July 12, 2012, 12:18 PM — The $40 Speck CandyShell Card case for the iPhone 4/4S is an excellent accessory for any iPhone owner who wants a reliable, protective case that provides the freedom to carry a few credit cards or IDs without having to carry a wallet, too.
Most iPhone case/wallet hybrids havent been that impressive, but with the CandyShell Card, you can consider leaving your wallet at home if you only need a few necessary items. There is room to carry three to four credit cards (or similarly sized items, like a drivers license or ID) in a neatly tucked-away slot on the back of the case. The inside of the case is coated in rubber, and the backing of this rubber is what keeps your cards in place. Its fairly easy to slide your cards into the slot; Its even easier to slide them back out, thanks to a built-in thumb release located just opposite of the card-opening slot.
The CandyShell Cards rubber lining will keep your cards in place, and it also acts as a shock absorber for the occasional phone drop. This lining extends around the inside edges of the case, and even the iPhones bezel, to add protection when placed (or dropped) facedown on a flat surface.
A cutout on the top of the case accommodates the headphone jack and noise-canceling microphone, and another opening on the side leaves room for the Ring/Silent switch. The case has press-through rubber overlays for the Sleep/Wake and volume adjustment buttons. The bottom of the CandyShell Card has an opening for the 30-pin dock connector, bottom microphone, and speaker. Unfortunately, you will not be able to charge your phone on most dock-cradle accessories while the case is installed. In addition to the card slot opening on the back, there is also a large oval opening for the camera lens and LED flash that provides adequate clearance for unobstructed picture taking.
Speck cases generally have an excellent balance between design and protection, and the CandyShell Card is no exception. Pick between six two-toned patterns, including black on white, black on berry, and teal on white. I found it to be an attractive case that also safeguards my iPhone, with a strong, hard outer shell. I was never worried about dropping my iPhone with the CandyShell Card installed.
The catch here was that, unfortunately, the cases matte coating was a little too slippery, so I relied on the strength of the case more times than I would have liked to. Even though I appreciated the ease at which the CandyShell Card case slid in and out of my pocket, Id like to see a finish with more traction that prevents the case from sliding out of my hand.