updated 07:00 pm EDT, Wed September 21, 2011
Best Buy gains 30-day exclusive on LifeProof case
Two different companies on opposite ends of the world have come up with distinctive cases for the iPhone 4 that reflect each company's values. Slovenia-based Calypso Crystal has launched a line of premium, hand-crafted luxury cases for three iPhone models and select other devices that features Italian leather, titanium and silver for elegance and style. San Diego-based LifeProof has focused on protection, with a case that claims to be water-, snow-, dust- and shock-proof.
The CalypsoCase ($119), which began life as a successful KickStarter project backed by over 200 early adopters, starts with a custom-designed frame made of titanium, which includes two laser-cut holes to keep the sound of the iPhone clear. Premium Italian leather in various shades is hand-stretched over the frame to exacting standards, and the case is capped off with an accenting Calypso Ring of sterling silver on the outside of the case that is hammered into place in the old-world tradition.
The CalypsoCase is available for the iPhone 4, iPhone 3 and 3GS, Samsung Galaxy S II, and three Blackberry models: the Curve 8900 and 8520, along with the Bold 9700. It comes in four color schemes, titled Zurich Night (black leather with a strong red interior), Cannes After Cannes (white leather with a black interior), Marrakesh Spring (orange leather with a black interior) and Glowing Iceland (mauve leather with a red interior). The iPhone 4 cases are available immediately, the others will be shipping in three weeks.
LifeProof's case for the iPhone 4 ($70) is tough, while adding only 1/16th of an inch to the overall thickness of the phone, and weighs less than an ounce. The company claims a full IP-68 rating against water and dust, which meets military specifications and translates to being fully-sealed and waterproof to a depth of 6.6 feet (there is an optional adapter that allows use of waterproof headphones as well). The glass front of the case is double AR-coated to keep it clear, and is rated safe for drops or shocks of up to 6.6 feet on all surfaces and edges.
The company's website features a number of YouTube videos showing people dropping, flinging, taking underwater and otherwise doing things with an iPhone 4 that would not normally be safe or in some cases possible at all without the protection of the LifeProof case. A version of the case will also soon be available for the iPad 2 (the design is in testing now).
The case is compatible with all versions of the iPhone 4 (AT&T, Verizon and international), and has been sold online for a while -- but is now making its national retailer debut in a partnership with Best Buy, which will feature the case exclusively for a period of 30 days at its Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores starting September 25th. The cases are available in black, white, pink and purple.
LifeProof Case for the iPhone 4