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Old Aug 10, 2010, 05:41 AM   #1
adster
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Agent18 ClearShield Slider for iPhone 4 Video, Review and HQ Pics

Hello everyone! I've done a few reviews around here as of late and i hope to be doing a few more! Here's the first review (that I can find anyway) of the Agent 18 ClearShield for iPhone 4! Cost of case: $29.95


Full unboxing video and review is posted here in 720p:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhgbdybU1MQ

Wanna learn how to get 50% off on this case? Read to the bottom of the review!

I've been a huge fan of the iPhone sliders over the years. I've used dozens of iPhone cases over the past few years and I always seem to go back to the slider case. Incase has the market pretty much cornered for sliders, but other companies like Rebel Scholar and even Griffin Technology have been selling equal quality, if not better cases. Agent 18 is no stranger to the slider case. The EcoShield is one of the best selling cases for the iPhone 3G/3GS, in part because of it's wide retail availability at almost all retail Apple stores.

I was never a huge fan of the EcoShield, mainly because I disliked the rubbery side grips. I also wasn't crazy with their color selection: black, white or blue. When the ClearShield slider case was announced, I was excited to see Agent 18 get back into the market of a clear slider case, something they haven't produced since the original iPhone.

Review:
My first impression of the case is a cautious one. The case is not clear at all, despite being called the ClearShield; it's a frosted clear color. While I don't think I was necessarily deceived, I think Agent 18 needs to make the word "frosted" a bit more prominent on the main order page or even in the default picture of the frosted color. If you choose the "Features" tab on the case website, you'll then find the colors listed at the bottom. The case comes in 'frosted clear' and 'vibrant pink' for you pink types out there. I'll get into the details about the color a little later.

After removing the case from the 100% recycled paper tray (bonus points for that!) I get a little more nervous after feeling the case. It felt a little cheap to me, like a child's toy. I think that feeling was partly due to the 'frosted' nature of the case which gave it a course texture, much different then the clear plastic Ivyskin Reception Case or the Incase Snap Case. On the other hand, the frosted texture completely eliminates fingerprints which the previous mentioned cases all have issue with. To me, this feature was more important then the initial "cheap plastic" thought I had. The feeling of the case is very similar to several "anti-glare" screen protectors on the market.

Speaking of screen protectors, I have some good news! The Agent18 ClearShield works with screen protectors! I have the SGP Oleophobic screen protector on the phone and the case slid right on over it. Initially there was some bubbling at the top but after pushing the case up, the phone slid right under the lip screen protector and all. The same method worked for the bottom piece as well. (Note: You can see my struggle and eventual success with my screen protector in the video review posted above)

I have to say that after installation I was much more impressed with the frosted plastic. It felt sturdy and fit like a glove. I would say that the Incase Slider's felt a tiny bit more firm when installed, but the difference was really too small for me to give it another thought.

I know this has been brought up before on other case threads, but yes this case does wrap around the front of the iPhone allowing you to lay the phone on the table without it touching the glass. This adds extra drop protection as well since all the corners of the iPhone are fully covered by the case.

Flash: I haven't done extensive testing on this, but after shooting a few photos / videos with the case on, I haven't noticed any washed out photos.

One of the neat things that Agent18 did was put a small groove around the power button to make it easier to press. It's sort of like a little cutout that tells your finger that you're in the right spot. (take that as you will... )

There is a large cutout for the headphones that should accommodate most headphone jacks. It's even wide enough to expose the noise-canceling mic next to the headphone jack. The dock connector area is also fairly large. I don't think you'll have any problems using an after market sync cable.

The case doesn't come without a few issues, however. There seems to be a cutout on the inside of the rear of the case. I assume this was for some sort of rail piece like the old Incase Slider's use, but nothing was installed. The cutouts looks like cracks when looking at the back, especially is you hold it at the right angle. Also when held at a certain angle, you can see a rainbow-like effect on the plastic. I'm not sure what this is but I thought I's bring it up anyway. (picture of rainbow below) Finally, the little metal "stand" that they include is useless. The case doesn't fit in the stand properly so it just rests on one of the joints in the metal making the phone unstable. Incase seems to have an infinitely better stand. Although these are small issues indeed, this wouldn't be a review without mentioning both sides of the coin.

Overall I'm very impressed with this case. I had my doubts when I first opened it, but I was much happier with it after it was installed. I use a leather belt clip in addition to my cases, and this one fits nice and perfect with the Marware CEO Premiere for iPhone 3GS. I plan on keeping this one around for a while, at least until Incase starts making some metallic/glossy slider cases!

How to save 50% off this case:
Use my referral code! Just kidding. Actually, Agent18 has an awesome Case Buy Back program. The gist of it is this: you purchase your case form Agent18 and during checkout you select the case buyback option. When you get your order, you'll get a prepaid return envelope to send your case back to Agent18. Once they receive your old case they will credit you 50% of the purchase price of the case. Not bad! Your older case has to be made by one of their approved vendors. For more information on that program, go here:
http://www.agent18.com/library/2010/07/10.aspx


And now for some PICTURES!





















Last edited by adster; Aug 10, 2010 at 12:22 PM.
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Old Aug 10, 2010, 12:29 PM   #2
adster
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Surprised more people aren't interested in this judging by the popularity of the Incase Slider Maybe too much to read? haha
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Old Aug 10, 2010, 12:52 PM   #3
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Very nice case and review. I just got the Incase Slider and like it very much. Had I not gotten the Incase then this would be a no brainer. I like clear/frosty look of the case.
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Old Aug 10, 2010, 02:02 PM   #4
ratman2356
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Thanks very much for the review. I emailed them a few days ago with some questions about the Clear Shield and was impressed with the professionalism of the reply. They said it would not work with a SP but nice to see that this one will that you reviewed. I will post their email below:

I wrote:
Subject: Iphone 4 clearcase
Message:
I have a couple of questions about this case. It looks great but I have tried a couple other models that have 1 or more issues, have you tested this case with a screen protector? Most seem to cause bubbling or warping of the SP, also does it have any type of anti scratch coating? Lastly does it have any issues with rainbows or watermarks when pressing against the back glass of the phone?

Thank you for your time

The Reply:
Hi Rob,

Thanks so much for your inquiry. The ClearShield is designed to have a very close fit to the iPhone4, because of this we can not make any guarantees that it will be compatible with a screen film. We wanted to ensure that the fit virtually eliminated the possibility of dirt and debris getting trapped between the case and the phone; in order to accommodate a screen film it would have been necessary to leave a gab which would be a perfect spot for dirt to sit.

There is not an anti-scratch coating on the ClearShield. It actually has a frosted clear finish which makes any scratching that may occur (and it's way better for your case to scratch vs. your phone) less detectable.

Regarding the watermark or rainbow effect that you were worried about I have not seen this happen. I know that the case is tooled to be an extremely close fit to keep the sleek silhouette of the phone, but as far as I know there is a small amount of room to provide a cushion.

If you have any additional questions or need any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best,
Lydia

Last edited by ratman2356; Aug 10, 2010 at 02:04 PM. Reason: clarify case
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Old Aug 10, 2010, 02:45 PM   #5
ludawg23
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Solid review, thanks.

It actually looks really good and the design is the exact one i'm looking for. I love how it wraps around the sides and top/bottom of the phone.

I don't like the washed out look but I could deal with it.

My Incase clear just got delivered today, i'll be trying it on when I get home. If I don't like it, i'll exchange it for this one.
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Old Aug 10, 2010, 04:40 PM   #6
eurotechnik
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thanks for the review and pics. i did like their 3g/s slider cases.

not liking this clear...frost look with dividing line of both pieces, overall looks cheap. it might be different with the solid color ones.
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Old Aug 10, 2010, 05:39 PM   #7
iphone1105
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Usually I love Agent18 stuff, but by OP's pics, this case is a no go for me at all....i can get a cheap ebay case that looks exactly like that for $2

Good review though OP, thanks for shedding light on it for me! really appreciate it!
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