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iPhone Case Review: Griffin Survivor for iPhone 4 (AT&T and Verizon)
      #40211 - 03/16/11 06:18 PM

iPhone Case Review: Griffin Survivor for iPhone 4 (ATT and Verizon)
Reviewed by Tom Slayton

Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4.5

What's Hot: Shock, drop, dust, and water-resistant. Belt clip holds securely, yet doesn't add much weight. This case meets or exceeds US/UK Military Standards.

What's Not: The Griffin Survivor turns your iPhone's home button from an innie to an outie, making it ridiculously easy to accidentally turn it on while in the holster.


The Griffin Survivor is a heavy-duty case for the iPhone 4. It is incredibly drop/shock resistant, provides protection from sand/dust, and even rain/light moisture. It also features a diminutive but surprisingly effective belt clip.

Size and Fit

The Survivor fits the iPhone 4 like a rubberized, armored gauntlet. It installs in seconds and the tolerances are very tight. As expected, it adds a significant amount of girth/heft to your phone, but if you need this much protection for your phone, it?s a small price to pay.

Features and Quality

The Survivor does exactly what it sets out to do: provide it with an absurd amount of protection. The rigid plastic skeleton is surrounded with a thick silicone layer. Together, they protect your phone from drops, bumps, and vibration. I can personally attest that it works because I actually dropped my phone while testing this case and it bounced. Twice. To be honest, when it slipped out of my hand, I was more irritated than worried. Yes, the Survivor looks and feels that sturdy. The built-in screen protector and cover flaps for all ports and switches provide great protection from dust and moisture. I particularly liked the flap that completely covers the camera lens. It folds back in seconds and then immediately snaps back into place. If you have ever marveled at the amount of debris that accumulates in this area of your phone, you will appreciate this feature as much as I do. As with all rigid screen covers, a small puff of talcum powder on the inside of the plastic screen will prevent the oily appearance that can sometimes be a problem. Of special note is the size of the access flap that covers the docking port. It is large enough to allow the use of 3rd party docking cables; a nice touch, to be sure.

When I saw the belt clip, I was skeptical that it would be effective. It consists of a narrow piece of plastic, hooked at either end. After wearing it for a week, however, I am a believer. No matter what I did, I couldn?t manage to dislodge the phone from the clip without applying intentional pressure to the top of the clip. This is good news, and I can say without reservation that your phone is as secure in this clip as it is in any on the market.

Unfortunately, as good as this case is, it is not perfect. The designers have, for some reason, elected to turn your home button from an innie to an outie while ensconced in the Survivor. In and of itself, this is not necessarily a bad thing. However, whenever you use the belt clip, your iPhone will turn-on whenever you bump it, or even apply the slightest pressure. The belt clip itself features a divot, obviously designed to prevent this. However, the divot is simply not deep enough. While wearing my phone in its belt clip, I made a point of looking at it whenever it made contact with anything at all. In every case, the screen had activated. I was able to fix this in just a few moments by using a razor blade to reduce the size of the nub that presses against the home button. Hopefully, Griffin will address this in future production runs, however, it wasn?t a difficult problem to overcome, and it is a small price to pay for ultimate iPhone protection.


If rugged can be considered a style, the Survivor gets extra points in this category. The grooves and ridges feel delightfully chunky as you hold it. It is also available in black, green, pink, and white so you can go into combat armed and fabulous.


The Griffin Survivor case provides serious protection for your Verizon or AT&T iPhone 4. The combination of a rigid plastic frame, silicone skin and screen protector will provide you with the most protection you can get for your phone and still be able to use it. The fact that this case activates your home button with the slightest pressure prevents it from getting a perfect rating. However, this is a small quibble compared to the level of protection it provides.

Price: $49.99
Web site:


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