iPhone 4S: Incase Pro Slider: Gorgeous and Strong

| In-Depth Review

This is another excellent iPhone 4S case from Incase. Because it is so strong and rigid, it comes in two pieces that slide together. Soft pads on the inside provide just the right friction to keep the pieces secure. On this model, the black face and dark blue edges look gorgeous.

Like the Incase Metallic Snap Case I just reviewed, the philosophy here is also obvious. Wrap the entire iPhone in a strong and rigid shell. In contrast to the Snap Case, which allows you to just snap the iPhone in, this case is too rigid and encapsulating for that, so it has to come in two pieces that slide together.

Incase Pro Slider

The back of the two pieces and the stand for landscape viewing.

Photo by the author

Basically, you push the iPhone into the large section, then slide the bottom part on. These pieces are intended to remain together. How do they stay in place? The combination of snuggly fitting edges and felt pads on the inside of both shells provides just the right amount of friction to hold the assembly together with no fear of it coming apart, ever. On the other hand, a firm, steady pull will disassemble the whole affair. It feels perfect.

Incase Pro Slider -2Photo by Incase

This case is a very smooth, hard plastic on the face, and yet has a good grip. I’m not sure how to explain it. Normally, you’d think that something smooth would be slippery, but this case isn’t. A rubberized bumper surrounds the edges, both augmenting the grip and enhancing protection from drops and bumps, according to Incase. The two-tone color scheme is handsome, in fact, gorgeous. Unlike some of the Incipio case where the colors clashed and looked, well, not so tasteful, this case looks great.

Incase Pro Slider -4Inside, showing the soft pads that keep the parts closed up securely.

Photo by the author

Things I Liked

  • Very minimal increase in overall size of iPhone.
  • Mute button port works with 4 and 4S.
  • Comes in a beautiful color combos: white + pink edge, black + blue edge, black + pebble edge and white with a black edge.
  • A hard, smooth, but not very slippery finish. It doesn’t pick up and hold small debris.
  • Includes a small stand for watching a movie in landscape mode.
  • A rubber grip around the edges protects the iPhone edge from bounces and probably, but not tested, helps with antenna isolation on the iPhone 4, similar to Apple’s own bumper case.

Things I Didn’t Like

  • There’s no aperture for the Apple logo. This case plus iPhone combination would be even more drop dead gorgeous with that addition.
  • No screen protector is included, but I don’t think one would fit well anyway because the case wraps around the face.
  • The packaging makes it hard, but not impossible, to examine and feel the case in a retail location. Two plastic tabs need to be discreetly cut. The packaging can be easily reassembled.

Incase Pro Slider -3The packaging is a bit crude.

Photo by the author

Making the Case

This case is even more expensive than the Snap Case because it has slightly more mass and uses a two material approach. It will probably do an even better job of protecting your phone than the Snap Case, which already proved itself to me with drop tests. The color combos are just gorgeous. Well, maybe not black + pebble.

On the other hand, the Pro Slider case doesn’t have that dual layer design, an inner silicone shock absorber and an outer hard shell. I can’t judge from an technical standpoint whether Incase or OtterBox has a superior approach, but the OtterBox Commuter still feels like it’s better protection. On the other hand, if I had never seen the Otterbox Commuter, this would be my favorite case.

Still, US$40 is a lot to pay for a case that comes in rather plain, recycled packaging material. But my metric is this: will the customer, after paying retail, getting the case home, throwng away the packaging, and deploying it be pleased or feel ripped off? In this case, I think the customer will be pleased with the quality, looks, and protection provided.

Given the high price, however, it can only receive a 4/5 rating.

Product: Pro Slider Case for iPhone 4/4S

Company: Incase

List Price: US$39.95

Pros:

Strong, inflexible plastic with rubber edges for grip, antenna isolation, and impact protection. Great looking color combos. Small plastic stand to hold the iPhone upright.

Cons:

Expensive.

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4 Comments

wab95

John:

Perhaps I missed this, so feel free to direct me to such review accordingly, but now that I have a 4S waiting for me when I get home, I am in process of looking for cases (and a belt holster). Have you compared the Otterbox Commuter to the Defender, and, in your opinion, is the price differential justified?

Any tips on holsters (I saw earlier that you mentioned using one)?

Thanks.

John Martellaro

wab95: my old DLO belt holster was a snug fit with the Incase Snap Case.  When I switched to the Otterbox Commuter, I had to buy a larger belt holster.  Since iPhone belt holsters aren’t generally designed to accommodate another case already on the phone, I had to go hunting for a belt holster designed for a larger Android phone.  I found one at the local Verizon store, and I’ll be writing about that soon.

John Martellaro

wab95:  The OtterBox Defender looks like another step up in total protection.  I don’t know if I’ll get to reviewing that one. But based on the Commuter I have, I’d say the Defender would be very good protection indeed. I’ll check with OtterBox and mention that a reader was interested in a review. We shall see.

wab95

The OtterBox Defender looks like another step up in total protection.

Many thanks for both responses, John.

Given what I do (more importantly, where I do it), I’ll probably go with the Defender. Looking forward to your Android belt holster review.

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