Review & Giveaway: Zazzle Custom Case for iPhone 4/4s

Custom cases for the iPhone 4/4s are nothing new.  Here’s the thing to know about them though.  They’re only as good as the case company making them.  A custom made case can be a wonderful thing.   But if it comes in the form of a dime store case it’s simply not going to last and that’ll only end up with you being unhappy.  Zazzle made a good choice when it decided to partner with Case-Mate for their custom iPhone 4/4s cases.  To create a custom Zazzle case you get two options.  You can choose from one of their pre-loaded designs, which comes from artists from all over the world.  Or you can do what I did, and upload an image of your own.

How does the process work?  Read on for my full review and be sure to read through to the end to find out how you might win a custom case of your own.

The Zazzle custom case begins on the company’s web site.  It’s there that’ll you’ll create your design.  First however, you’ll need to choose which case you’d like Case-Mate to turn into your very own custom case.  You’ll be able to select either the Case-Mate ID Case, Barely There or the Tough.  For my review sample I opted for the Barely There Case.

The next choice you’ll be faced with is whether or not you want to choose from one of Zazzle’s pre-loaded designs or upload a picture of your own.  If you choose to create your own you’ll launch into the special set up tool which you use to create your case.

As you can see from the screen shot above the tool allows you to upload your own image, which is placed onto an exact replica of the case you selected.  This way you can see just how your case will look once it’s created.  You can easily adjust the placement of the image, add text, zoom in or out and crop using the tools offered.  I had my completed case all created in a matter of minutes and was off to the ordering page.  Honestly, the process could not have been any easier.  I’ve dealt with some temperamental tools like these before.  Images don’t get cropped properly, or flat out get rejected.  The Zazzle tool was a breeze.

In a few short days my case arrived from Case-Mate.

Like every case Case-Mate sells this one came along with one of the company’s screen protection kits.  This includes a crystal clear screen shield, which is compatible with both the iPhone 4 and the 4s, a microfiber cleaning cloth and a installation card.

The Barely There is one of the thinnest fitting cases offered by Case-Mate, and that’s the main reason I chose it.  Thin does mean less protection though and the Barely There doesn’t offer much in the way of lay-on-the-table defense.  The edge of the case comes right up to the glass and clicks into the space between the antenna band and the glass.  This results in a superb fit and one that doesn’t interfere with the use of a screen protector in any way.

On the bottom of the case you’ll find one large cutout for access to the iPhone’s 30-pin connector, speaker and main microphone.  This means virtually any third party charging accessory will fit in to your phone while you’re using the Barely There case and you’ll also be able to still dock your phone in most dock accessories as well.

Along the left side of the case you’ll notice a single cutout for the volume buttons and vibrate switch.  Unlike most snap on the back covers the Barely There has a protective strip above the buttons though – which I love!

The cutout on the top of the case matches that of the one on the bottom – single and large.  You’ll be able to use any set of headphones and have full, unobstructed access to the secondary microphone and sleep/awake button.

The cutout on the back of the case for the camera and flash is very large.  This insures you’ll have zero issues with the flash bouncing off the glossy finish of the case causing washout of your photos.

There are plenty of options when it comes to selecting a custom case for your iPhone 4 or 4s.  However, they are not all created equally.  A custom design is only as good as the case it’s placed onto.  Case-Mate has been the at the top of the list of premier iPhone cases makers since the very first iPhone launched.  By partnering with Case-Mate, Zazzle has made a great choice.  Making a custom case on the Zazzle web site is easy and you’ll have your one of a kind case at your door step in no time.  No matter which of the Case-Mate designs you choose you’ll receive a quality custom case that’s personal to you.

Giveaway:  Now on to how you can win your very own custom case from Zazzle.  Zazzle was kind enough to provide us with one promo code for a Barely There case to give away.  Just leave us a comment below letting us know what you want for Christmas.  At the end of the week we’ll pick one winner at random and send them the code. Make sure your email address in entered in the profile section of your comment (you don’t need to leave it in your comment) so we can contact you if you win.

You can learn more about all of the iPhone cases Zazzle offers by visiting this page on the company’s web site.

MSRP:  $34.95

PROS:  Quality case from Case-Mate, fast turn around.

CONS:  No lay-on-the-table protection.


Larry has always had a passion for gear and gadgets. It all started for him with the release of the very first Palm Pilot. He has always had an interest in handheld electronics. From handheld PDAs, to cell phones, Mp3 players, watches and other products, Larry is the first person his friends, family and colleagues call when they need advice on tech.

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  • RT @habitforming: Great review of the @CaseMate case via @zazzle by @runaroundtech