iPhone 4S: Incipio DRX Case is Barely Ordinary

Incipio has a wide range of cases for the iPhone. This DRX model is designed to be minimalist and have a stiffer frame than soft silicone cases. It’s a very basic case, but also remarkably expensive and, hence, disappointing.

This case lies in the middle ground between soft silicone cases and the more elaborate two layer cases. As Incipio describes it: “…the DRX for the iPhone 4/4S incorporates a hard shell polycarbonate frame embedded within Incipio’s groundbreaking NGP semi-rigid material for added structural support.”

It’s easy to insert the iPhone int the case, yet there’s no danger of the iPhone slipping out, thanks to the rigid frame. This DRX case is also minimalist, smooth and may yet still fit into some belt holsters because it doesn’t have a lot of mass. Also, because it’s rather smooth, it doesn’t tend to pick up debris, yet the grip seems satisfactory.

Incipio DRX 1

Also on the positive side, the case comes with a screen protector kit that includes instructions, cleaning cloth and a small card to push out bubbles. But there are also some significant negatives.

  • This case is priced at US$34.99, way out of sync with the price and features of the competition.
  • The black and glossy gray colors selected aren’t particularly attractive and don’t seem to accentuate the handsomeness of the iPhone.
  • There is no aperture for the Apple logo.
  • The packaging, as with all the Incipio cases I received for review, is sealed tight. That keeps the customer from touching and evaluating it in a retail store.
  • The opening for the mute button barely fits the 4S, making me suspect that it was designed for the iPhone 4 and fits the 4S by accident. The packaging doesn’t claim 4S compatibility.
  • As I commented on in the previous review of the Incipio Delta, the manual is small with tiny white type on black. There isn’t a lot to read, yet Apple certainly doesn’t make that mistake with its own small but easy to read iPod booklets that get you started then point to a URL.

Incipio DRX 2

Using the Case

The first reaction I had to the case was feeling a bit flat and let down. I suspect that anyone who paid $35 would feel the same way. While it provides minimal mass and size protection, I don’t think that’s what customers are looking for. That is, minimalistic cases should be inexpensive. Elaborate cases that are handsome might be expensive.

The rigidity and feel are nice, but I can’t say from a technical standpoint whether this kind of rigid frame provides the same level of cushioning. I didn’t get that feel, but then I didn’t do any drop tests either.

I’ve already commented on the packaging and documentation above.

Incipio DRX 3

It’s a Wrap

I think I would be disappointed in this case if I bought it in a store for $35 and couldn’t touch it and try it until I got home. It doesn’t look that great, and the price is stratospheric for such a basic product with so many negatives.


Product: DRX Rigid Frame case for iPhone 4/4S

Company: Incipio

List Price: US$34.95



Minimum mass, rigid frame, basic protection, screen protector.


Expensive given basic design, not great looking, no aperture for Apple logo, case sealed tight prohibiting in-store inspection, had to read booklet.