By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com
Sony recently announced the Xperia Z, a water-resistant smartphone that remains undamaged even after it's been fully submerged for several minutes. Perhaps there will also be a time when we won't need to worry about a smartphone's screen cracking or a 6-foot drop destroying a $600 device. Unfortunately that time has not arrived, so the best we can do is secure our devices with protective cases, which can cost well over $50. On the opposite end are cases that cost next to nothing but also provide next to no protection. Cheapism.com took a look at cases for Apple's newest iPhones and found a sweet spot between $15 and $25. Here are four recommended cases:Keep your iPhone protected.
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The SwitchEasy Tones (starting at $17) is sleek in design, much like the phone it was created to protect. Available in seven colors, this iPhone 5 case combines rubbery, shock-absorbent thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) on the top, bottom, and corners with strong, scratch-resistant polycarbonate around the middle. Reviewers admire the durable, stylish design and all-around excellent protection. They also appreciate the extra screen guards, port protectors, and microfiber cleaning cloth that come with the case.
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The Speck CandyShell Flip (starting at $20) caters to users who don't want to fuss with removing a case whenever they dock their iPhone. As the name implies, the lower portion of this case flips up 180 degrees to provide easy access to the port on the bottom of the phone. Consumers and experts who have reviewed the CandyShell Flip online laud its protective construction, which again combines a hard-plastic shell with rubbery corners. One user reports that his phone survived the direct impact of a motorcycle crash without a scratch. This case is available in six color combinations for the iPhone 4/4S and 11 color combos for the iPhone 5.
The Griffin Protector (starting at $15) is the cheapest case on the list and doesn't have any of the bells and whistles that distinguish the others. The simple design relies solely on a soft, reinforced silicon material to provide protection for the iPhone 5. On the plus side, it's easy to grip and offers effective impact and scratch resistance, although some reviewers warn it also attracts lint and makes pressing the volume buttons more difficult. Seven colors are available.
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The TuneBand from Grantwood Technology (starting at $23) differs from the other options in that it's designed for active users and gym goers. It combines a silicone skin and a screen protector with an elastic strap that tightens around the arm. The result is an iPhone that's protected from the sweat and jostling that accompanies exercise but is still fully functional and easily accessible. Reviewers report that the TuneBand remains comfortable even for the length of a marathon. The skin is available in five colors for the iPhone 5 and six for the iPhone 4/4S (including glow in the dark for late-night or early-morning runs).
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