Review: Contour Design’s Showcase for iPhone - Macenstein

Review: Contour Design’s Showcase for iPhone

contour design showcase iphone

Countour Design’s Showcase for the iPhone is that rare animal of case that merges the best parts of other cases to form an entirely new animal.

Sort of the platypus of iPhone cases.

contour design showcase iphone
The Showcase is great for crazy folks like me who painted their iPhone. Now I can protect my expensive “Shrek-green” paint job and see it at the same time!

Not quite an acrylic case yet not quite a rubber case either, the Showcase allows you the ability to show off (most of) your beautiful new gadget’s surfaces, while still providing a fair amount of shock absorption in the event of a fall.

contour design showcase iphone

The lightweight case is actually 2 cases in 1, literally. First, the inner layer is a see-through acrylic that completely covers the iPhone (minus the screen and requisite holes for controls/ports). On top of that, Contour Design applied a thin, yet effective rubber coating to the outer bezel, sides, and lower rear of the case. This rubber does two things. First, it provides a bit of protection to your iPhone in the event of a fall, and second it makes the Showcase easier to grip, minimizing the chance of that fall ever occurring in the first place.

Much like the platypus, the design of the showcase is a bit unique as well. The case is more or less a modified clamshell design. To insert your iPhone, you need to fold open the case, and push your iPhone’s lower half into the bottom of the case, then flip the case closed at its hinge. The case snaps shut quite tightly, so no need to worry it will open accidentally, even when dropped (from a reasonable height). The downside here is getting the iPhone in and out of the case can be a little difficult, as the Showcase provides a rather tight fit.

contour design showcase iphone

The Showcase ships with a removable holster which works well, although it is a bit on the large side. The holster does a good job holding the case tightly, and its ratcheting clip allows for an endless range of positioning possibilities (well, 12 positions, actually, as it locks in 30 degree increments). As any faithful Macenstein reader knows, I am not a big fan of holster clips, and rarely use them to carry my iPhone. The only thing I find clips useful for is to double as a stand when watching videos, and you can do that with the Showcase’s clip as well with a 90 degree counter-clockwise turn.

contour design showcase iphone

The thing I like most about the Showcase is that you feel your iPhone has the security of a shock absorbing rubber case, but since you can still see a good 70% or so of the iPhone, the case doesn’t look as bulky (or feel as heavy) as one that entirely covers the rear of the case.

Since for most people the focus of the iPhone is on the large touchscreen gracing the front, I am glad to see Contour decided to pay tribute to the design of the rear of the iPhone as well with the Showcase. I have been testing cases quite a bit since I got my ColorWare-painted iPhone back, and this is the first case to finally let me see the back of my Jolly Green Giant while protecting it.


The biggest issue I have with the Showcase is the clear material the case is made of. In my testing (which wasn’t all that rigorous) the Showcase seemed to pick up scratches quite easily. Not the kind of giant gashes that mar its aesthetics – more so the swirly, thin lines that appear after a few weeks on an unprotected iPod’s body. These are the kind of scratches you need to tilt the case in the right light to see, but once you do, they somehow seem to be more obvious than they perhaps are. Since the point of the Showcase is to “showcase” your iPhone, it would have been nice if a slightly harder plastic was used.

contour design showcase iphone
The Showcase picks up minor scratches quite easily. I wasn’t really able to get a great photo of them (perhaps a sign they are not all that bad) but in person, even small scratches on clear acrylic catch the light and become noticeable.

My 2nd issue is minor, but I’m all about finding small things that bug me. On the back of the Showcase, up by the camera, Contour Design decided to embed their logo in the plastic. Again, sort of like the scratches, this is one of those things you may not notice until the light hits your case just right, but then it becomes a focal point. I would have much rather they embossed their logo (if need be) on the lower back of the case, in the black rubber. I feel its current placement mars the otherwise beautiful open-back window the Showcase provides.

contour design showcase iphone
I am not a fan of Contour Design’s choice of logo placement, as the embossed logo on the clear plastic on the rear of the case catches the light and is quite noticeable.

A final minor annoyance is the amount of effort it takes to get the iPhone OUT of the Showcase. As I briefly mentioned earlier, removing the iPhone can be difficult, and at times you may feel you are putting an abnormal amount of pressure on both case and phone. I would think if you are someone who changes cases often, it would likely only be a matter of time until you broke it. Perhaps I am just a spaz. However, you can connect the iPhone to you r computer via the dock cable while still inside the Showcase, so you may find you rarely (if ever) need to remove it.


I think the Showcase is one of the better-looking cases available for the iPhone, and its combination of shock absorption and eye-pleasing aesthetics make it a good choice for an all-purpose case. Unfortunately the Showcase’s ability to attract small scratches makes you wonder why an unprotected iPhone doesn’t scratch as easily as this “protective” case does.

Contour Design’s Showcase for iPhone

Price: $35

Pros: cool looking, provides a nice blend of protection and style

Cons: case picks up small scratches easily, hard to remove iPhone from case, poor logo placement

6 Responses to “Review: Contour Design’s Showcase for iPhone”
  1. Bert says:

    I thought the case was made of Polycarbonate and not acryllic? I agree with the poor logo placement! 🙁

    But I’m still going to buy this case – seen it in person and love it! 😀

  2. Mark J.Smith says:

    How do you protect the screen????

  3. Sean O says:


    You put the iPhone in the holster with the screen facing the back.

  4. Jane M says:

    Great review. I have this case for my 3G, and they have changed the logo placement. However now I want to get my iphone out…and as you said it’s difficult. How am I supposed to get it out? Do I press on the top part or just pry and pull apart. I don’t want to break it.

    thanks for your help

  5. Julius says:

    love this case, very much, great phone security, and the first one that one found that I can carry on my waist, snuggley.

Leave A Comment


Click here to inquire about making a fortune by advertising your game, gadget, or site on Macenstein.