iPhone 4S: Incase Metallic Snap Case: Minimal & Stylish

The Incase Metallic Snap Case is just like the Snap Case that Apple offered to iPhone 4 customers in 2010 to help with user grip and antenna problems. That one was clear. This case, however, is opaque and metallic, and it’s so minimal that it can probably still be used with your current belt holster.

It’s easy to see the design philosophy in this case. The idea is not so much to provide cushioning and impact protection with multiple layers. Rather it is to provide surface protection from fingerprints, dirt and scratches and not add much to the size of the iPhone. My previous personal case was indeed the (clear) Snap Case, and I reviewed it in August of 2010. (Below, left.)

Incase Metallic Snap caseMy old Snap Case (L) and the Metallic Snap case (R)

Recently, I did indeed drop my iPhone with that previous case: once onto asphalt and the iPhone had no damage. There was just a small crack in the edge of the case, suggesting that it properly bore the brunt of the impact. Another time, I dropped the iPhone from about 3 feet onto the floor of an Apple store. That time, there was no damage to either. (I like to stress test my cases.) So while this case may not have the apparent resistance to blunt force trauma that, say, some of the OtterBox cases do, it has proven itself to me.

As I mentioned in the previous review, what I like about this series is that if you have a snug belt holster, the iPhone, with this case, will probably still fit because it only adds just 1 mm to the thickness. That feature mattered a lot to me then. (Since then, I’ve replaced the DLO belt holster with a bigger one, designed for Android phones, so that I can use a case that adds more bulk and protection.)

Incase Metallic Snap case -2Blueberry color is gorgeous

Things I Liked

  • Very minimal increase in overall size of iPhone.
  • One large port for volume and mute; works with 4 and 4S.
  • Black anti-glare ring around camera lens and flash. A nice touch.
  • Comes in a beautiful vermillion metallic color or a saturated, metallic blueberry.
  • A satin-like finish.
  • Includes a small stand for watching a movie in landscape mode.
  • Informal testing shows that, despite its thin layer, it helps isolate the hand from the iPhone antenna seam and improves the signal.
  • The surface is a bit smooth, not what I’d call grippy, and yet isn’t slippery either. It definitely avoids picking up debris and lint and maintains its good looks.

Things I Didn’t Like

  • There’s no aperture for the Apple logo. However, in defense of this case, it is so thin, I wouldn’t recommend it anyway. Debris could get inside and scratch the iPhone.
  • No screen protector is included.
  • The packaging makes it hard, but not impossible, to examine and feel the case in a retail location.

From experience, because the case fits so snugly, I suggest you’ll want to make sure the inside of the case and the outside of the iPhone are very clean before you mate the two. Finally, there is no need for documntation.  Just snap it on.

eMtallic Sna case packagePackaging semi-prevents in-store inspection

Open and Shut Case

This case is a very focused product, and that impressed me. It’s designed to look great, have minimal affect on the size of the iPhone, and protect it from rough surfaces and scratches. It includes a black anti-glare ring on the camera aperture. In a pinch, as it proved to me, it can afford some modest crash protection. In hindsight, however, compared to the other cases reviewed in this series, US$34.95 seems like a lot of money. On the other hand, it does what it’s intended to do with style, solid workmanship and great functionality. If you need a case that does what this case does, your money is well spent. Accordingly, I’ll leave the rating that I previously gave at 4 out of 5.

Product: Metallic Snap Case

Company: Incase

List Price: US$34.95



Very focused in features and purpose, minimal increase in size of iPhone, small plastic stand for viewing movies, good impact protection for such a thin case, looks great.


Expensive, at least in dollars per gram, no screen protector.