iPhone 3G and the Griffin Wave case

On the practical side of things, I’ve been looking for a second iPhone 3G case – one that lets you use all the features of the phone, rather than the ‘tuck it away’ leather slip case I bought. I’ve always known that Griffin make good products so I was fairly confident that after some good reviews on the Apple Store webite, that the Griffin Wave case would be up to the job. So I ended up buying a two-pack of these cases off Amazon UK and as a result I now have a black and a green(!) Griffin Wave case.

Once past the mass of plastic packaging (come on Griffin, haven’t you read the news about the planet?), you find a three piece plastic case together with an instruction sheet. The instruction sheet is potentially unnecessary as fitting the case is really a no-brainer. There is a front bezel, a clear screen protector and the sculpted case back, and if you don’t know where those go then you must be hung-over! You place the bezel face down and slip the screen protector into in, taking care not to get any finger marks on the inside. Next you place the iPhone into the bezel, with the ear speaker and home button lining up with their corresponding holes in the screen protector. Finally you clip the back of the case to the bezel, taking care to note the clever under/over arrangement of the way the two halves lock together. About 60 seconds and it’s all done.

The materials used to make the case are good, the bezel and case back being a translucent coloured plastic with a smooth non-slip feel to them that resists scratching from everyday knocks rather well. The transparent screen cover is completely clear, so your iPhone screen is as bright and clear as ever. In use I found the screen cover to be actually quite good, despite some reviewers over at Apple having their doubts. Yes, I was expecting it to de-sensitize the iPhone screen itself and make it less responsive, but if fitted properly you barely notice it, and I can still activate the phone’s interface with gentle touches.

One minor flaw

One minor flaw

Because the iPhone is such a sleek design, almost any case of this sort is going to make it look bulkier and cheaper, but looks aside the fit and finish are good apart from one possible design flaw. The left side of the case has an aperture in it to allow use of the mute switch and volume control. This means that at the top left corner the two sides of the case aren’t clipped together and will easily come apart (as shown in the photo) allowing dirt to get in. That said, the rest of the case is quite firmly locked which brings me on to a second point. If you’re an iPhone dock user then this isn’t the case for you. The phone cannot be placed in the dock with the case fitted, and despite the issue with the top left corner, getting the case off takes a fair old bit of effort. Of course there’s an aperture at the bottom of the case where you can still attach the sync cable.

In the hand, the phone still has that comfortable sculpted feel with the case fitted, and the translucent finish means you can still see the Apple logo on the back. The screen protector does however suffer the same smudging from finger marks as the iPhone screen itself so you’ll still end up having to clean the face. One final thing I noted is that dirt does tend to collect between the edge of the bezel and the screen protector and that dust can make it’s way under the screen protector via the opening where the home switch is. However, assuming your home and pockets are less dusty than mine you might not find this a problem.

Overall I do like this case despite it’s minor flaws and if I wasn’t a perfectionist it would probably do me just fine. So I would score it a 4 out of 5 and would say that if you want a hard case and don’t use a dock then it’s a pretty good choice. As for me, well I do have something else in the pipeline… 😉

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