Co.Design

Yes Way! An iPhone Case That's Ergonomic Without Being Ugly

Proof that in the age of sleek electronics, we haven’t all abandoned comfort.

Say what you will about the iPhone 4’s aesthetics, but whereas the previous iPhones had rounded, Fisher-Price-ian edges for comfort, the Cupertino’s latest iteration has four relatively sharp corners per edge. It’s always felt a bit more built for cyborgs than fleshy human hands.

Ag++ is an iPhone case by designer Andrea Ponti and Case Logic that blatantly challenges Apple’s approach. It’s rigid and durable, carved from a block of aluminum. But at the same time, it’s cognizant of your hands, with a two-part screw-lock design that accommodates the phone’s contact points with your meat mitts.

"I think Apple doesn’t need an ergonomic approach. They probably prefer ‘the perfection of symmetry,’" writes Ponti. "But when you design a case or any accessory, you cannot just follow Apple’s style. That’s why we wanted something different, asymmetric and ergonomic."

We can probably argue the merits of each approach all day, but one thing’s for sure: Ponti’s different approach struck a chord with Apple loyalists. The Ag++ has been very successful for Case Logic. Yet oddly enough, it’s been this successful without solving the iPhone’s fundamental durability problem.

You see, Ag++ adds protection and ergonomics to the iPhone’s frame, but it does nothing to protect the (most?) commonly broken front or back glass, which can still land flat on cement or concrete. It makes you wonder about the consumer of such a product—did they not consider that durability scenario, or were they simply so enamored with a more grip-friendly iPhone that they didn’t really care?

Either way, it’s an interesting lesson. Ag++ didn’t need to solve every iPhone woe to become a successful product in the bloated case marketplace; they just needed to solve one that most other competitors hadn’t.

Buy it here.

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22 Comments

  • Phunken

    See this rubbish on ebay for $1.
    The flat angular iPhone4 case have more grip surface than the smooth rounded iPhone 3. I know i used them all.

  • Gadget4Apple

    I perfer Deff. Can't see anything that this has that Deff doesn't while the Japaness design is more slender and simple. True Zen spirit with the the subtle lines like the Japnese Zen garden.

  • Emil

    It looks nice, but probably just more slippery hard edges to fumble. I prefer the grip a rubbery case with softer corners provides.

  • Benny

    I agree that the iPhone is one of the more awkward phones to hold (although it looks sleek). However, this case -- in my opinion -- looks pretty stupid, and looks like it adds bulk to the phone. I'm not convinced from the photos at least. I'd love to see a rendition of the current iPhone bumper that's thinner and made of higher quality materials.

  • Joel

    I don't know if this is actually solving an actual problem or not, but it really looks cool.

  • Akly88

    Maybe with the ergonomic design the iPhones are less likely to fall out of your hands. And with a design that actually sits in your hand, you won't be dropping it unless you're waving your phone around like a lunatic.
     

  • redbeardsf

    I have never once held my iPhone 4 and thought that it was uncomfortable or hard to hold.

  • tkbrdly

    Cases made of aluminum usually degrade the cell signal to the point of being unusable, how does this one hold up?

  • josemarques

    It's not pretty... 

    Why do people care so much about the glass? I've had iPhones for years and glass always remains untouched. It's the case that gets all scratched, even in the iPhone 4s!

  • Drake Escrofani

    Smart approach. If these are being sold in Apple stores, I'd love to see how one actually feels in my hand around an iPhone.

  • James Stipes

    Completely disagree. This case doesn't protect the screen or back, and it makes my phone WIDER? Ugly, ugly, ugly.

  • carboncanyon

    I just get Applecare so I don't have to worry about the glass anymore.

    I'm more concerned about reception. I've had other aluminum cases, and they have all degraded the iPhone's reception to some degree.