Phantom, the name sounds menacingly good. It also happens to be the name of Case-Mate's latest rugged case made for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. The Phantom case can be thought of as the trendier replacement to Case-Mate's Tough and Tank rugged cases. With so many different types of cases and brands to choose from, the Phantom manages to put on a spectacular that has set is apart from all the tough and rugged types. Jump past the break to find out if dropping $50 of your hard earned scratch on the Phantom is worthwhile!
The Phantom isn't the most affordable case at $50, just $10 under Case-Mate's arguably ugly duckling Tank case. While you won't be seeing the Phantom case in this exact paint job, it does come in a favorable selection of five different color tones all of which will suit the female crowd perfectly. Between us guys, the black and white Phantom is manly looking enough to be rocked out on your iPhone even though I'd call it unisex.
At first glance, the Phantom looks like your ordinary silicone case. But it only looks that way because of how well it's designed. Underneath, the Phantom is a two-piece case made up from two layers of what Case-Mate calls DuoFlex and PolyCare materials. The first layer is a snap-on frame that is an opposite of a back snap-on style case you'd be using if protection was the least of your worries. That then snaps onto the front of the iPhone adding a layer of front protection with embedded molded rubber which will keep your screen extra safe in case you were to drop your iPhone front face down on pavement. Right about now is a good idea to put on the included screen protector. Note that glass screen protectors such as the Glas t and thick skins will not fit with the Phantom case.
The second layer is what you would call the pièce de résistance. That's French for saying the best part of all in case you were wondering. The case itself is co-molded out of what Case-Mate calls revolutionary materials, DuoFlex and PolyCare. In reality that sounds and feels all too much like silicone rubber and polycarbonate plastic without the fancy name calling with all due respect. Nonetheless, Case-Mate's brilliant construction work has paid off. The Phantom is seamless and feels like a high quality case. And for $50, I'd expect no less.
The mixture of hard and soft is always a winning combination when it comes to protective cases. The Phantom's co-molded body DuoFlex exterior feels smooth to the touch with plenty of grip thanks to the silicone rubber finish and added micro-texture gripping all around the perimeter. You know your case can absorb shock and impact well when you set your iPhone on a table and you hear that thump sound coming from the silicone rubber. That purple color protruding thru the gray DuoFlex is the hard polycarbonate layer, or PolyCare for short, and it also covers the interior of the Phantom creating a hard shell cocoon. Because of that, the Phantom is a very rigid case with little give despite the mixture of materials. Lint and dust won't attract onto the case.
Getting your iPhone 4S into the case is slightly daunting at first, though not as hard as you would think. Even while the Phantom is a relatively rigid case, there's just enough flex for you to slide in your iPhone with the front frame already attached buttons side first.
You're then left with an amazingly tight fitting case with an impressive amount of protection from every angle imaginable. Look, even the ports and buttons are all sealed and covered up with the Phantom's built-in port covers. The extra large back facing camera cutout sadly is too recessed and will cause white washed-out photos if you're firing off the LED flash in low light conditions. Those extra large cutouts also extend to the port covers which all allow larger than normal 3.5mm headphone plugs and charging cables. As for all of the covered and protected buttons including the home button, each remain easy to press with great amount of tactile responsiveness.
Case-Mate has proven it has a great deal of experience thinking thru just about every single aspect with the Phantom case. It's worth mentioning that the built-in port covers are cut more narrower than expected and create visible gaps. It isn't clear why Case-Mate designed these covers as such.
With great drop protection comes a great deal of bulk. That's to be expected. Now although the Phantom will bulk up your iPhone, it isn't as apparent as other tough cases such as the Griffin Survivor case. Duly because of the Phantom's sleek and contoured shape.
With everything considered, the Phantom is one fantastic protective case to be using. It has all the right style other tough cases couldn't possibly pull off whilst feeling superb to handle and use as an everyday case. The Phantom is the most rugged case you'll come across that's stylish and aesthetically pleasing. And because of that, it'll appeal mostly to women looking for a tough protective case that looks better than it claims to be. Let's face it guys, we can't keep all the good looking tough cases to ourselves. You'll find most if not all of Case-Mate's color selection to be off putting.