TiPb Top 5 Cases for the iPhone 3GS

tipb_case_picks

Nothing makes people more paranoid than a shiny new gadget, especially if it's an expensive-to-replace shiny new iPhone 3GS gadget fresh from Apple. Cases can't work miracles, but they can go a long way towards helping you avoid dust and dirt, nicks and scratches, and -- depending on how hardcore you go -- cracks and breaks. Oh, and they can also stylize your iPhone beyond Apple's iconic black and white, if that's how you want to roll.

We'll be rounding up some accessories for new iPhone owners in the coming days, and because we're just as paranoid, we're starting with cases.

Luxury Leather: Sena Elega Case

Sena Elega CaseJeremy loves the Sena Elega Pouch Case ($39.95 - iMore Store link). Napa leather on the outside, velvet on the inside, with shock-absorbing padding and a belt clip, this top loader also has cut-outs so your speakers don't get muffled when listening with the case on.

Get a Grip: Seidio Innocase II

4073Dieter still likes the grippy goodness of the Seidio Innocase II [$29.95 - iMore Store link] because, let's face it, the plastic backing of the iPhone 3GS might not blend, but it doesn't exactly stick to the hand either. With a soft-touch, "rubberized" finish, and ultra-slim profile, the Innocase II provides just enough protection without getting in your way about it.

Layered Protection: OtterBox Defender

OtterBox DefenderCasey called this one protection without compromise, and certainly if you need to keep your iPhone 3GS safe come rain or shine (light rain, not the pool!), Otterbox Defender [$44.95 - iMore Store link] brings it like armor. Rather than chain and plate, however, a polycarbonate sheet covers the screen, a polycarbonate skeleton provides crush-protection, and a silicone skin finishes off the impact-proofing.

Charge and Go: Mophie Juice Pack

Mophie Juice PackJames still won't leave home without the Mophie Juice Pack ($99.95 - iMore Store link). What with push notification, video shooting and sharing, and faster, better processors, the iPhone 3GS is even harder to put down, and that means even harder to keep charged. If you need a case, and want to keep going, and going Mophie Juice Pack can give you 6 additional hours of 3G talk time and 8 hours of video watching.

More than Skin Deep: BodyGuardz

BodyGuardzIf you want some of the protection but none of the look or bulk of a case -- high-tech applications to the rescue! Made from the same material that is used to protect the front of automobiles from stones and other abrasive elements, BodyGuardz [$24.99 - TiPb store link] is transparent, tough, and come two to a box should you need to protect more than one iPhone, or want a spare just in case.

Conclusion

From almost not-there, to full on hasmet suit-like coverage, from clear to colorful, if you want a case to protect or pretty up your iPhone 3GS, there's a wide variety of forms and fashions to fit your needs.

Staff

Your source for everything iPhone and iPad. More news, more how-tos, more app and accessory reviews. iMore.

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There are 60 comments. Add yours.

Sopralto says:

Hey, that's only four -- where's the fifth one?

Muero says:

Why do I only see 4 cases in this "Top 5" article?

ThisBrian says:

The five cases are in the first picture. Are these really the most popular, most of those are ugly. I would like the Mophie for long days but as a case not really, the Get a Grip is the only one I think that looks decent.

cyberbob says:

They want to make sure that whatever they choose for fifth is in stock of the TiPB store. They wouldn't want to promote a case that they can't sell you.

Blackfish95 says:

I'm really happy with my Roots Tuff skin case. Thick black silicone with 'tire tread' like pattern. Also comes with a smoked acrylic swivel holster/stand with carabiner. Does a lot for C$29.99

Joe R says:

For an extended battery pack The Mophie Juice Pack Air is the better case from Mophie. It looks good and it does not interfere with the signal as others do.

Rene Ritchie says:

D'oh, post got cut off. Thanks, fixed!

Dmys says:

I have a Mophie Juice Pack Air, it's pretty good except for these facts.

  1. I'm now scared to take the top off because I think I might break it.
  2. iPhone + MJPA = a rock you can throw at someone and they will probably bleed or at least bruise heavily.
  3. It messes with the battery indicator on your iPhone. (It says I have a full charge but if I do a soft reset, it shows the true meter)
  4. It DOES NOT give you the hours it says it's going to add.
  5. When you're charging it, it gets hot as hell in my pants, probably killing my sperm count.

Yet I still love it, I just wish they would improve on it.

Hector Ramos says:

No love for the Incase Slider iPhone case? I've bought three of them, two for my 3G/3GS and one for my sister's 3G. It is hands down the best hardshell case I've come across. Guess they don't sell it at TiPB Store?

justin says:

i recommend "InvisibleShield" by Zagg, for clear case-less protection. they are a little more expensive than the bodyguardz though.

Jordan says:

I'm wondering why some of you are only seeing 4? Clearly there are 5. Maybe you should go back and look again verrrryyyy slowly. I definitely agree on the Sendio Innocase. I love it. It's hardly any extra bulk, but still provides good protection against drops.

ryrycalguy says:

I see a lot people with the slider rubberized cases by InCase more than any other one. And I would agree with them that I think the slider case by InCase is the best all-around case.

JNGold says:

For a power charger and belt-clip case combined into one, you guy should take a look at the 2300mah Case-Mate Fuel. I have one and it is one of the best investments I have made for the iPhone. Although the holster does not support any skins on the iPhone, the trade-off for the extra power it provides is well worth it.
http://www.case-mate.com/iPhone-3G-Cases/Case-Mate-iPhone-3G--3GS-Fuel-R...

macdripper says:

You may want to consider also the TEKKEON LEATHER CASE AND BATTERY PACK for all iPhone generations including the 3GS. It can also power-up your iPod classic (80 & 120GB), iPod touch 2nd generation and iPod video 30GB.
http://tekkeon.com/products-mypower-iphone-specs.html

Shangraham says:

The hubby and I just got the Innocase II cases and we love them. I did my research on several sites and watched many Youtube videos and the Innocase was very highly recommended by many people ... not just TiPB. I love the slimness of this case as well as the grippy feel. This is a great case!

Dtrk says:

SwitchEasy cases have served me well. Just got the newest case for for 3GS - even better grip than before.

Hanni says:

Why the Juice Pack and not it's successor the Juice Pack Air?

Hanni says:

Aand, nice grammatical error there Hanni... Doh.

Jack Dodson says:

And these are the Top Five because? The only criteria seems to have been your writers bought them and your site sells them. A more fitting title would have been Five We Like.

Slay says:

I have an LV Black/Gray case... Amazing :)

INCASE SLIDER IS THE BEST says:

What in the world....? You guys left out the Incase Slider? Like someone else said, it is hands down the best iPhone case. Hard case that has a rubber feel to it. Doesn't attract any dust or lint and doesn't get stuck in your pocket when trying to pull it out. The only bad thing about this case is how hard it is to get off. It kills all the cases reviewed here.

computerjeff05 says:

I have the iSkin case and absolutely love it.

Josh W says:

I have been rocking a Royal Blue Ivy Skin Quattro™ T4 Glass Screen Case. Love the complete protection that it offers for my phone. It features a tough poly-silicone case with a smooth finish and a "glass" hybrid material to protect the screen. While the case did crack a little after a three foot drop onto asphalt, my phone remained blemish free. A little pricey, but highly recommended.

xxzone says:

Switcheasy cases are my preference.

MJ says:

The ifrogs two piece slider case is the best I've found.

m' says:

i'm pretty sure its "haz-mat" suit

Alex says:

Rene,
I love this site and like your writing but this article is not really an article, it's advertising under the guise of an article. The inCase Slider case is the ABSOLUTE BEST and it's not here. Why? Because you don't sell it. I know you're also an e-commerce site for iPhone accessories but, for pete's sake, name the article correctly. How about...
'Top 5 cases from theiphoneblog that we like"

MfS says:

Buyer Beware: the Bodyguardz are NOT CUT WELL AT ALL for the 3G. Unless they've re-cut the template, I wasted $20 bucks on the Bodyguardz for a 3G. The screen protectors (which are useless for the 3GS) were GREAT for the 3G, but the backing of the Bodyguardz was gawdawful. The corners just did NOT stick at ALL.
Thinking that I'm uncoordinated and just bad at putting the protector on, I had my wife do the second pair on my 3G, since I had got her Bodyguardz for the original iPhone I gave her, and the way she put it on there...you couldn't even tell the original iPhone had a skin on it. She had about the same luck I did with the 3G Bodyguardz...which was NONE. So it wasn't just me/us, they were cut very poorly. So beware, unless Bodyguardz has re-cut, stay away.
I went with an iSkin Solo FX for the 3G after that debacle, and I use it on my 3GS now. Much cheaper to buy off of Amazon than iSkin's website (or the Apple Store).

ppennza@gmail.com says:

I have always used bodyguards and never had a problem with them sticking. If you follow the directions they go on easy. Why cant you put them on a 3gs i have had one on mine since the day it came out with no problems

foster2380 says:

I agree with the above posters, not a very unbiased review here. The Mophie Juice Pack Air is not only a better looking model IMO its $80 instead of the $100 for the old model listed in this advertisement. Interesting that TiPB doesn't sell it.

Rudy says:

Hmmm, hi guys I bought the candyshell from speck and I'm very happy with it. It's stylish, and is a hybrid between a hard case exterior and a soft silicone interior. I recomend a different shield that comes with it just case it's to shiny for my taste.

cdriggers says:

You should try the Clarifi from Griffin Technology. The bottom comes off for charging and it also has a sliding zoom lense for closeup pictures.

Chad says:

My favorite is the Orbino leather w/ magnetic closure (keeps screen clean when talking)

Adam says:

I love my iFrogz Luxe. And you can get it on Amazon for like $12. Awesome case.

NoHock says:

InCase Slider. Great case and has drop protection.

naveen says:

the sedio case is the best case!

Alex says:

If you're not looking for a case that's going to protect your iPhone from a random cliff diving, the case-mate barely there cases are great! They add just enough protection, for me at least, without adding too much bulk and not silicone that is hard as anything to get out of a pocket in a hurry. Check out case-mate.com and see for yourself.

Alex says:

Also, the Power Support Anti-Glare screen protector is great and doesn't get all smudgy like a lot of other screen protectors.

lordzod01 says:

I like my juice pack air. I think it's a little more stylish than my old juice pack. Couldn't live without a backup battery these days.

lgreenberg says:

Kind of an odd top 5 to say the least.........

Chobbs says:

Wow! people love their cases! I too have a great case that I have touted many times on this site. but no one seems to be willing to pay a little extra for it so I guess y'all wont be sporting mine. which is fine by me. but if you are interested check out the Vaja website.

chris says:

picked up an Incase Slider at the apple store when i got my 3GS, but the lack of a screen protector and the difficulty in removing it once it's on left me dissatisfied. i went with a Switcheasy RebelSerpent instead.

Dale says:

Not one of these cases appear to have a belt clip and that's been a major drawback for me when I've searched for a case. I'm currently using a chinese hybrid of the Mophie and the Seidio. It offers complete, rugged, exterior coverage, a rechargable lithiun battery that pumps a full charge into the phone in a little over an hour, and a BELT CLIP! The case has its drawbacks which includes a cheap plastic screen protector that sticks to the glass phone screen and makes weird moire patterns, but the battery and the rugged case outweigh most of the other issues. If the iFrogz case offered a thinfilm battery and a belt clip, I'd jump on it in a new york minute.

Michael says:

My personal favorite case is the dual design from fortte.com. I get a nice face protection to carry on my hip and with a quick snap, an open face to leave on my desk. It's well fitted and has access to all buttons, etc.

Gale says:

Haha yeah it's definately Haz-Mat...as in hazardous materials...I hate when people use words they don't know :/ but anyway I'm a big fan of Specks candy case. All these shown here in the top "5" list look pretty lame.

CHIP says:

for screen protection i highly recomend the bodyguardz. easy to apply and by far in my opinion the best screen protection available. it's 25 bucks but you do get two sets, and there pre cut for your iphone. still can't decide on what my favorite or best case for the iphone is.

timechaser says:

I have been carrying a iPhone for over a year now and I have purchased no less than 8 casesduring this time. I will tell you that the Seidio case mentioned in this article is by far the best one I have ever used. First off I got the blue case and it looks awsome with my white iPhone, this is the only case I've had that really makes me glad that I chose the white iPhone instead of the black one.
The felt lining inside of the case is a very nice touch and the feel and look of the exterior is oustanding, I have been using this case every day for over two months and I swear it still looks like it did the day I baught it. Oil from my hands, dirt, and scratches have been easily wiped away from this case. The two piece design is very easy to put on and take off for easy docking or to just wipe down my iPhone every other day or so. Its slim with a low profile and yet it still has a great lay on the table design.
The openings in the case around the apple logo on the back of the phone and the controls show off just enough of the white color of the phone and contrast very well with the color and texture of this case. I purchased the black clip by seideo to go a long with this case and I love it too, it also lined with felt and holds the iphone very close to your body. The cased iphone pops in (faced inward with logo showing) and out of this clip very easily and yet it seems quite secure. Another thing I discovered about this clip is that it will also hold the iPhone with out the seideo case (faced outward) if you wanted to use it that way.
If you try this case you will not be disapointed, its has a very slim design, great look, great protection, and I fully expect it will look like a brand new case for a long time considering the fact that after more than two months of carrying mine it still looks perfect no fading, scratches or blemishes what so ever.
Oh yeah, since seideo did not include some clear protection for the exposed apple logo, I did have to make a small circular protector from one of the many screen protectors I had gotten free with one of my other previously purchased cases.

HackerCA717 says:

One word people, droconcepts.com. If you really want to protect your investment with the lightest, strongest man-made substance to date, there is no better option. Incidentally, there are very few more expensive options, but well worth it.

Jennifer says:

http://www.blinkcase.com
coupon code: s85off15
coupon detail: 15% off for first 100 customers only
I just bought a case for my iphone 3gs from them and received 15% coupon in email.
I’ve seen many breakable plastic metallic “feel” cases, but this one is made out of very thin actual aluminum with uv coating layer on. Bought a silver one and it feels like they made a case out of my silver Camry body. It’s like i got nothing on my phone. Good stuff.
The cases comes with high quality mirror screen protector, and apple logo protector in the back. and it all came with FREE shipping

TECHNOCROWD says:

Go to www.technocrowd.com for Iphone cases
Sells Otterbox,Switcheasy,more-thing,ideal-case,Tech21 and case-mate
Free Worldwide Delivery!

mobiles2money says:

I like the look of the BodyGuardz case as I want all of the protection but none of the bulk! Anyone got one of these?

chole says:

I'm Swarovski crystal lover. iPhone CAZE is definitely my favorite.
I bought a Zebra Love crystal caze and like it so much.
http://www.iphonecaze.com/iphone-3g-cases/swarovski-crystal-case.html

Rhino says:

For a wide variety of cases check out case-mate on http://www.cleverkit.com

Rooney says:

Overwhelmed by so many different choices when it comes to iPhone case. Out of all, my two best are iSkin and Cretouch. iSkin is wellknown to people since they are selling their case in Apple store. Their solo case is greatly designed with awesome look. Cretouch seems to be not really known to people yet. But you Must check out their cases if you are considering of purchasing case for iPhone. I love their Vintage Leather case. It's very fashionable, not making your iphone like plastic toy cell phone(some of bulky plastic cases). And it protects iPhone as complete suit of armor. Definately the best.

SimonC says:

I have the iPhone 3G and even without video, noticed that the battery life is not very good.
Ivyskin's SmartCase solved the problem ... plus it also protects my iPhone and its most important part, its screen with a solid glass touch-thru shield. It's very tough plastic and does a great job at protecting the phone from damage. And it feels great too. Nicely designed.
SmartCase doubles the battery life of my iphone. It does make the phone slightly thicker, but nothing that would make it a deal-killer -- but the nice thing about this case is that when you don't use the battery pack, you can slide in the original back piece and you go back to a super slim case.
I highly recommend this product.
http://www.ivyskin.com/iphone-battery-smartcase.html