iPhone 4 Case Program: Snap Case Review


My Free iPhone 4 Case Has Arrived: Snap Case Review – By William Hunter

Thanks to the engineers at Apple who thought it would be a good idea to have people hold their iPhones by the antenna, Steve Jobs sent me a free case for my iPhone. When Steve put his tail between his legs and announced the free case program awhile back, he stated that it would last to September, and then be re-evaluated.

I’m not sure of its current status, but in short-form, ordering the case was easy. You downloaded the iPhone 4 Case Program app, chose from a number of case options, and then confirmed your purchase. Dead easy.

I opted for the Incase clear plastic Snap Case, which retails for $34.95 USD on their site. When you first open the box, the first thing you noitice is the nifty packaging.

The case itself feels a bit thin, but once you snap your iPhone into it, it fits like a glove and feels great. There is easy access to all buttons, and there’s the fringe benefit of extra protection from sliding the silence button accidentally when handling the iPhone from the top.

Also, there is a very slight edge that protrudes up over the front screen; it’s only millimetres, but it’s enough to keep your precious screen from coming in contact with a surface when you lay it down flat. I find that the snap case provides a bit more to grab when holding the phone, but still allows it to keep it’s ridiculously low profile. Incase calls it the lightest case in its product line, and they ain’t joking.

Still, the case does lessen the ability of sitting the phone upright by itself, although you can still manage it if you balance it right. It does not ruggedize the phone, and would probably not provide all that much extra protection if and when you drop it. It does, however, give back the ability to feel which side is up when you reach into your pocket for it.

I picked the Snap Case out of the plethora of options available, because I wanted something to provide a bit of protection, without covering the cool metal band around the edge of the phone, and not add any bulkiness. The incase Snap Case for iPhone does all that, and more. incase you were wondering.

Have you gotten your free gift from Steve Jobs yet?


  • Anthony

    Got my Griffin Reveal Etch today as well and I’m petty happy with it.

  • N Khan

    I got my speck fitted case a month ago. Its great protection, style and for the protection it provides, pretty bulk-less.

  • Laela Miles

    Will this scratch the iPhone when you snap it on? Is there any danger of the hard case scratching the back of the phone? Thanks!

  • whunter

    Not that I’ve seen, yet.

  • Saleem

    This case feels very slippery in your hands. I have had the rubber case for about 1 mth before I got this case from Apple. The rubber case never slipped from my hands, but within a day, I dropped my phone twice. I switch it out soon after that.

  • Got the same case but smokey grey in colour about two weeks ago and have been very happy with it. Fits great and as stated in the article super lightweight.

  • Canadoc1

    I have both the clear and smoke versions.
    They unfortunately get failing grades for me.
    Firstly, depite the cutout for the flash with the black ring, the flash still causes that washout effect that doe snot occur without the case or with some other cases (e.g. incipio feather)
    Secondly the clear model scratches easily, watermarks the back of the phone and is a fingerprint magnet.
    The smoke is much better in this regard except the one i received is a bit temperamental as sometimes on corner is not well snapped into place so the edges are not even.

  • Jt

    I got the smoke version after watching vids of the case being easily scratched. Also I needed the opening for the buttons and the charger for my fat car adapter. I don’t like putting cases on phone so this is a pretty good one thatll get u closest to naked.

  • I have one of these and I wasn’t particularly impressed with it. It’s one piece of thin plastic, which is certainly not worth anything close to $34.95. I’m glad I got mine for $5.

  • Tyjo

    I ordered the Smoke. But I received fog purple. :S

  • Tyjo

    It shouldn’t scratch as you snap it in and out. However, there is potential to scratch the back overtime as it is a fairly hard plastic and dust and debris that collect. I used a cheap 5 dollar screen protector and put it on the back of the phone to prevent any debris from scratching the back overtime. Both Incase and Casemate cases snap in fine even with the back protector on.

  • Anonymous

    i ordered that one because i didnt want to scratch the lens on the back, and wanted to put the iphone down without worrying about the back. the curved back on my old 3G scratched up in the middle and the camera really never touched the surface, with this phone the back is flat and it does.

  • bR

    Waiting for my Belkin Shield Micra Clear…but in the meantime I bought a Belkin Grip Vue which I like very much, feels solid protection, yes, not the thinnest but I rather have a bit of protection that ultra think case.

  • Anonymous

    I got my bumper, but it doesn’t fit.

  • Firstreflect

    I opted for this same InCase clear Snap Case.


    – doesn’t add much weight or bulk to the iPhone4
    – pretty much retains the looks of the iPhone4
    – easily slides in and out of pockets (unlike the “grippy” cases)
    – doesn’t restrict headphone port


    – iPhone4 now gets insanely hot when streaming music/podcasts over 3G!
    – scratches easily (already have a scratch on mine 🙁 )
    – creates glare when using LED flash
    – makes it a lot harder to hit the volume +/- buttons
    – dust can still get in behind it

    I’ll be getting something different due to the heat and LED glare issues. It was free (through the case programme), so I can’t complain too much. I like the minimalist look and feel, but with the way it scratches and with the dust that gets in behind it, it doesn’t stay looking clear and minimalist. Most troublesome is the heat though – that’s gotta go!

  • Maverick Lam

    This is like another crystal case right? If one drops it, it will still crack?

  • This is my concern with cases in general. Dust and debris will eventually
    enter between the case and iPhone, and act as sandpaper to scratch up your
    surface. It’s inevitable. That’s why I like skin protectors like the
    invisibleSHIELD. My iPhone 4 fits into the Bumper still, and I know it won’t

    I’m probably going to ditch the Bumper because it is taking away from the
    ‘sexy’ stainless steel band of my iPhone 4.

  • what happened to the monthly plan updates. u guys used to blog about the carriers plan each month!!!

  • Ex

    They never changed, so now we post the major plan updates.

  • newfette

    I got the Belkin Clear sheild. when used with the invisibleSheild and Its great I’m super happy with it :o)

  • JimRodger

    As a rule they only really change quarterly

  • i ordered this.
    it should arrive tomorrow!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve had the same case for a few weeks and love it. Just enough protection without feeling like I’ve got a box around my iPhone 4. The lack of top and bottom pieces actually improve the case as I can still fit the iPhone 4 into my Klipsch speaker system without taking the case off. I’m really glad I got this one instead of the Apple Bumpers.

  • Whiterhino14

    I’ve gotta say and please take no offence, but that thing looks like a piece of plastic crap!

    The reviews I’ve read on it say that after a few weeks it gets so many scratches that it looks like an even worse piece of plastic crap than it does new.
    I guess the theme here is crap.

  • I used one of the plastic snap-on style cases on my original iPhone and the crud that gathered between the plastic and the phone itself acted like sandpaper and really wrecked the back of my phone. So much for the “protection” factor.

    I saw similar things occur with the 3G and iTouch devices…so my iP4 got a rubber style case that won’t grind debris into itself.

  • Nel

    You forgot to mention the Stand that comes with it. It’s not much, but it looks good when I have my best alarm app on and have it in the stand. Looks like an alarm clock.

    I have no beef with this. I can already see dust get in between.

  • Canladdie

    I got the same case yesterday, and I quite like it. I do find it slippery, so I’m trying to figure out a way to roughen the edges. I put Zagg’s Invisible Shield on the front and back, though not on the sides (3 of the 4 are protected by the case), and the case fits just fine, with the added benefit that the screen is protected.

  • ironnerd

    I ordered the clear snap case from Apple too. I tried it for about 3 days, but I ended up switching back to my Case-mate “Barely There” case that I purchased earlier. I wanted the clear case because it shows off the silver band around the phone. But it didn’t quite fit as nicely as the Case-mate case. Also, the Case-mate has a rubberized coating that feels more secure in my hand.