I don't like to carry my iPhone 4 in my pocket. I prefer to use a case or holster that clips to my belt. Until recently, I was using a Marware CEO Sleeve. Last week, while attaching the CEO Sleeve to my belt, the clip broke. (Thankfully, the CEO Sleeve -with iPhone 4 in it- came off in my hand instead of hitting the floor.) I contacted Marware and they were happy to replace the CEO Sleeve under warranty. Only problem: they no longer offer it in black. They sent me a 'vanilla' one instead. Not my cup of tea.
Thus began the search to find a replacement gadget to carry and protect my iPhone 4. During this search, a friend suggested a case and holster that another (mutual) friend had found at a Verizon store. I visited a Verizon store the next day and ended up purchasing a PureGear Shell and Holster with Kickstand for iPhone 4 model number AIP4HOC.
The Holster and Shell
PureGear put some thought into this design. There are two separate parts, the Holster and the Shell.
The Holster and Shell are constructed of rubberized plastic. The material has a nice tactile feel and it is quite strong. There are other cases/shells on the market that could offer more protection, but they all seem to be bulkier and, frankly, not nearly as attractive.
Nesting the Two Parts
The iPhone 4 slides into the Shell and then the Shell/iPhone combo slides (iPhone face first) into the Holster.
Clipped to my belt, the package is nice and compact. There's no fumbling to remove the iPhone from the Holster, it slides right out. Putting the iPhone back is just as easy. It snicks into place and all seems very secure.
The long rectangular section on the back of the Shell is the nifty Kickstand. It slides open and locks in place behind a little tab.
I didn't think I'd use the Kickstand feature very often. I have to admit, it's a nice feature to have. It can also be used in landscape orientation.
The Kickstand is perfect for propping up the iPhone 4 while you browse the web or watch a movie.
Adjustable Belt Clip
The Holster features a ratcheting belt clip with 12 positions over a 180-degree arc. The belt clip will accommodate fairly thick belts and belts up to about 1.5-inches wide.
Generous Opening for Camera
PureGear also got it right with the opening in the Shell for the iPhone's camera and flash. Some other cases are known to create glare in photos due to the flash reflecting off of the case's plastic edges. PureGear made the opening a bit more generous and that eliminates the glare problem.
If you look closely at the camera and flash opening, you'll notice a millimeter or so of air gap between the inside back of the Shell and the back of the iPhone 4. This air gap should help prevent damage to the back of the iPhone 4 from small bits of sand or grit.
Fits Both Models
The PureGear Shell fits both the Verizon iPhone 4 and the AT&T iPhone 4 (AT&T model pictured).
PureGear has created a nice balance between protection, bulk, appearance and function. The rubberized texture helps you avoid accidentally dropping your iPhone 4, and the Kickstand feature is a very nice bonus. The PureGear Shell and Holster with Kickstand for iPhone 4 earns my highest recommendation.
Where to Buy
The PureGear AIP4HOC is available at Verizon stores for about $30. However, the AIP4HOC is available through Amazon at a significant savings (link below).