iPhone Case Review: Concord Keystone NautiCase for iPhone 4/4S (Rev. 2)
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 5
What's Hot: Great splash/dust/drop protection. Surprisingly easy to install/remove for a case this rugged. Excellent quality holster that includes a kickstand.
What's Not: Holster can be a bit finicky when inserting your phone.
Reviewed by Tom Slayton
The NautiCase by Concord Keystone provides excellent drop/dust/splash protection, yet installs in seconds due to its unique hinged design. It is available in a variety of colors, and includes a high quality holster. This is their redesigned version.
The new design sports some key changes that fix several nagging issues in the first iteration. First and most significantly, a small partition has been added between the LED flash and the camera lens to prevent the reflected light from the case bezel from washing out your pictures. Second, the mute switch is now accessible via a rubber flap (it was previously accessible only by removing your phone from the case). Third, the plastic buttons have been replaced with silicone. They now blend nicely with the soft black outer cover and are far more resistant to moisture.
Size and Fit
The NautiCase is not just another rugged iPhone case. Typically, cases in this category are comprised of a polycarbonate shell surrounded by a separate silicone skin. This design has two chronic problems: these cases are typically difficult to install/remove, and the silicone skin tends to stretch over time. The latter is a problem that rarely makes its way into product reviews because it doesn't rear its ugly head until after several months of use. At this point the silicone often fits its plastic shell like a worn-out old sock. The NautiCase solves this problem with a single elegant solution. No more breaking fingernails or looking for something sharp to pry the case open. Instead, simply pop open the three clearly identified tabs and the case opens on a sturdy hinge. This design allows the manufacturer to bond the silicone directly to the hard case. What's more, the hinges are small and unnoticeable when the case is closed. All ports and buttons are completely covered, yet accessible; although, access to the docking port is quite narrow and deep. Fortunately, your iPhone can be extracted in seconds, allowing you to dock it (in all its naked glory) to your peripheral of choice with very little effort.
Features and Quality
The quality of the NautiCase is excellent. While I'm not normally a fan of cases with built-in screen covers, this one performs quite well, even managing to avoid that oily appearance that so many have when they come into contact with the iPhone's glass screen. Even the holster is first-rate. Being made of thick, hard plastic, it does an excellent job of retaining your phone until you need it. It has no sharp edges and the clip rotates for added convenience. One last little touch that really rounds out the feature list is the inclusion of a pop-out kickstand on the belt clip in case you want to prop up the phone in the horizontal position. Just be sure to press your phone into the holster until you hear a satisfying click. Failure to do so will result in it coming out with little more than harsh language.
Although the Nauticase clearly prioritizes function over form, the fact that it is available in a variety of colors (black, white, blue, purple, pink, orange) will go a long way to appease those looking to stand out a bit from the crowd.
The NautiCase is an excellent rugged case for the iPhone 4/4S. Concord Keystone achieved this by clever design, high quality, and attention to detail. Its use of sturdy hinges means your iPhone pops in and out in seconds, and the high quality holster significantly enhances its value. It may be a bit bulky, but it's not unusually so for this type of case. Any shortcomings the case had have been addressed with the current generation, and the manufacturer should be commended for listening to customer feedback in order to make a better product. Highly recommended.