TPU Cases are the Answer?

By , May 31, 2010 12:31 pm

Recently I got a TPU case for my iPad and was so impressed with the properties of this Thermo Plastic Urethane material that I decided to look for one for the iPhone. I wanted a clear case to showcase the aesthetics of my white iPhone. I quickly realized that getting just a plain clear one was difficult!

I could get all manner of decorated versions with patterns, flowers, butterflies, etc. but getting a plain clear one was hard! I eventually came across a white case that was only $4 on Amazon. OK, four bucks I could gamble with so I ordered it.

Here’s the case in all it’s glory. I really liked the TPU material once again. It forms perfectly to the phone and is not sticky like Silicon. Also note that it wraps to the front of the phone protecting the decorative chrome surround.

The molded shape fits perfectly to the phone.

The case wraps to the front protecting the trim ring

Alas, it seemed pretty good, but all was not ideal in my case word. It seems that the molding process left a bit of flash around the edges of the mold. At first it didn’t bug me so much, but as I was carrying the case during the week it really started to bug me. I could feel the flash every time I used the case. It started to feel sharp – ok, maybe it was just me. But I wasn’t having any more of it. It was time for some custom modification.

A utility knife blade does a good job of trimming off the flash from the molding process of the case.

OK, now the case feels good. Along with the great fit and protection, it’s also now pretty pleasant to use. Here’s one more shot showing you how well the case was designed. The only thing I am not so sure about is that circular cutout to show off the Apple logo. It seems to me that this leaves a pretty vulnerable part of the phone open to the elements.

Excellent fit and a ridiculously cheap price

So at the end of the day, I think this is a really good case considering its throw away price. I’ve paid $30 and $10 for clear polycarbonate cases, $15 for a silicon case, $30 for a hard plastic with rubberized coating case, $50 for a leather case,$30 for a combo silicon and hard plastic case and $20 for a silicon case with accessory holder. After all those cases, this one is definitely the best value.

Oh, on a side note, a friend has indicated that she found a plain clear TPU case and will be sending me one. I’ll report on that case after I receive it and use it for a week or so. Perhaps there’s something better out there after all.

20 Responses to “TPU Cases are the Answer?”

  1. Is it me or did this article make you want to buy an iPad?

  2. Tess says:

    Hi Song.Thanks for your review. I recently got an iPhone and before I left, the store, the sale guy subjected me to several stories about people dropping and breaking their phones as soon as they stepped out the store. I was scared into buying what was on hand. Fortunately, my case is made of TPU and I’m happy with it. But I’d have been happier to pay $4.00 instead of the $33.00 I spent. Way to go on getting a good deal! 😉

  3. Bao says:

    Hey Song. I understand that it gives some shock protection, but how good are these cases at protecting your phone when (if) you drop it?

  4. song says:

    The shock protection is minimal on a tpu case. This is really more for scratch protection than anything else. The TPU material is not very soft like silicon. I’ve used a LOT of cases and I’ve found that shock protection is not the primary issue. The phone or iPad is very tough. It’s all the things that can scratch it that I am concerned about. Also, I put my ipad in a leather case AFTER I put it in the TPU case. So combining both, it’s protected pretty well.

    If you think your device will be exposed to harsh environments, then I would recommend an OtterBox. They are really tough. However, you lose a lot of the aesthetics of the device as the protection comes at the price of bulk.

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  8. song says:

    OK, here’s a long term update. I have decided that white TPU is risky because it tends to yellow in short order and look a bit “dingy”. I have had an iPhone 4 for almost a year and passed along the iPhone 3GS to my wife. She didn’t like the white case because it looked dirty. Oh well, clear or smoked TPU seems the best. I am using a clear one on my iPhone now.

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