So your expensive phone finally arrived. You get enthusiastic, test the display, run a game, import contact list and then you remember you have to go buy some groceries. Perfect time for the first trip with your new phone. But then the universe decides it’s time for you to pay for every bad karma you gathered in your life. The phone suddenly becomes sentient, gets extra slippery and just jumps out of your hand or pocket and lands onto the pavement. The screen is now broken and you are in anguish, thinking what could you have done to prevent this situation.
If it did not happen to you yet, I am absolutely sure you know at least one friend who has experienced this horror story.
Everybody drops their phone sooner or later so what can you do to protect it? Buy a case or a protective screen? But would not a case make my phone look cheap and like a brick?
These questions are natural, you can not compare the feeling of the phone the way it was designed, in it’s nude state (metal, glass or leather) with the somewhat cheap, bulky feeling of a protective phone case.
In an attempt to deliver a better phone experience some companies offer an interesting warranty offer. For example, the HTC One M9 will get replaced once if your phone gets damaged, including accidental drops or screen cracks.
But most companies will charge you extra fees (up to $ 200) in order to repair your phone if you accidently drop it.
So in order to keep your phone safe, but without it looking ugly or cheap, let’s have a look at what case manufacturers have to offer in order to satisfy both safety and design needs.
Note: A case will keep your phone’s value in case you want to resell it.
1. Apple Leather Case
Apple took on a more non-invasive, minimalistic design using a soft leather cover that does not take away form the premium feel of the phone.
The case is durable, which provides a sturdy grip and what we enjoyed the most is that it adds almost nothing in terms of bulk (5.91 × 2.76 × 0.59 inches) or weight (1.76 ounces).
Another good factor is the fact that the case is easy to snap in place and very easy to remove. It wraps around the back and the three sides (all corners are covered).
Note: On the back rests the Apple logo.
The Apple Leather Case comes in black, midnight blue, red, soft pink and olive brown.
The Apple Leather Case offers protection against daily use, average drops (around 6 feet) or scratches. If better protection is needed in rougher environments we recommend a tougher case (Otterbox and LifeProof are a good alternative).
Inside the case there is a microfiber that keeps the iPhone from getting scratches when you remove it or put it in your pocket.
Also, the case is thick enough to protect the camera lens and the screen.
The case has holes for headphone jack, lighting cable, speaker and mute button, basically leaving the bottom of the phone completely exposed.
The buttons are responsive under the case and although the buttons were a bit hard to press at first, after a couple of days, they eased up. In the camera cavity there is a black anti-glare section.
One problem we encountered is that because of the higher dent around the screen, some gestures (like swiping from left) are hard to perform.
The Apple Leather Case brings an element of class to the iPhone 6 and despite the leather ages, it does add character, but right now, the case is a bit overpriced. If you do not complain about the price, then this case is perfect for the average consumer, melding together both a reasonable protection and a high quality design.
4. Mophie Juice Pack H2Pro
The Juice Pack H2Pro, is the first waterproof battery case from Mophie.
The Juice Pack H2Pro features a stylish design with a black matte finish (there is a glossy white finish available) that feels very comfortable in hand.
Although the case is quite bulky, comparing it to other external battery packs, it is rather slim. Still, the Juice Pack H2Pro will double the size and the weight of your phone, measuring 5.91 × 2.76 × 0.59 inches and weighing 1.76 ounces.
In order to install the case you only have to slide the main case part over the phone and push the top part afterwards in order to seal the case.
The Juice Pack H2Pro comes in two variations: Glossy white and black matte plastic.
The Juice Pack H2Pro has a waterproof protection rating of IP-68, as the case has been tested to a depth of 4 feet for 30 minutes.
The case provides protection against scratches or scrapes and can withstand drops from up to 6 feet thanks to the screen’s protective layer.
Note: H2PRO meets Military Standard 810G-516.6 for drops and other potentially damaging situations.
Access and Battery
The front of the case is somewhat featureless, with small metallic vents for microphones and speakers, with cut-out holes for microUSB and headphone ports and on the sides there are protectors covering the buttons.
Over the display, you can find a flexible membrane that allows for reasonable access to the touch screen and the Touch ID.
The case features an on / off system and four light power indicator.
The Juice Pack H2Pro comes equipped with a 2,750mAh rechargeable battery that basically doubles (and more) the battery life of your iPhone. According to Mophie you gain 11 additional hours of video playback and about 50 additional hours of music playback.
During our testing, the battery delivered an additional 130% recharge.
Overall, the Juice Pack H2Pro delivers a premium experience, featuring great protection, a good looking design (although inevitably bulky) and a rechargeable battery.
5. Tech21 Classic Frame
Tech21 promises great protection using innovative materials (D30), without adding too much size to the iPhone 6. Let’s see if it delivers.
The case features a minimalistic design, sporting a tough polycarbonate back and flexible D30 material sides. The back panel is transparent (you can see the iPhone’s design through) and the edges provide a lot of grip thanks to the rubbery texture.
Tech21 Classic Frame has a thin profile, measuring (LHW) 3.03 × 0.69 × 6.15 inches and weighing 4 ounces.
Installing and removing the case is reliably easy. Because the bottom is exposed, you can insert the phone through (or pull from the bottom for removal).
The case comes into two choices of color: Clear to Smokey.
Tech21 claims that thanks to their innovative technology, the D30 material, shocks should be absorbed and dissipated leaving the phone unharmed.
And they are right, the phone is protected from drops from up to 6 feet. We tested from around three feet and the iPhone 6 was safe and sound.
What about the screen? Well, the outer lip around the screen extends up a bit higher so that if you drop your phone face down, it will protect it from shattering (may limit the use of some swiping gestures). Still, it may be recommended to acquire a screen protector in case the phone is dropped on an dangerous surface.
All this protection comes without adding too much bulk, unlike other cases.
The case features a minimalist design, with a matte finish (we tested the black version) and a cut-out for the Apple logo.
The Case-Mate Barely There is very thin, adds almost nothing in terms of bulk (2.8 × 0.4 × 5.5inches) or weight (0.5 ounces) and you will often forget it’s on the phone.
It is very easy to install, you just have to slide the right side and just clip the left side of the case.
The Case-Mate Barely There comes in a large array of colors: black, white, clear, pink, green, orange, brown, gold, silver, blue, gray, purple, red and mixed.
The Case-Mate Barely There provides a more basic protection than the other cases we have reviewed, being able to prevent only cosmetic damage (scratches). Still, there is a good protection for back, sides and corners.
Inside the case you can find a textured rubber that prevents phone scratches from dust stuck inside the case.
Unfortunately, if you want protection against drops (especially dropping your phone face down), this case does not deliver such a feat, but if scratches or scrapes are the reason you want a case, then this is the perfect case for you.
Accessibility is one of the best parts of this case. It features cut-outs for easy access to the volume controller, power and mute button, leaving the top and bottom of the iPhone exposed.
Thanks to these cut-outs, it is very easy to use the Dock Adapter. Also, a great thing is that it does not obstruct the swipe gestures.
In the past, Incipio cases were OK-ish, nothing impressive, but the DualPro tends to change this perception.
The design of the Incipio DualPro Shine is quite unique, using two layers, instead of one, each with its own style and role
To install the case all you have to do is simply slip the iPhone into the rubber layer and later clip the plastic layer onto the back.
While uninstalling we have noticed a problem. Because the cut-out for the camera is thin, you can easily break the case around it.
One surprising fact about the Incipio DualPro Shine is that although it features two layers, it is not very bulky, measuring 5.65 × 2.88 × 0.45 inches and weighing 1.6 ounces.
Each of the two layers of the Incipio DualPro Shine has its own role. The inner layer is stretch resistant and the outer shell provides protection to scratches and scrapes.
Overall, the case protects your phone from falls from up to 4 feet and the edges do provide a little screen protection if falling face first.
One minus is that the outer shell is quite sllick (slicker than the iPhone itself) so it can fall out of you hand easily.
The Incipio DualPro Shine allows you to access all the iPhone’s buttons. It features cut-outs for the lighting port, for the headphone jack, speaker and camera.
Buttons are covered with a rubber material that can be pressed with ease. The exception is the mute switch that can be a little hard to manoeuvre if you do not have bigger fingernails.
The Incipio DualPro Shine is compatible with other screen protectors.
9. Griffin Reveal Case
The American company, Griffin Technology, features a large array of cases for the iPhone. To name a few: The Survivor All-Terrain, the Survivor Core, the Survivor Slim, and the Reveal case, which we will review right now.
The Griffin Reveal Case is a slim and lightweight case featuring a simple, minimalist design, with slim rubber edges (that provide good grip) and a sturdy, completely transparent, plastic back.
The case itself does not add too much bulk, it measures 6.3 × 0.4 × 3.25 inches and weighs 1.6 ounces.
The transparent back is made of polycarbonate and although it shows the back of the phone, it retains fingerprints and scratch marks with ease.
Thanks to the rubber edges, the Griffin Reveal Case actually provides good grip and makes it really easy to install or remove the case.
The frame is available in black, white or pink.
Overall, the case feels solid, the design is simple and will please every user who desires to see as much of the iPhone 6 as possible.
The edges of the Griffin Reveal Case absorb shock and the back does protect the iPhone 6 from scratches or other cosmetic damage but it does not offer too much protection for serious drops or any heavy inflated damage.
Because the case wraps around the edges, there is a bit of protection for the screen, especially if you drop it face first.
The Griffin Reveal Case has it’s ups and downs in terms of access.
It does feature cut-outs for lighting port, microphone, headset jack and camera. Also, there is a cut-out for mute switch large enough for it to slide easily and a black rim to prevent reflecting flash.
But, the case covers the power and volume buttons, making them a lot tougher to push.