We've seen a lot of iPhone 4 cases here at TUAW. Most thin polycarbonate or TPU cases are pretty much the same -- brute force them on to cover the back and sides. Graft Concepts have taken the thin-polycarbonate case form factor and added something a little different with a top locking latch.
Thanks to the Graft Concepts team, we got our hands on a pre-production black and chrome version of their slick looking iPhone 4 case to put through its paces.
The Leverage takes the form of a bumper-style case, which wraps around the side edges of the iPhone with cut outs for the ports and buttons. It is a single piece of rubberized polycarbonate that joins at the top, locked together by a fancy chrome latch with integrated power button push-through.
The latch design makes it easy to get your iPhone in and out of the case, while still holding the case firmly and securely on your iPhone. It looks great just as a bumper, but the Leverage comes with an optional backplate insert that you can combine with the bumper to form a full case with a single cut out for the camera and flash.
This modular design gives you the best of both worlds, and depending on your mood or how much protection you want to give your phone, it's really quick and easy to remove or replace the backplate.
The combined case gives pretty good all round protection, covering all edges and the back. The case also covers the front edge of the phone meaning that you can place it flat on the screen and the case will keep the glass off the deck. The plastic construction will also offer some impact protection, but I wouldn't fancy dropping it from too high as with most relatively thin cases.
The case adds about 1-2 mm thickness to your iPhone, so it's not bulky by any stretch of the imagination. It's also quite grippy to hold, but thankfully doesn't suffer from too much pocket torsion when you're trying to pull it out of your jeans pocket.
Bearing in mind its pre-production nature, we like the chromed locking latch (that's also available in a matte finish), which gives it something a bit different in the design stakes and functions well in practice. It provides decent protection and we like that you can swap between just a bumper and a full back case in about 5 seconds.
If you're looking for a case for your iPhone 4 in either GSM or CDMA flavors, then the US$60 Leverage is just a little bit different. If the production case matches the quality of the version we tested, the Leverage will be a great choice.