Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hardware Review: Ballistic HC iPhone 4 case




With a name like Ballistic, you’d think this iPhone 4 case is bulletproof. It isn’t, but it’s darn close. Its 3 layers of protection combined with a great belt clip could make the user feel 10 feet tall and bulletproof. The Ballistic HC (Hard Core) Series is great protection without adding bulk.

Similar to other cases in its class, this provides multiple levels of protection. A hard plastic shell is protected with integrated silicone bumpers and a screen overlay. An optional extra wrap around bumper is included that provides another layer of protection as well as covers the headphone, mute/rotation lock, and the dock port.

The port protection had some minor problems. The mute/rotation lock would often fail to stay closed and I had a rough time getting any connectors to fit into the dock port. To get the sync cable from Apple to fit I had to use more force than I’d feel comfortable and it made a loud snap when put in place. I got used to this, but it still made me nervous I’d break a cable. The only part of the phone that remains unprotected are the speaker ports at the bottom and the rear facing camera. Not a big deal, but it’s not full and complete protection for your iPhone. Of all the extreme-style cases I tested, this was most compatible with dock style devices such as the iHome.

This Ballistic HC provides multi-layer protection without the bulk of some other cases and is an excellent value for someone wanting a higher level of protection without sacrificing the size of their iPhone

Pros: Svelte design, multi-layer protection
Cons: Port didn’t always stay closed, tight dock connector