iPhone Trappings

These go right on the iPhone 4s.

SGP Neo Hybrid 2s Parts A & B
Due to the vast number of me-too options and lack of formal reviews, the research for finding a good iPhone case was excruciating.   I wanted a case that offered a trim pocket friendly design, full drop protection and an exposed back for proper heat dissipation (and suction cup mounting).  Eventually I found some forum threads with people that had tried lots of cases and this model came up over and over.

It’s got a semi-soft silicone underlayer  (Part B) that gets pinched in place by a sturdy, high quality plastic frame (Part A).  The idea of having parts A and B is that you can mix and match the different colors offered to suit your taste.  I went with straight black to minimize photographic reflections when using the iPhone camera.

After having had it for a year, I can say that it does its job.  My phone is immaculate, as is the case.  The rounded silicone surround sticks out above the glass surface about a 16th of an inch so that if the phone hits a floor, the glass will never be touched.  Field test:  when we were leaving Cozumel, an over-zealous TSA employee yanked my bin and flipped it over in mid air _with my phone still in it_.  The phone flew up to head level, spinning lazily in the air, and then slapped into the hard airport linoleum, with the initial impact on a downfacing corner.  Thanks to the case, the phone was completely unscathed.

The only caveat with this case is that, in order to maintain seamless protection, the opening for the headphone jack is narrow. The headphones included with the iPhone will fit, but most other devices will not. The solution is the Griffin adapter below:

Griffin Technology Headphone Adapter for iPhone 1G and 3G/3GS – Black
This reduces a headphone plug’s diameter to that of the iPhone-bundled headphones. It’s got a good conductor gauge with a nice flexible silicone sheath like you find on Apple-brand cables. I can confirm that it works perfectly with the iPhone 4s and the SGP Neo Hybrid 2s case.

Brando Mini Mic
This is a nice little capsule microphone.  If you’re recording any sound more than a few feet away with the iPhone, it will be too quiet and suck.  The gain and directionality this mic provides is perfect for most across-the-room or outdoor video situations.  To use it, just plug it in and the built in mic is turned off.  It has a swivelling head and you want to point it at whatever you’re recording for best results.  I mostly use it when recording video on a tripod from about 8 feet away.  Note that you may have to trim the body down with a dremel to use it with the SGP case above.  Or get a little jack extension so it sticks up above the case.

Griffin GC23110 1 AMP PowerJolt Dual-USB Car Charger (a.k.a. Griffin Powerjolt Dual Micro)
This charger steps down your car’s 12 volt cigarette lighter output to 5volts at 1amp, which is the correct spec for recent iPhones; identical to the output of the wall charger.  This unit features a patented ‘Smartfuse’ circuit breaker-like surge supressor and no annoying LED light on top.  Just two USB ports and a formfactor that practically disappears into the cigarette lighter.  Unlike other car chargers I’ve tried, it does not generate excess heat within your device’s battery – a good indication that its power is properly regulated.  This particular GC23110 bundle includes a nice 30-pin iPhone cable.  The above link is the real deal, but if you look elsewhere – beware of counterfeits!

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