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Musubo Ripple Case for iPhone 4/4S review: Musubo Ripple Case for iPhone 4/4S

This iPhone 4/4S case sells for a fair price, but it wasn't long before our light-colored phone holder went from lime green to grime green.

Jessica Dolcourt Senior Director, Commerce & Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Expertise Content strategy | Team leadership | Audience engagement | Tips and FAQs | iPhone | Samsung | Android | iOS
Jessica Dolcourt
2 min read

A couple of months ago, Musubo sent along an enticing package full of iPhone 4/4S cases of various sorts. There's the blue jelly case, a hard red plastic one with gray grooves, a pink and white one that's reminiscent of a sneaker, and the matchbook, who faux matches pop out to form a kickstand. Of course, each design comes in multiple colors. Out of this bounty of creative, and rather distinctive cases I chose the bright green Ripple, ($29.99), which seemed the most usable of the bunch. I've been using it since the day I got it.


Musubo Ripple Case for iPhone 4/4S

The Good

<b>Musubo's Ripple case</b> design is unique and affordable, and the case did its job protecting the phone.

The Bad

The lime green color discolored quickly in the bag, and the design doesn't have the most comfortable in-hand feel.

The Bottom Line

Musubo's Ripple case for iPhone 4/4S will attract some people with its design, but unless you're the type to polish your case daily, better stick to darker shades or move on.

You see, while the cases are unique, they're more eye-catching than they are comfortable to hold. The Ripple's designer, for instance, drew inspiration from a pebble thrown into a pool of water. In this case, plastic ridges form a rippling effect originating from the camera lens, which creates noticeable humps that press into your hand. The sides and back are unadorned.

At first I disliked the feeling and couldn't get used to the ridges. Over time, my fingers grew accustomed to the case's dimensions, and the ripples even helped me locate the iPhone from among the sea of other smartphones and other objects residing in my purse, since I could distinguish the case by touch.

Musubo Ripple Case
You see those ridges? You're looking at the brownish discoloration on our test case. Josh Miller/CNET

Unfortunately, as the days and weeks passed, I noticed another trend: the once pristine lime-green plastic cover has slowly, surely turned brownish-blackish-gray, with the areas of highest concentration of ick on the corners and those raised ripple ridges (pictured above).

Yes, this discoloration is an unappetizing and embarrassing revelation that my purse is not at its purest, cleanest form, but must the case look so unhygienic? I've used a variety of (admittedly darker) plastic cases. I use them all hard, rubbing off corners, scratching panels with my keys, and dropping the phone unceremoniously into the black hole of my bag where it comes into contact with mysterious objects like old receipts, paper clips, and loosely-wrapped cookies -- but I've never noticed soiling to this degree, and never in such a short amount of time.

To Musubo's credit, the case did a good job protecting the iPhone from drops, bumps, and jostling. Still, I can't recommend this color or case in particular. If you're interested in a stylish, more unusual case, Musubo's many designs will pique your interest. Unless you're fastidious about keeping clean -- from food grease to surfaces to pockets, backpacks, and purses -- I might recommend you stick with the darker shades.

Now excuse me while I go disinfect my bag.


Musubo Ripple Case for iPhone 4/4S

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 6Performance 5