Cases are among the most important accessories for phones and tablets. They protect the devices, they make them easier to hold, and – in some cases – make the device look better. Unfortunately, they can also be incredibly expensive. You could pay upwards of $50 for an Otterbox case or an even-more luxurious case, or you could spend a relatively low amount of money on a case and be disappointed.

But what if you could get a case for free? That’s the question ZooGue is asking its customers who own an iPhone 4 or 4S. Right now, you can get an iPhone 4/4S Social Shell Case (which normally costs $14.99) from the company’s website for free – if you pay shipping and handling. ZooGue provided me a review unit to see if you should even spend the money on shipping costs, so I’ll answer that question if you keep on reading.

Packaging

As you can see in the picture above, the case comes in a simple cardboard box. It’s nothing special, but it got my case here in perfect condition, so I had no complaints.

Design and Quality

ZooGue claims that this case is made out of a “special new material” that makes it “lightweight, thin, and durable.” I will agree that it’s all of those things, and it feels great in the hand. It’s not a shiny plastic; it’s a matte rubber. This keeps finger grease away and makes the case feel surprisingly high-quality – that is, until you use it day to day.

Unfortunately, this rubber case is really thin, and that makes it very flimsy. Even after a device is in it, the case still flops around. It never came off of either of my iPhones, but it’s still quite annoying. I would’ve rather had the case be a little thicker all around than have it be so flimsy.

The top provides a hole for the iPhone’s 3.5mm headphone jack, as well as a button for the sleep/wake button. Both work well; the button is always completely depressed and I was able to fit my Sennheiser headphones’ connector into the jack without any problems.

The bottom of the case provides ample space for most 30-pin connectors and it also provides holes for both the microphone and speaker. These holes didn’t cover up any portion of either of the two – something a lot of other cases seem to struggle with.

This picture also gives you a glimpse of the back. It’s that same, awesome-feeling rubber, but ZooGue put grips on either side of the case that wrap around to the back to give you more grip. Honestly, if these grips weren’t here, the case wouldn’t be worth using. While the matte texture offers a great feel, it doesn’t combat the slipperiness of the completely-flat rubber. Luckily, that’s a non-issue since the grips do their job, but it’s still worth a mention.

     

Here’s the camera hole, complete with pictures of how it looks with black and white models. There’s a lot of space around the lens and the flash, so pictures won’t be cut off or have that annoying glare that shows up if the LED is covered up.

     

Finally, here’s how the front of the case looks with an iPhone in it. Just click on either picture to see a larger version.

Conclusion

This isn’t a very long accessory review, but it doesn’t need to be. The Social Shell Case is flimsy, but it never comes off the device; as such, it offers enough protection and grip to be worth the shipping costs. That being said, once this sale is over, I’d recommend finding something else.

If you’re interested, you can get a Social Shell Case from ZooGue’s website right here. Blue isn’t the only color that’s offered, so take a look!