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Tough iPhone 4 cases duke it out

Otterbox claims to have the toughest iPhone cases, but companies such as Ballistic are saying its cases are tougher.

The OtterBox Defender for iPhone 4 costs $49.95. OtterBox

OtterBox claims you won't find a tougher case than the OtterBox Defender Series for iPhone 4. But a company called Ballistic is saying its HC case--the HC stands for Hard Core--is "better" than OtterBox's, offering four layers of protection instead of OtterBox's two.

Yes, never mind all this talk of free bumpers, anyone seeking real protection wants something on the tough end of the case spectrum--a place where there's clearly a battle brewing. Ballistic has even produced a video of an iPhone 4 being thrown around while encased in the HC, which definitely proves a point. That said, I would've been more impressed if the company had hired a minor league pitcher to huck the thing at a wall, not some slow-ball-tossing tattooed marketing person.

Of course, as anyone who's dabbled in the tough-case category knows, the big problem with being overprotective is that your phone tends to bulk up quite a bit when you stick a few layers over it. I do have to say that OtterBox's $49.95 Defender for the iPhone 4 appears to be sleeker than its predecessor for the iPhone 3 and 3GS. (OtterBox also has Defender cases for Android phones in the works and Ballistic has an HC case for the HTC Evo coming soon).

What do you guys think? What's the toughest iPhone case out there?

Related: Top 25 tough iPhone cases (3G and 3GS)

The Ballistic HC for iPhone 4 costs $49.99. Ballistic