iPhone Case Review: Speck ToughSkin Case for iPhone 4



noun \?kl?ts\
Definition of KLUTZ : a clumsy person

Are you a klutz? Do you have a tendency to not look where you are going and trip over the smallest of things? Do you drop your iPhone more than your iPhone drops calls? (Okay, we know THAT’S not possible but still…) If you answered yes to any or all of these questions this is the iPhone 4 case for you.

Yes, Speck has produced an iPhone case for the klutzes among us. It offers amazing protection and a good bit of varied use scenarios. Here’s a close look at the Speck ToughSkin Case for iPhone 4.

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From Speck:

Roller derby queens, rodeo clowns and demolition derby drivers aren’t the only ones who get their share of bumps and bruises: our phones do, too. Protect yours with the new and improved ToughSkin, our ultra-strong case for iPhone 4 with textured, rubberized skin, and a thin, inner plastic shell for reinforced protection. This most rugged of iPhone accessories also includes a detachable holster/belt clip that doubles as a viewing stand.

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Rugged and tough dual-layer iPhone 4 protection

Rubberized and textured exterior for maximum protection and grip

Durable protective hard inner case can also be used separately

Detachable holster with rotating belt clip also works as a viewing stand

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There are two main parts to the ToughSkin Case for iPhone 4. There is the case itself and the holster. While you do not have to use the holster it does do a great job of protecting the screen when the iPhone is placed into it face first.

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In actuality the ToughSkin Case for iPhone 4 has four different components to it. Going from right to left you will find the holster, the soft exterior skin, the hard, interior shell and a screen protector.

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I suspect it would be more accurate to refer to the ToughSkin Case for iPhone 4 as a “protective system” rather than a case.

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To use the case you first place the iPhone into the hard, interior shell. I tend to prefer an iPhone 4 case that is as minimalist as possible and, truth be told, if the side ribs on this case were a bit less pronounced I suspect I would be quite happy using this interior shell AS my case.

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You see, it is a perfect fit and grips the iPhone 4 quite tightly (in fact it was a challenge to get off). It offers no “lay on the table” protection but it was not intended to do that in the first place.
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It does, however cover all the areas that need to be covered while leaving the ports, buttons and other openings accessible.

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The design of the inner shell is great with regard to the camera since it puts a raised, protective ring around the lens. In this image you can also see the pronounced ridges that are part of the interior shell. They serve to hold the soft rubber skin that is placed over the shell in place.

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To get the rubber skin on the iPhone you simple slip the bottom portion of the device inside and pull the top portion over it. Now you get double protection; the interior shell is hard and strong while the rubber skin is soft and “bump-proof”. While I would never intentionally drop my phone I can see this system being quite effective when extra protection is needed.

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The case makes the dock connector surprisingly recessed. You can use your standard sync/charge cable but this is not a case if you are someone who tends to use a speaker dock/cradle very often.

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It will come as no surprise that the mute button is quite recessed and a bit of a challenge to activate. You CAN do it but you need to dig into the case a bit to get there.

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The back of the case has an impressive “do not mess with me” look to it. I think the Speck name and logo add some nice visual interest to an otherwise serious case.

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As noted in the introduction to this review, when the iPhone is placed into the holster face first it is almost completely protected.

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In fact, the only thing that IS exposed is the camera lens.

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The rotating belt clip is heavy-duty and should stay in place without issue.

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In all, the Speck ToughSkin Case for iPhone 4 lives up to its name. It is one heavy-duty, highly protective case. It is actually a bit lighter than I expected it to be and that is a good thing. Yes, the ToughSkin is a bulky case but it needs to be if it is going to offer the serious protection it promises. It is definitely one of those cases whose looks you are going to either LOVE or HATE. Then again this is about protection and there are times when function just needs to trump form.

The Speck ToughSkin Case for iPhone 4 is available directly from Speck and comes in black.

MSRP: $39.95

What I Like: a system, not just a case; highly protective; includes belt holster that can be used but does not NEED to be used

What Needs Improvement: adds significant bulk to the iPhone; dock connector is so recessed when the phone is in the case that most docks will not work with it; you are either going to love the look or hate the look


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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.

1 Comment on "iPhone Case Review: Speck ToughSkin Case for iPhone 4"

  1. Nice to have four different components to it

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