iPhone 4 Case Review: Shark Eye Rugged iPhone 4 Case

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The Shark Eye case for the iPhone 4 may look like just another rugged iPhone case but it is far from it. You see, the Shark Eye case has a built in screen shield that swings out of the way when you need to use your phone and goes back into position protecting the screen when you don’t.

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From the Company:

SharkEye Cases are the best rugged iPhone cases to keep your iPhone and your life up and running. Meticulously engineered to protect your iPhone from serious drops, slips, scratches, pressure and from the same challenges you face everyday with work and in life.

Heavily tested to outlast and out-protect other hard iPhone cases

Rugged cases for every version of the iPhone (iPhone 4 case works with both AT&T and Verizon iPhone)

iPhone screen protection and privacy

Durable case and elastomer inner lining prevents impact from reaching the iPhone

Your device is more than just a phone, it’s your command center, your connection to everything you and a device worthy of the best iPhone protection.


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Rugged iPhone 4 Case Features:

Retractable screen protector

Hard outer case concentrates impact force on the outer shell

Soft elastomer inner-lining absorbs majority of any remaining impact force prior to reaching the iPhone

Easily maneuverable elastomer plugs for ports

Hard/smooth outer case allows for easy movement in and out of pockets without sticking

Rugged iPhone 4 case includes belt clip

Scratch prevention film included with rugged iPhone 4 case

SharkEye Rugged iPhone 4 cases are compatible with the AT&T and Verizon iPhone (Black and White versions)

When you first take the case out of the box you notice that something is different with this case. After all, it has a slot in the middle of the back and a clear plastic slider inside.

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Flipping it over you find the belt clip. Of course it rotates so you can have the iPhone at a variety of different angles on your belt. (My favorite angle is none since I’m not personally big on wearing my devices on my belt.)

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The case is thick and blocky with screen protection filling the space where the iPhone screen would otherwise be exposed. The belt clip feels heavy duty enough to take some decent use and withstand a fair bit of abuse.

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The iPhone case is designed in such a way that it can also go into the belt clip facing out.

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The Shark Eye ships with two screen protectors and an application card. It is a nice touch that I always appreciate.



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And this, dear readers, is the Shark Eye functionality. The interior screen protection slides over the screen and retracts into the case using the slider that we looked at previously on the back.


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You get a good idea of how this case works when you pull off the bottom. It is a “slider case” but has a much larger interior space than you will find with most sliders. Inside that space is a “U” of material that can swing from one position to another depending on whether or not you want to access your iPhone’s screen.

The iPhone then slides into the interior area inside the “U” and sits in place.

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You then slide the bottom piece into place and let it lock closed.

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Of course you can still use the camera.

This image gives you an idea of just how thick the case is. It adds a significant amount of bulk to the thin, stylish iPhone 4 and, in the process, hides away the “stylish” aspect of the phone almost entirely. More on that shortly.

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It is a rugged case and, as such, the 3.5 mm headphone jack is covered. The rubber plug can easily be pulled out of the way when you need to access it.

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Similarly the bottom has a plug that keeps dust out of the dock. When you need to connect a cable you simply lift up the rubber and move it out of the way.

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Here is a good view of what the iPhone 4 looks like when inside the case. The home button is covered but still functions. the earpiece and proximity sensor are open and exposed.

The bottom and top portions of the case show a gap and are not completely aligned with one another.

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Pull the slide on the back a bit and the built-in screen protection, ie Shark Eye, comes in over the iPhone’s screen. It is kind of cool the first few times you do it.

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What is also nice is that the screen protection is translucent and lets you still see the main apps and notification bubbles.

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Again, you can see the gap between the bottom and top halves of the case.

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Finally, here is the case when it is placed in the holster face first.

The Shark Eye is definitely one of the more unusual cases I have seen recently. The built-in screen protection is rather interesting and I guess could come in handy if someone wants to keep their screen covered most of the time but still wants quick access to it without removing a case plate or book-style cover.

That noted, I found the case to look and feel a bit on the cheap side. The plastic used in its construction does not feel great in the hand, strikes me a rather thin and the case design is best described as utilitarian. While the thinness will offer the protection you want without adding too much weight it just doesn’t FEEL great. And while the two pieces click together they do so in a manner which looks and feels a bit clunky. Perhaps this best explains it- as refined as the iPhone 4 is the Shark Eye is not.

If the degree of screen protection the Shark Eye offers is of interest to you this case is, without a doubt, worth a look. If you want the rugged protection and do not need the unique screen protection this case offers you might want to look at more refined rugged cases such as the Otterbox Commuter.

You can order your own right here on the Shark Eye website.

MSRP: $49.95

What I Like: Unique case that will draw attention; include two screen films with the case; with screen protection in place the iPhone is 100% covered and protected; belt holster takes the case with the iPhone screen in or out

What Needs Improvement: Adds a good bit of bulk to the iPhone; plastic and construction do not feel as substantial as I would expect for a $50 price tag; just not as refined as some of the other options in the “rugged case” market

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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.