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The Week in iPhone Cases: One-hour photo

Our weekly roundup of iPhone cases has been on a brief hiatus as we welcomed the arrival of the third-generation iPad, but we haven't forgotten about the other side of Apple's mobile business. In fact, our staff has been busily squirrelling away manufacturer announcements over the past few weeks, and we’re here with the latest, hot off the presses.

Caze: The Zero 5 Pro (iPhone 4 and 4S; $20) is an ultra-thin case composed of a 0.5-millimeter, transparent black plate and a minimalistic rubber frame. Despite its enviable dimensions, it provides protection from scratches, bumps, and ultraviolet rays. The rubber bumper is available in black, white, or clear, and the case comes with a complimentary thin-film screen protector.

Gelaskins: The company's collection of skins (iPhone 4 and 4S; $35) is now certified for the iPhone 4S. The collection includes over 130 different designs, most of which come with a matching wallpaper for your home and lock screens.

InCase: The Shepard Fairey Collection (iPhone 4 and 4S; $30 to $40) includes cases for the iPhone conceived by artist Shepard Fairey. The designs include a mixture of geometric patterns and eclectic paintings inspired by urban landscapes, and the company provides a set of matching wallpapers for your home and lock screens.

iSkin: The Claro Collection (iPhone 4 and 4S; $35) is a hard case that comes in traditional clear plastic, as well as a series of sparkling finishes: blue, red, or pink. Its construction features a rigid inner frame and a soft-polymer outer layer for maximum grip and comfort. The case provides all the appropriate cutouts to ensure ready access to ports and cameras. Matching screen protectors are available from the company for an extra $10.

iTattoo: This company specializes in sticker decals (iPhone 4 and 4S; $15) designed for the back of Apple's handsets. The collection features hundreds of different designs, each meant to integrate perfectly with the iPhone’s factory-default livery. Most decals are available in black, white, glow-in-the-dark, or glow-in-the-dark silhouette die-cut formats.

Quadlock: The Quadlock (iPhone 4 and 4S; $20 to $70) is a mounting system that’s all about flexibility. A special case for your iPhone plays host to a number of different attachments that can be used to attach the handset to horizontal and vertical surfaces (including walls), as well as to bicycles and motorcycles. The company sells the attachments separately so you can leave them in place while you carry your phone around.

SmartGuard: The SmartGuard (iPhone 4 and 4S; €38) is a case that incorporates a pepper-spray sprayer for protection during emergencies. The pepper spray canister attaches to the side of the case—remaining safely locked while in position to prevent accidental discharge—and can handle up to six half-second bursts with a range of up to five meters.

ThiPhone: The PhoneVise Flex Holster (all iPhone models, $20) is a holster that features an exclusive soft-material construction. It keeps your iPhone safe and readily accessible while you move about, but it doesn't feel uncomfortable when you bend or sit. It comes in black and works with or without a case.

Treehouse Labs: The Bikn (iPhone 4 and 4S; $120) is a hardback case that incorporates a radio transmitter that communicates with up to eight transceiver tags (two are included) that can be hooked to your everyday items—and, apparently, pets. The two-way wireless capabilities of the case, in conjunction with a special app, allow you to find your tags—or to use any of the tags to find your phone. You can also use a special “leash” feature that sounds an alarm whenever you get too far from a given tag. The Bikn and its tags are available in a black black or white finish with a number of color highlights.

USBFever: Despite its somewhat generic name, the Lens for iPhone (iPhone 4 and 4S; $38) is a clever case that incorporates a circular, polarizing filter made of high-clarity glass that helps filter out oblique reflections from your photographs. The result is clearer pictures, especially where water or glass surfaces are involved. According to the company, the only hitch is that the filter, when mounted, blocks the iPhone's flash.


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