The Ballistic HC case has five layers of protection. The inside of the hard plastic portion of the case is soft rubber to absorb shock. The layer over that is hard plastic, that layer is wrapped in shock absorbing rubber, and the case has a built-in screen protector. The case also ships with a holster since it will be too bulky for most pockets. The case sells for about $30.
Before we get into this too much I want to point out that the Ballistic HC case I am looking at will only fit the iPhone 4 on AT&T. A Verizon version of the case is coming soon for the iPhone 4 on the Verizon network. Right out of the box, I could tell that the Ballistic HC case was going to offer a lot of protection with one major downside. The only downside here is that the case is so bulky that it’s hard to get in and out of a pocket if that's how you like to carry it.
Ballistic knows that the case adds bulk and your $30 also gets you a holster to carry the phone with. The other thing I notice about the case is that it adds some serious weight too. The iPhone 4 feels twice as heavy with the Ballistic HC case installed.
The upside to that bulk and weight is that the Ballistic HC case is one of the most protective cases I have seen. This thing looks like a tank and offers more protection than you will get elsewhere. The case also protects against dust in addition to drops and shock.
The belt clip holster is easy to put on and take off. I rarely wear a belt, but the clip is strong enough to keep it attached to a waistband or a pocket too. If I am going somewhere that I want to keep the phone in my pocket while I am there, I remove the holster and the thick outer rubber layer. The inner hard plastic later has the screen protector attached and offers more protection on its own than any cases have.
The inner part is bulky, but you can fit it in the pocket assuming you aren’t wearing skintight jeans. The case comes in black/gray, black/pink, and all black designs. The ports are left uncovered and when the rubber outer layer is installed, it has little flaps for the headphone port, sync port, and the mute switch. The screen on my iPhone 4 has a screen protector film that sticks to it installed which I did not remove for my testing.
The Ballistic HC case screen film is built into the case and my screen worked just fine with the two layers of screen protection installed. All of the controls are still easy to use and access. You can't dock the iPhone when installed in the Ballistic HC case on any of the docks I have around the house.
The Ballistic HC case is undeniably heavy and bulky, but if you need lots of protection for your device, it is a fantastic option.
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