black boxes.

The case comes with a side clip for those tools like me that like to have their pockets free from clutter.  You can clip the device to the holster either face in or face out, your choice.  If I did carry the phone in my pocket, I would have a lot of scratches on the device, so it definitely adds to the longevity of the device.  You can configure the clip at any angle, whether you like it horizontal along your hip, perpendicular or prefer some type of cowboy angle.  The releasing from the hip clip is a little more tricky and sometimes it feels like you need to use two hands to release it but you get the hang of it after a while.  It's just a little tight when you first start using it.

The case itself opens from the top with ease but shuts securely around the device.  The iPhone drops in from the top and fits snugly into the bottom fourth of the case leaving the bottom open to allow syncing with a cable.  Since I don't have the newest dock, I'm not sure if it will allow for dock usage, but I'll update this soon when I try it at the store.  The case itself allow access to all the side buttons and headset jack without any obstruction while the top sleep button is covered but easy to trigger.  You won't even know that it is covered as the response is great compared to other cases.

DSC00173 DSC00174 The front of the Showcase protects the top quarter of the iPhone 3G leaving an opening for the speaker while the bottom quarter protects the area around the Home button.  The Showcase has a clear back shouting out to the public the version of device that you own.

Conclusion: The Contour Showcase is the must have case for the iPhone 3G due to the premium construction of the molding.  "Starting with a base chassis of light weight (dual injected) polycarbonate, each Showcase is then bordered in a supple rubber finish."  This provides for a good shock absorber for those clumsy moments and trust me, you'll want the extra insurance.  It was a long time waiting and after going through 4 different cases, I'm glad that I was finally able to get my hands on one while having an overnight in Stamford, Connecticut.

Pick one up online at Contour's Website or at your local Apple Retail Store.  The stores haven't been able to keep a steady stock on these cases, so I'd call in advance.  Enjoy! rating: Perfect 10

The last picture below just show how much of a tool I am with the hip clip situate horizontally along my waist.


Power Support anti-glare film + Contour Design iSee (product review)

Due to the tremendous demand for both Power Support's "anti-glare / matte film" and Contour Design's iSee 3G Clear Hardcase, it took two weeks until I was finally able to pick up a set.  So, I headed down to the Apple Store tonight at one of San Diego's finest shopping malls, Fashion Valley: A Simon Mall and with luck, I quickly snatched up both products. It was going to be a quick return of the Agent 18, and after much consideration and one letter to Contour asking when the next iteration of their Showcase for the iPhone 3G would come out, I knew that I needed to settle with something that could offer me protection right away.  The glossy screen protector that came packaged with other case solutions offered a clear plastic static cling piece but it's major flaw was that it attracted too many fingerprints and my oily face didn't help the problem.  I was plagued, since day one, with a screen that I had to perpetually wipe off every time I put the phone to my ear or played games further oil smudges with my fingerprints.

glossy screen vs matte

Both screen protectors offer the benefit of covering the entire face of the iPhone 3G with the exception of the Home button, that are made of a static cling plastic that adheres with ease, stays put and offers an easy, no sticky residue allowing you to remove, cleanr and reapplt at your leisure.  The biggest difference between the two can be easily compared to having a glossy LCD screen vs. a matte LCD screen. (e.g. shipped on the original Apple Powerbook LCD)

You can clearly see that the screen on the left with the protector that came prepackaged with a previous case wasn't doing so much in the department of cleanliness.  This is not a direct comparison with Power Support's Crystal film set but it still is indicative of what you will get in terms of overall result.  Over the to the right, you have the Power Support anti-glare film that was newly applied and fondled with finger streaks and face rubs.  Without a doubt, I truly believe that the anti-glare / matte screen protector is the way to go.  It helps the screen in every way possible deflecting scratches, fingerprints, and glare.  I was using the previous protector for 2 weeks now, and I'm more than happy with what I got with Power Support's product.  It is ridiculous though that 2 pieces of film cost $14.95.  It seems as if everything for these Apple products are being priced way too high!  rating: 9/10

The iSee is self explanatory.  The installation is easy and the clear plastic is beautiful.  I applied the iSee case with no problem but the biggest gripe that I have are that the two soft keys (not pictured) that come packaged and are used to protect the hold key and volume buttons.  Simple put, they are just too hard to press and are frustrating!  I rather almost not have them on at all.  I still love the fit and like the fact that it protects the metal edge of the iPhone 3G well.  Coupled with the anti-glare screen from Power Support, you have one heck of a solution for protection.

For another $10, a holster and clip are made available for the iSee, but if you wait for Contour Design's Showcase, it comes all prepackaged including a shock absorbing rubber that borders the inside of the clear protective case.  Looks like I'll be doing a more extensive review of that case at a later date, but for now, I recommend the iSee.  rating: 8/10



update - of course, when I finally settle for a solution, Contour Design's website shows that the Showcase for the iPhone 3G is set to ship out on the 15th of August.  You can send one over to my address any time and I'll do a review.  Thanks guys!