Case-Mate Hybrid Tough Cases for iPhone, Blackberry & Google Nexus One

Protecting your Apple iPhone 3G 3Gs, BlackBerry or Google Nexus One with the right case is sometimes difficult to do.

Case-Mate has released a new case called the Hybrid Tough. It is made for the Apple iPhone 3G 3Gs, BlackBerry and Google Nexus One smart phones. It is a dual layer case that uses a form fitting layer of silicone that wraps your iPhone, Blackberry, or Google Nexus One and has an outer shell made out of a tough ABS plastic. The dual layer concept provides and meets many consumer needs for protection, style and functionality.

There are so many cases on the market to choose from. There are quite a few dual layer cases available by many different manufactures, such as Incipio Silicrylic, OtterBox Defender, OtterBox Commuter and Speck CandyShell (iPhone only). They all have advantages and disadvantages. But, how do you know which case will meet your needs. Depending on the type of Smart Phone you have, Apple iPhone, BlackBerry, or Google Nexus One, finding the right case that provides adequate protection can something be a daunting task. Maybe this Case-Mate Hybrid case will do it for you.

I have been testing the Black/Gray Hybrid case on my iPhone for the last couple of weeks. I have used many other cases, Speck Candyshell, OtterBox defender / Commuter, and the Incipio Silicrylic to compare it with. Out of all of them, I would pick this case as my favorite. Here’s Why?

First Impressions:

When I first opened the package and took the case out, holding it in my hand, I was surprised as to how light the case was. Especially compared to other manufactures dual layer cases. I was especially impressed with the tough ABS plastic outer shell. It has a soft, non sticky, rubberized matte feel to it and does not feel flimsy or cheap. I immediately put the scratch test to the outer shell with my keys. I gave it a couple of back and forth with the tip of my key on the back of the outer shell, and guess what, NO

SCRATCHES! You could not do that with a Speck Candyshell. The coating case-mate uses, along with its textured diamond plate feel on their Hybrid case is very good. The outer shell can and will take some abuse.

As for the silicone that is used with the case, it felt very similar to other cases on the market. The silicone portion that is not covered by the outer shell, the top, bottom and the front face edges, is thick enough to provide protection, but not to the point were it looks bulky. The silicone  portion that is covered by the outer shell, is slightly thinner, to accommodate the thickness of the outer shell, but yet designed to provide shock protection.


I removed my previous case from my iPhone 3Gs and installed the silicone layer. When putting the silicone on my iPhone, I did not feel like I was going to tear it at any point. It was very simple to put on. Putting on the outer shell took my a few seconds to figure out the correct way. When putting on the outer shell, you will want to start with the button side first, left side, front LCD screen is facing you, and then snap in the other side over the silicone. Once I had the outer shell on, I just had to message the silicone on the bottom corners to align it correctly with the outer shell. The camera and speaker hole lined up perfectly. The top power/sleep and the side rocker buttons works great without any difficulties. All in all, it took me no more that a couple of minutes to install my new case.

Putting it to the test:

Having this Hybrid on my iPhone for the past week, it has kept me at ease and with no fear. I have purposely dropped my iPhone, to replicate possible scenarios, from restaurant tables, out of my pocket, getting out of my 4×4 truck, and holding it up to my chest and letting it drop to the floor to see what damage, if any, would be caused to my iPhone and the case. Happy to report, that no damage occurred to my iPhone, and surprisingly, the case still looks like it did when I removed it

from the retail packaging.

The exposed silicone has held up quite well from the abuse of the constant in and out of my pocket. Like most silicone cases, carrying it in your pocket, the lint will adhere to it. luckily this case does not have very much silicone exposed. This is one benefit of this case compared to other manufactures.

The top power/sleep and rocker buttons work without any hiccups. It was always easy to push. I never experienced a time were I felt like I had to apply to much pressure for it to activate its functions.

The speaker hole diameter cutout, did not accommodate all my 3.5 mm plugs. If you have plugs/jacks lager than the Apple headphone diameter, you will run in to some issues. If your plug is slightly larger, you will be able to stretch the diameter opening to fit your plug, as this is what I had to do to make it work with one of my 3.5 mm cord.

One of the features on the case I really liked is the silicone that goes around the face of the iPhone. It is not so thick that it moves constantly. And with the outer shell applying pressure to the sides of the silicone, it keeps it in place. This gave me the confidence of being able to lay my iPhone, face down pretty much anywhere. Especially in my little box compartment in my dashboard on my truck.

The bottom portions of the case, where the 30 pin port and speakers are, is covered with silicone. There is ample protection there. There is three cutouts, below for the charger port, and speakers. the rest of the bottom is covered with silicone. You will not be able to use this case, on a dock port, or the Apple iPhone charger dock. I was not able to test the Blackberry model, so I can not provide information on that. If you like to keep your phone in a vehicle cup holder, you do not have to worry about the bottom of the iPhone getting damaged with the case.

The outer shell surprisingly exceeded my expectations as to the feel and wear and tear. During my week trial period with the Hybrid case, it never became tacky or sticky at any point in time. It also never lost its soft rubberized matte grip feel either. You do not have to worry about the coating on the outer shell to peel off on this case, Case-Mate was able, in my opinion, to produce that happy medium between a smooth non-slip feel and the rubberized coating.


Case-Mate did this dual layer hybrid case right. With the added screen protector that comes with it, you will not go wrong with this case. Depending on the color you select, I prefer black/gray, it can be used everyday, whether wearing professional attire or sweatpants and T-Shirt, this product will and should work for you.