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Animal Silicone Zebra Case for iPhone 4 review

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Accessory manufacturer Contour Design has signed on with clothing brand Animal to create a range of Apple and Blackberry accessories.

While we await the RIM handset cases, the first fruits of the deal see a number of iPhone cases heading to market.

Existing fans of the clothing brand may recognise a few of the patterns. That’s because the cases are all inspired by designs featured on Animal’s seasonal collections or they use distinctive Animal prints that have been a part of the company’s branding for years.

Of course, logo-averse consumers might be a little worried that splashing a clothing brand over an iPhone 4 case will look tacky at worst, or like an advertisement at best.

However, they should be won over by this particular partnership. It’s a testament to whoever originally designed the Animal logo – which is made up of an A broken up within a circle, making it look like an animal claw print – that it looks quite good as a piece of decoration.

And while Animal has also included its full name on every case, it usually blends that into the design so as not to be too overpowering.

We had a look at the Silicone Zebra Case from the new range, and despite bearing a huge red Animal logo and writing its name in white among the zebra stripes, it’s still a handsome-looking case.

But there’s an unusual effect that takes place with this silicone protector. Hold the Zebra Case in one hand and it looks attractive. Hold your iPhone 4 in the other hand and it looks slim and elegant. Combine the two and something odd occurs: it’s as if a thin person has stepped into the hall of mirrors at the fairground and suddenly put on a few pounds.

The solid silicone case gives the iPhone a real sense of protection but at a price – it looks chunky, especially when it’s sitting with the decorative Animal branding face-down.

Still, as well as doing solid work as a protector, the case also functions extremely well when it comes to the iPhone 4’s usability. Despite that thick layer of silicone there’s no problem pressing the power button on the top or the volume buttons on the side.

The docking slot, ringer control and headphone socket are all suitably accessible, too. In fact the biggest problem with this open-fronted case is that it doesn’t come with a thin plastic screen protector, which some other manufacturers include as standard.

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