Speck PixelSkin HD – Review


My search for the “perfect” iPhone 4 case that strikes just the right balance between protecting my iPhone, reducing the chance of an antenna issue and maintaining the thin design of the handset has brought me to check out Speck’s new PixelSkin HD.

Speck PixelSkin HD - Review

Designed with their well-received PixelSkin cases in mind, the PixelSkin HD uses smaller “DPI” (read- smaller boxes in the design) and is made from a significantly harder material.


From Speck-

Patterns and textures can turn “plain” into absolutely fabulous. PixelSkin HD has a shiny polished back with matte pixel overlay, creating an eye catching, sophisticated, and modern artful look. Light dances off the crisp, linear pattern of mathematical protection and perfection.


Slim High-Definition Protective Case

Flexible high-contrast skin case

Smooth HD Pixel texture

Perfectly contoured skinny fit


The PixelSkin HD has small, raised boxes all over the back. Unlike the standard PixelSkin which is covered in the design, the sides of the PixelSkin HD is made from smooth material. While the PixelSkin is made from soft material with a good bit of “give”, the PixelSkin HD is noticeably harder. It isn’t that the HD is hard, just that it is harder than the original version.  Personally I prefer the material used in the HD.


The back of the case has a precise cutout for the iPhone’s camera and flash and a subtle logo in the lover left corner. Overall it makes the phone comfortable to hold and easy to grip for an extended period.

Speck PixelSkin HD - Review

The PixelSkin HD covers the bottom of the iPhone but leaves open the dock connector. Obviously you won’t be using Apple cradle with the case on but you can sync and charge the iPhone while it is inside. I did find, however, that the small piece of material above the dock connector (the piece that would touch your face if you made a call) displayed a bit of flimsiness due, in large part, to it being such a narrow strip.

Speck PixelSkin HD - Review

And while you can’t see it in the first photo there are two small slots in the bottom of the case has a small slot on either side of the dock connector to leave the microphone open.


The left side of the PixelSkin HD has a small opening for the silent toggle. The volume controls are covered but two small, slightly raised areas indicate where the buttons are and allow full control.

As you can see in this picture the case puts a tiny bit of material above the screen of the iPhone. This is great protection in case you place your iPhone screen down on a table. (Although when you would put a phone with a glass screen face down is beyond me.)


The top of the case leaves the noise canceling microphone and the headphone jack open. It does cover the on/off button however without any loss of functionality.

In all the PixelSkin HD is a nice case that does a good job of protecting the iPhone. It feels comfortable to hold and is a tighter fit on the iPhone than cases like the original PixelSkin. Because of this tight fit I would recommend that anyone using it take the time to put the case on as slowly as possible and ease the front lip of material up and over the screen to avoid bubbling whatever screen protection you might be using. Personally I prefer it over the thicker PixelSkin but that is purely a matter of personal taste.

The Speck PixelSkin HD is available directly from Speck in Black, Blue, Pink and Purple.

MSRP: $29.95

What I Like: Good protection of everything but the screen; “Lay on the table” design, cutouts are precise and there is no loss of functionality while the iPhone is in the case; feels good in the hand

What Needs Improvement: Care must be taken when putting on the case lest you bubble your screen protector

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.

7 Comments on "Speck PixelSkin HD – Review"

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