The TRTL STAND iPhone 4 case ($30) is an eco-friendly case from TRTL BOT that, similar to its cousin the Minimalist 4, is made in the U.S. entirely from recycled plastic bottles. Not only does it aim to protect your device from scratches, scuffs, and scrapes, but it also boasts a built-in stand with a choice of three viewing angles.There’s a portrait mode for FaceTime calls, a landscape mode for videos, and a tripod mode for taking steady photographs.
I’m a sucker for cases that offer a little more than just bare protection. The TRTL STAND’s built-in stand makes it easier than ever to provide support for your device for a whole host of different tasks, wherever you may be.
Using portrait mode, I could prop my iPhone up on my desk for a continual view of my Twitter stream while I’m working; landscape mode makes watching videos hands-free on a plane or in a cafe; and using tripod mode I found it easier to take timed photographs pretty much anywhere while out with family and friends.
The recycled plastic is incredibly sturdy and will actually bend a great deal before it breaks. Surprisingly, the stand also held up two at least two clumsy drops. On one occasion, it was actually open when it hit the hard kitchen floor, but remained intact. It’s also very lightweight and adds no noticeable weight to your iPhone whatsoever.
Unfortunately, I have to echo the criticisms I wrote about the TRTL BOT Minimalist, as both cases are very similar in design. While very practical, the TRTL STAND is rather inelegant and instantly strips away your iPhone’s beauty when you attach it.
Also, the sides of the case actually protrude a little further in front of your screen, rather that leaving your screen to stick out in front. While this may offer a little more protection when dropping your device face-first on a flat surface, I personally don’t like it. I found that it makes the case more of a magnet to dust and pocket fluff, which has a tendency to wedge itself in between the gap that runs up the sides of the case, and results in regular removal for cleaning.
I admire the TRTL STAND’s eco-friendly approach and I’m a huge fan of its built-in stand — it also gets added points for its sturdiness. If you’re forever trying to prop your device up to watch videos of FaceTime a friend, you need a case with a built-in stand. Having said that, there are prettier alternatives on the market, such as the Speck CandyShell View.
[xrr rating = 40%]