Speck has been making accessories for handheld devices since 2001. One of their latest products is the Candy Shell case for the iPhone 3G. The Candy Shell features the protection of a hard exterior, but has the cushioning of a softer interior to help buffer the iPhone if it’s dropped – hence, the “candy shell” name.
The Candy Shell is primarily designed to protect the back of the iPhone. Speck also includes a removable screen protector for the face of the iPhone, which while it wouldn’t protect the screen in a severe drop, will at least protect the screen from scratches.
The back of the case has a glossy finish, so it does show fingerprints to some degree, but not as much as I initially expected. Despite the hard, glossy surface, it doesn’t feel slippery, and I never felt as if it were likely to slip out of my hands, but true to Speck’s promotional material it is easy to slip into a pocket.
The case features cutouts for the ringer switch, the headphone jack, and the speakers and connector on the bottom of the phone. Each of these cutouts were ample enough to be useful. The headphone cutout had a large enough diameter to allow for a reasonably sized headphone jack.
The power switch and volume controls are covered under play-through style plastic covers. I’m not usually fond of play-through covers on buttons, but these seem to work fine. They are sensitive enough and have enough give that they activate the power button and volume controls pretty accurately. They don’t provide a lot of feedback, however, so at first I found I was applying more pressure to activate the buttons than needed.
The Candy Shell is a tight fitting case. Unlike some other cases I’ve tried that slip on and off easily – sometimes too easily – the Candy Shell took a little bit of effort to get seated on the iPhone. Once on, it felt secure.
It also took quite a bit of effort to remove my iPhone from the case. After removing the case the first time, I noticed that the thin band of plastic over the iPhone’s connector at the bottom edge of the case was stretched slightly. If you look closely at the top photo, you’ll notice a little bigger gap between the edge of the case and the bezel.
We were provided with the black and yellow version (listed as Lemondrop Liquorice) to review, but the Candy Shell case also comes in Key Lime Jawbreaker (dark gray and lime green), Cranberry White Truffle (white and deep red), and Watermelon Gumball (light gray and, uh, watermelon).
The Speck Candy Shell case is available from Speck on their website.
Pros: Attractive design, good protection for the back of the case
Cons: Tight fit makes it hard to remove the case