Contour Showcase - iPhone 4 Hands on review

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by h1r0ll3r, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. h1r0ll3r, Nov 9, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010

    h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040

    h1r0ll3r

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    Maryland
    #1
    Thank freakin’ Christ, this case is finally a reality for me.

    The case holds the phone quite well. The interior of the case is pretty snug so there’s no wiggling or shifting of the phone within the case. On the back plastic portion of the case, there are small strips of foamy type material, not soft but not too rigid either, that the phone rests on around the edges of the case. There is a small gap between the back of the phone and the back plastic of the case. For those of you who don’t have back screen protectors, you should be okay with this. I currently have both front/rear protectors on mine and the phone sits quite well within the case. Though you might want to get a back screen protector, just in case, any grit/dirt gets in there. And I’m 100% positive that the back of the case will get scratched to hell within no time which is a bummer. There is plenty of lay-on-the-table protection here as well. The clear plastic trim on the front of the case bevels in a little bit, giving you a little more front screen protection which is nice.

    With the phone fully enclosed within the case, the seams around the case are tight for the most part. I did notice that the side of the case with the hinge on it (the right side) there is a small gap where the two halves of the case doesn’t quite contact each other. It’s about a millimeter gap however it is noticeable and is more pronounced on the top of the case than anywhere else. The left side (the side with the latch) is tight with no gaps around it. My guess is that the gap on the right side is due to the hinge. The hinge itself is pretty rigid but flexible. If you’re like me and constantly clean your phone, the hinge should hold out to multiple opening/closings. Hinge is pretty solid with the exception of the above mentioned gap. The latch that closes the case shut seems a little gamey to me. It’s quite thin in feel and there’s no real defining “click” that lets you know the latch is on tight. If the latch is not on tightly then it is noticeable so that should take care of any accidental non-closures on the latch. The tab underneath the latch is nicely tucked away so there shouldn’t be any issues with you accidentally opening the latch.

    The cut outs for the ports seem quite generous for both the earphone and dock connector. Apple sync cable fits fine however I don’t have any other cables to test out with. I have a Griffin car charger which I will test out later however, I don’t suspect any issues with that not fitting. I have noticed that, while the volume/sleep buttons are raised, it’s quite difficult to push these buttons in. This is kinda of common with a lot of cases however I was sort of hoping that this case wouldn’t have this issue…but it does. Accessing the mute button is easy though for some reason.

    There are no flash issues with this case as the cutout for the rear camera is generous. And for those of you wondering if this bubbles your screen protectors, I have not seen this issue so far. In fact the case actually presses down on the rim of the phone so there shouldn’t be any issues of screen protectors bubbling with this case.

    The holster is my biggest gripe with this case. I’ve seen far better ones out there and the previous holsters used for the Showcase phones was a lot sturdier than this one. The belt clip only locks in two positions and does not ratchet like most other ones do. So you have the option of vertical or horizontal and nothing in between. This and the lock positions of the holster isn’t very tight. It’s quite easy to flick the belt clip around unfortunately. Not a huge thing but every once in awhile I like clicking the belt holster for the hell of it  The holster simply holds your phone in place and doesn’t lock in like others do. As with the latch on the case, there is no real defining “click” when you put your phone in the holster. The two prongs at the top of the case hold the phone in place. Taking the phone out is simply a matter of popping it out and no tab lifting to or any other sort undoing a locking mechanism. The bottom of the holster has cutouts which allow you to use the volume buttons (for whatever reason). The holster itself seems pretty big compared to the phone (those of you with OB Defenders know what I’m talking about).

    So, overall? I’m pretty satisfied with this case. Looks nice, protects well, isn’t too bulky. Yes there are a couple minor “flaws” with this thing, namely the holster but overall I’m happy to finally have this case. I’m done looking for cases now and this case will now replace the other 6 I have back at home :) Was it worth the $50 I paid for it? Not really IMO as I don’t think ANY case is really worth $50. For those of you wanting to get this case and can wait, I’d suggest hitting up Small Dog Electronics or some other 3rd party vendor to get this case for cheap(er). For me though, I think the wait was worth it. Sure some things on this case could’ve been better but the same could be said for any case really. But, as a matter of personal preference, I dig this case and it looks like Contour has brought out another good Showcase for the iPhone…..even though it was 4 months late.
     

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  2. h1r0ll3r thread starter macrumors 68040

    h1r0ll3r

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    Maryland
    #2
    moar
     

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  3. h1r0ll3r thread starter macrumors 68040

    h1r0ll3r

    Joined:
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    #3
    even moar
     

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  4. h1r0ll3r thread starter macrumors 68040

    h1r0ll3r

    Joined:
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    Maryland
    #4
    :rolleyes:
     

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  5. h1r0ll3r thread starter macrumors 68040

    h1r0ll3r

    Joined:
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    Maryland
    #5
    :d
     

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  6. djransom macrumors 68040

    djransom

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Chi-Town
    #6
    Thanks for the hands on review. I'll definitely will till a 3rd party retailer gets this case before taking the plunge.
     
  7. Aeroflux macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #7
    Excellent review, thanks!

    That 1mm gap is drivin me nuts. Makes me want to sit a couple dozen hardbound books on it for a week...or use superglue. Ah well...at least it will keep my iphone from becoming an ibrick. :eek:
     
  8. decx macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2010
    #8
    Just curious, where did you get your Showcase from? $50 seems a bit much since Showcases in the past from the old iPods to the iPhone 3G/3GS always went for around $30-$35.
     
  9. loskickking23 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
  10. decx macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2010
    #10
    It is probable that the gap is caused by the front and back protectors that the OP has on. With my iPhone 3G, the Power Support film I have one does make the fit in the Showcase kind of tight. It makes sliding into the case (the 3G case is not a "book" style clam shell) a bit tough, and does have slight bulge and gap near the top. With 2x the film, the extra thickness is significant, especially for high quality films like PS and SGP.
     
  11. reeco macrumors regular

    reeco

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #11
    Good review, but that case to me is horrid. Each to their own tho :p
     
  12. h1r0ll3r thread starter macrumors 68040

    h1r0ll3r

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    Maryland
    #12
    Ordered directly from Contour since these aren't available in store yet. Yes, $50 is a bit pricey as these are usually in the range you stated above. I actually have one on pre-order at Small Dog Electronics for $20 but I couldn't wait any longer :rolleyes:

    I actually used my co-workers IP4 (without screen protectors) and the gap is still there although not as big as with my IP4. Definitely possible that the dual screen protectors are the cause however I'm not too terribly concerned about that little gap since I'm protected.

    Sort of. It's not OB Defender bulky but it's not too terribly slim either. The other case in my pics above was the Apple Bumper to try and give some sort of comparison between the thickness of the case. For most it'll probably be too bulky but, for me, it's just right and fits in my meaty hands just perfectly.
     
  13. Aeroflux macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #13
    Agreed on the bulk preference. I actually miss the curvature of the 3G, as it felt more solid in my hand. The bumper always has me guessing how good of a grip I have on the phone.
     
  14. h1r0ll3r thread starter macrumors 68040

    h1r0ll3r

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    Maryland
    #14
    One other little nuance I discovered with this thing. I'm 100% certain it's because I have front/rear protectors on my phone and, as a result, I've noticed that there are small indents in the screen protectors where the foam pads are as well as the outside rim on the front of the phone. The rear camera area also has the indent in the shape of the cutout.

    So if you use dual protectors, you should probably be aware of this. I don't care as I have a ton of extra protectors lying around. Just thought I'd let you know.
     
  15. Aeroflux macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #15
    Well I got my case last night. The gap in the case side is definitely a design flaw, at least to those who use screen protectors. I have a zagg art skin on the back as well so it's a little worse for me. The video cable does connect, but it splits the bottom part of the case, also not planned for by contour.

    I have a power support crystal screen protector, which relies on static cling to adhere to the front of the iphone. Already there are bubbles on all four corners and by the locking hinge. I have an SGP on the way, but if it doesn't work out I'm going to have to ditch my idea of having art on the back of my iphone and get another case. Sucks!

    I do like the feel of the case though, a lot better than the bumper. After four and a half months of babying this tech it's like a weight lifted off my shoulders.
     
  16. cmoore49 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    #16
    Why would you want to turn a beautiful phone into a Brick!
    I realize beauty is in the eye of the beholder but OMG!
     
  17. Aeroflux macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #17
    Well it's either going to look like a brick or be an iBrick...besides the phone is kind of shaped like a brick already.

    Got my SGP ultra crystal in the mail yesterday. Despite the adhesive backing some bubbles are appearing. Does anyone know of a good compatible screen protector?
     
  18. decx macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2010
    #18
    If you get bubbles with both the PS and SGP skin there aren't much other options. Since they're thinner, you could try the wet apply type skin to see if they do any better.
     
  19. bernieismycat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    #19
    I loved my Countour Showcase for my old iPhone 3G, and I was really bumbed that it was not available for the 4. So I got a Splash Cruiser Slim-Fit PolyCarbonate Slider Case + Belt Clip Holster Combo for $36 from Amazon. Of course, as soon as it arrived, the Countour Showcase for iPhone 4 became available :(

    The Splash Cruiser was pretty good with two exceptions:
    1) My matte screen protector bubbled around the top. I tried both Power Support and SGP with identical results.
    2) The belt clip on the holster rotated too easily, when the phone was brushed with my arm.

    So I broke down and got a Showcase from Small Dog for $19 (price has gone up to $23 since I ordered). I like it more than the Splash Cruiser, but not as much as my old 3G showcase. It's working great with my SGP anti-fingerprint film; no bubbles as all.

    My biggest complaint about the new Showcase is its belt clip...it rotates even easier than the one on the Splash.

    Otherwise, a great case at a reasonable price.
     
  20. sb9689 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    #20
    BTW, these are now available in Apple Stores.
     
  21. h1r0ll3r, Nov 17, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010

    h1r0ll3r thread starter macrumors 68040

    h1r0ll3r

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    Maryland
    #21
    Not sure if I mentioned it above but I'm currently using eBay screen protectors and there is no issue with bubbling or anything. I refuse to pay $20 for one screen protector when I can get 20 of them for the same price. I have issues with screen protectors :p Might wanna give those a try and see if they work better for you. I only paid ~$6 for 3 sets of front/back protectors.


    EDIT: Also, if you're feeling adventurous, if you remove those little foam pads on the back of the case, there is no more issue with that little gap in between the cases. One of my co-workers did this and the case sits almost flush with no gap in between the case. Haven't done it myself but if it starts bothering me down the road, I might give this a try.
     
  22. decx macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2010
    #22
    Well there is a difference between the high price PS/SGP type protectors and eBay types. The good pricey "dry apply" protectors are often a PET film with additional layers added on top finishing with a hard coat. This results in a more scratch resistant film than the cheap protectors which are often just a PET film with an adhesive backing.

    As for the pads, it will solve the gap problem but, IMO, it also takes away from an important feature of a Showcase which is the phone doesn't touch the hard polycarbonate base. Those pads has been in the design ever since the old iPod days.
     
  23. mpossoff macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #23
    How is this case compared to the Otterbox defender?
     
  24. i3igsmooth5769 macrumors 6502a

    i3igsmooth5769

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #24
    nice review....not sure i like the back of the case...something just looks off.
     
  25. map1978 macrumors 68020

    map1978

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    #25
    I've laid bricks smaller than this

    But thanks for sharing your informative review and pics

    Great job
     

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