Go ahead and go ballistic with the Lifestyle Smooth iPhone case

I'm always on the lookout for the right iPhone case, and usually that means swapping out cases based on the occasion. For a fancy night out, I'll look for a sleek case. For camping, something rugged. For day to day use, something with protection but not too bulky. And for extended use, away from power outlets, I'll want a case with a built-in battery pack. It's hard to find a case that meets more than one of those requirements.

Today I got to try the Lifestyle Smooth case from Ballistic. They have managed to create a case that is protective yet sleek enough to fit in a pocket. It is also customizable as you can swap out the bumper-car style corners with the included replacement parts, in assorted colors to complement the case itself, also available in a variety of colors.

Since the corners are likely to take the brunt of any damage due to dropping, those extra cushions offer a degree of confidence that most cases don't.

The case itself adds very little bulk, so it could be an everyday case, hence the words Lifestyle and Smooth in the name.

The iPhone's glass is protected by a raised lip, which should help with most drops. The opening for the rear camera is perhaps too big, about the size of a dime, so there isn't a lot of protection there, but that's the tradeoff for the sleek design.

Master your iPhone and iPad: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone.

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip, but over the years, Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62.

In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.