iPhone Life magazine

Ballistic Sport Rugged Case Review

Are you looking for a durable clip-on case for your new iPhone 4S? There are plenty of choices that exist already, thanks to the fact that the new iPhone's dimensions are the same as the original iPhone 4. One of the more recent cases to hit the market is Ballistic's Sport Rugged Universal Smartphone Pouch. How does it stack up to the competition? Read on to find out.

iPhone cases are getting to be like jewelry… there seems to be a different case for every occasion. If the occasion is rugged outdoor activity, the Ballistic offers a tough, scratch-resistant nylon vertical flip case with a thick clip that holds on snuggly to a belt or strap. While it is just slightly on the bulky side, the case is lined along the bottom and sides with a stitched ridge that will absorb the shock of a drop fairly well.

Ballistic Sport Rugged Universal Smartphone Pouch

Those who closely follow the iPhone case market already know the name Ballistic. They specialize in hardened cases designed for rugged outdoor, military-style use. With several iPhone cases already in their catalog, the Sport Rugged model is generic enough to hold not only the various iPhone models, but also several Android phones as well. This is a nice bonus, considering the expensive hassle involved with having to buy a new case for every new phone that you have. And even though the nylon shell is ultra-firm, there's enough flex in the fabric to accommodate the different phones without requiring a lot of effort to insert or remove one of these phone from the case. The sound vent at the base of the case is a nice touch, protecting the phone while still allowing the phone's speaker to be easily heard when a call comes in.

That said, I did find two small problems with design. First, the top flip cover does not envelope the top of the phone. When the flip cover is down, the right and left corners of the phone are exposed to dust, water and whatever other outdoor elements might be blanketing the corners. And if the encased phone lands on the floor with one of these exposed corners, Ballistic has failed in their attempt to protect the phone at all costs. Second, given the bulk of the case, there are no interior sleeves to place cash or credit cards. While these can rest next to the phone in the pouch, I prefer these valuable to be held snuggly in place so I don't have to worry about them sliding out of a jostling case.

Ultimately, the case will undeniably protect the portions of the phone that it covers. And there's enough thickness in the fabric that it should absorb unexpected bumps so that you won't have to worry so much when such an event occurs.

Product: Sport Rugged UniversalSmartphone Pouch
Manufacturer: Ballistic
Cost: $29.99
Rating: 4/5 stars

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Mike Riley's picture

Mike Riley is a frequent contributor to several technical publications and specializes in emerging technologies and new development trends. Mike was previously employed by RR Donnelley as the company’s Chief Scientist, responsible for determining innovative technical approaches to improve the company’s internal and external content services. Mike also co-hosted Computer Connection, a technology enthusiast show broadcast on Tribune Media's CLTV.