Most of the iPhone cases I receive are intended to offer a combination of protection and style. Adequate protection to minimize damage if the iPhone is inadvertently dropped, while minimizing bulk so the device still retains some of it stylish sleekness. The more effective ones tend to be higher priced, often $50 and up.
The latest review unit to arrive at my door throws most of these conventions out the door. The M-Edge SuperShell is molded from closed-cell foam and available in three brilliant colors (plus basic black). The case bulges around the corners and has all sorts of dimples and ridges to provide a better grip. It weighs less than an ounce — it is all foam, after all — but significantly increases the physical size of your smartphone. The major ports and buttons are accessible, but forget about docking on most devices. So why would you encase your iPhone in this rather whimsical looking case? Three reasons:
- It offers better impact protection than most cases.
- It does so at an affordable ($29.99) price.
- The bright colors and squishy, grippy material make it a potential choice for kids.
I like the fact that this case is dead easy to put on and pop off — there are no latches, no worries about snapping something with the force needed, no concern about scratching the iPhone in the process and no five minute procedures. Just slip the bottom of the iPhone in and pull the top of the case up to stretch it over the top of the iPhone. There is no display protector (it’s a slip-on, not a completely enclosed case), but there is a raised edge that would offer some protection if it was dropped face-first. I wasn’t about to throw my iPhone onto the pavement to test how well the SuperShell works (I’d be more brave when the iPhone 5 is out and I’m itching for excuses to upgrade), but just playing with dropping it a few inches at a time illustrates that the foam absorbs shocks quite effectively. M-Edge has a video on its website if you want to see one of these being really abused. It’s not waterproof or dustproof and doesn’t carry a guarantee against damage like other extreme cases, but it’s not meant to be survivalist gear.
M-Edge had pitched the case as having potential for use by kids. I could see where it would be useful if you wanted to hand your iPhone to a child who was perhaps a tad on the clumsy side. It’s well cushioned, it’s colorful and the foam really does make for a more secure grip. However, the case wouldn’t resist the efforts of a child who was determined to remove it. If you frequently hand your iPad to your kids to play with, M-Edge also offers an iPad version.
M-Edge SuperShell for iPhone 4/iPhone 4S in Grape, Bubblegum Pink, Ocean Blue or Black
Available from: M-Edge’s webstore.
Wired: Seems to offer better than average protection from drops, inexpensive, easy to put on and pop off (great for casual use).
Tired: Big and bulky, foam tends to attract dirt, easy to pop off (an issue if used with kids).
Disclosure: M-Edge provided a SuperShell cover for review purposes.