G-Form’s Extreme Grid is a $40 case for the iPhone 4 and 4S. Available in black or black with yellow, blue, green, red, gray, pink, white, or purple, the Extreme Grid uses G-Form’s Reactive Protection Technology (RPT). For the uninitiated, RPT is a composite blend of Poron XRD and other proprietary materials. The basic idea of RPT—besides empowering folks who want to learn some new acronyms ASAP—is that it’s soft and malleable to the touch, but its molecules actually tighten on impact, forming a protective shield capable of absorbing 90 percent of the force, before immediately relaxing and becoming soft again.
The back, sides, and corners of the soft case are covered in RPT bumpers. The case uses a cutout to expose the iPhone’s Ring/Silent switch, and the Extreme Grid’s non-bumper areas are slim enough that this is the rare case where such a cutout doesn’t make the Ring/Silent switch unnecessarily difficult to access. The case employs satisfyingly tactile button overlays for the phone’s volume buttons and Sleep/Wake button, with additional cutouts for the headphone jack, speakers, dock-connector port, and rear camera and flash.
Sliding an iPhone into the case is easy; getting it back out again isn’t much of a chore, either. The Extreme Grid protrudes very slightly beyond the iPhone’s screen, though I’d prefer a little more space between the front edges of the case and the iPhone’s glass screen for face-down-drop peace of mind. That said, the case is protective enough that I’m willing to let my one-year-old hold my phone while it’s clad in the Extreme Grid. (The iPhone, not the child.) And trust me, folks: That’s extreme.
The Extreme Grid is an affordable iPhone case with a interesting look and a unique underlying impact-resistant technology. It’s not cumbersome to put your iPhone into the case, or to use it while it’s inside the case, which makes the Extreme Grid a nice blend of convenience and protection, especially compared to other rugged cases.