iPhone 4 Silicone Case

As big as the market is for smartphones, one could argue the market for smartphone cases is even larger. The race to launch the first case for the latest iPhone model usually begins many months before a new iPhone is announced. There are big dollars at play for case manufacturers, and as a result, there are hundreds of iPhone cases to choose from.

Choosing from those hundreds of options comes down to your lifestyle and preferences. First and foremost, how do you treat your devices? Do you drop your phone a lot, or do you take the utmost care in how you handle your phone? Do you sit in an office all day with your phone laying on the desk, or do you work in construction through the hot, cold, rain, sleet, and snow? How you answer these questions will help determine what you value in an iPhone case.

Attempting to answer these questions for you is a bit more problematic. I spend my entire day at an office desk, as do the majority of the people I know. What I value in an iPhone case will surely differ from what you value in an iPhone case. I value form more than function, a slim profile more than bulky protectiveness, and fashion more than subtlety. I also value a case’s ability to be removed when I’m tired of it. After all, you can only subdue your iPhone’s beauty for so long.

Aspects like the case’s material define its ability or inability to stay clean and free of everyday smudges. How easy a case is to install must also be considered — if you have to use a screwdriver to install the case, a mistake has been made.

The long and short is simple: A good iPhone case in my book has to look and feel good, has to protect your iPhone from casual (not necessarily major) bumps and bruises, and has to be fairly easy to install and remove. A good price is just the icing on the cake.

Of all the cases we put to the test, Apple’s own Silicone Case provided the best combination of form, function, and ease of use. The silicone is one of the best feeling silicones I’ve ever felt and the case’s colors are funky, fun, and non-obnoxious. Apple’s Silicone Case is thin and adds very little bulk to the iPhone’s svelte design, and it keeps your iPhone protected from the simple drops and falls of everyday life. Better yet, the Silicone Case’s price is middle-of-the-road at $35, so you should still have some cash left over to purchase the best iOS apps from the App Store.

What you see is what you get with Apple’s Silicone Case. The case is only the bare minimum, save for a cutout to access the Ring/Silent switch, a few button bumps, and a cutout for the camera. In fact, the Silicone Case nicely offsets the iPhone’s camera bump and allows your iPhone to rest evenly on the table. The bottom of the case is entirely cut out, leaving room for the iPhone’s speaker, Lightning port, and headphone jack. Aside from these departures, only a simple Apple logo rests on the case back. This case is a lesson in minimalism.

The inside of the Silicone Case has a soft microfiber lining, preventing the 7000 Series iPhone aluminum from directly rubbing against the silicone. It’s a small detail considering it’s the inside of the case, but this helps keep tiny grains of sand or dirt from scratching between the aluminum and the rubber.

What makes the Silicone Case our favorite iPhone 6s case is its ability to act as though it’s not there, yet still provide a dash of spunk and style to your iPhone. The case’s button grooves click with ease and don’t feel mushy, and the cutout to get at the Ring/Silent switch is well-placed. The case is thin and unobtrusive and provides the right amount of protection, and it feels great in the hand.

There are two possible areas for improvement in my opinion — the first being the silicone’s ability to slide nicely out of your pocket. Especially when it’s dry, the silicone has a knack for grabbing onto the inside of your pocket. It’s a small gripe considering the characteristics of silicone in general, but it does get in the way occasionally. Secondly, removing the Silicone Case can be testy at times. Apple’s cases always fit very snugly to the iPhone, so removing them can be tricky. Of the cases on this list, the Silicone Case is the second easiest to remove, but that’s not to say it’s easy.

Overall, we think this is the best iPhone 6s case for most people. Apple’s Silicone Case looks fresh, feels top-notch, and comes in at a simple $35. That’s a well-rounded case right there.

The Step-Up: Apple Leather Case

If you’re looking for a more classy option and are willing to accept mushy button presses and a ballooned price, Apple’s Leather Case is a great step up from the Silicone Case.

Apple’s Leather Case comes in a range of five colors: Midnight Blue, Saddle Brown, Rose Gray, Brown, and Black. New to the lineup is the Saddle Brown color, which is my personal favorite. I believe the Saddle Brown Leather Case is the best looking case we tested, especially when installed on a Space Grey iPhone. In my opinion, white-faced iPhones take to cases in a more aesthetically pleasing manner, so finding a stylish case for a black-faced iPhone without going black-on-black can be difficult. Luckily, Saddle Brown looks pristine on the Space Grey iPhone 6s.

Aside from price and those mushy buttons, Apple’s Leather Case is largely the same as the silicone variety. The case is thin and light and doesn’t add much bulk to the iPhone. It feels premium in the hand and has the same interior microfiber lining as the Silicone Case. Best of all, the leather is sure to accumulate some scratches and bruises along the way — the keys to a beautiful leather product.

The Leather Case’s mushy buttons are a bummer, though. Pressing the sleep/wake button on the right side of the iPhone can be unnoticeable, and this is exacerbated on the left side where it’s nearly impossible to tell if you’re hitting the volume up or volume down button.

And lastly, the Leather Case’s price. It’s a tad steep if you ask me, especially when foreign exchange comes into effect. In Canada for instance, these leather cases come in at $60. Although not exorbitant, it’s not cheap either. I love the way the leather feels and ages over time, but I’m left wondering if Apple’s Leather Case is priced on the high side.

For $45, the Apple Leather Case is a classy step up from the Silicone Case in terms of feel and style, but the Silicone Case takes the cake in terms of price, function, and general spunkiness.

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