silicone case for iphone

Ignore the fact that I'm going 50 MPH in this picture, its just an optical illusion.

Cheap but really useful? That’s something that is rarely heard these days in the world of consumer products. However, there is simply no other way to describe the Phone Poncho, a cheap new “temporary” silicone case for the iPhone 3G or 3GS.

The Poncho is self-described as a case for people that are prone to a little bit of “dirt, debris, or water.” I guess anybody that finds themselves going outside (ever) could encounter one of those situations. But at $10, its not far fetched to think that maybe everybody needs one of these.

Its as simple as it gets, just like any other silicone case that is currently flooded in the market (particularly at your local mall at one of the booths) – with one major caveat. The Poncho covers up all of the ports on the phone…not just the power button and volume rocker, but literally everything. The headphone jack, the microphone…everything. Plus, compared to other weatherproof or waterproof iPhone cases, this is noticeably less bulky and complex.

This is really the major claim to fame, and its definitely not something that I have encountered before. One would think that the silicone covering all of phone would result in a significant drop in call quality or functionality (at least I did), but that surprisingly wasn’t the situation at all. The phone was still perfectly capable of making and receiving calls with the case on; unless I was rubbing the case against my shoulder nobody could even tell that the microphone was covered. Granted, I wouldn’t want to have an extended conversation with it on, but when I was in a pinch it did just fine – and without it I wouldn’t have even brought my phone out of the car.

A few issues that some people may have … the camera, headphone jack, and dock connector are covered by silicone. That means if you want to use any of them you actually have to take the Poncho off the phone, which could certainly be an annoyance. For me, I tested the case out while taking an extended hike so I didn’t need any of those features. To overcome this limitation, the company claims that the case isn’t for everyday use but rather for temporary protection when at the beach or something similar. Makes sense to me, as I already have a case. However, if you’re looking for a more permanent solution, there are reports that you can use a hole puncher for the camera and a nail for the headphone jacks…I’m sure there is more information on the website.

I’m sure the question everybody has is … is this video actually real?? (http://phoneponcho.com/2010/poncho-test-1/) Well, I wasn’t willing to take the risk of dropping my phone in a bowl of water, but you’re more than welcome if you’d like to videotape it! I contacted the owners, and the assured me that its the real deal, just that its not going to actually provide protection from water damage 100% of the time. More importantly, it may save your phone, but it is yet to be seen if it will prevent your water damage indicators turn red.

I think its safe to say that it would help more often than not though, after seeing how tightly the Poncho fits onto the phone.

Overall, even though my Poncho was provided to me (no charge) by the company, I don’t think anyone would be disappointed by dropping only $10.00 on this. It more than servers its purpose, and you’ll be asking yourself “Why didn’t I think of this??”

*Full Disclosure…I know the owner so I may be a little biased.