Phone cases offer yet another opportunity for people to express their distinctive personalities. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and designs. They can carry credit cards and a driver’s license and goodness knows what else. Or not. They can be exceptionally simple affairs designed to do one thing – protect a cell phone.
It is this last thing I want from my phone case. I want it simple. I want it small. I want it light. I want my cell phone case to fade away into anonymity. The only comment I want on my cell phone case, “Oh, hey, gee, that’s great! It’s so small and light that you wouldn’t know it was there.”
Of course, the case also needs to do the exact thing for which it was invented as well – protect the phone. Cases are useless if they allow your phone to get chipped/dented/scratched or in other ways ruined. Protecting phones from a fall is also terribly useful.
Recently I have been using an Urban Armor Gear (UAG) iPhone 6 case and, beyond a shadow of a doubt, it meets my requirements.
As you can see in the image off to the side, the case, in black, doesn’t quite fade away entirely, but it is muted. In its center lies the UAG logo as well as two rectangular cutouts in the middle. Although they look funny, particularly the lower one as it allows the user to read a portion of the “iPhone” written on the phone itself, they prove extraordinarily useful.
Those cutouts exist, it seems, for ones fingers to find when on the phone and therefore provide added grip. This is important because—and here’s an issue—the case is actually somewhat more slippery than one would expect. It does have some ribbing around the edges to offer ease of holding, but it is still, despite also containing a pattern of indentations on the back, a relatively smooth surface on the whole.
The UAG case does cover the power button and volume toggles, but not the ringer switch (presumably this is moderately more difficult to make happen as the ringer switch goes front-to-back as opposed to up-and-down). There is also a cutout on the back for the camera and flash. Ample space is provided in this cutout so as to make sure to not diminish picture quality. The same is true of the cutouts for charging, headphones, mic, and speaker. There was no noticeable diminishment of audio quality (incoming or outgoing) with the case on.
Also included with the UAG case is an HD screen protector. As with many a screen protector, one can only get it probably situated with substantial amounts of practice. That is clearly not an issue exclusive to UAG. The most disappointing thing about the screen protector is that it does not cover the full face of the phone from top to bottom. Even when the case is on and the screen protector is fully depressed and without air bubbles, a clear line still exists where the protector ends.
For me, this is enough of a reason to not use the screen protector – it really does not look good. It is unfortunate as the rest of case meets all my other expectations. It is light, thin, has a relatively minimalist look, and is tight around the phone without being difficult to attach/detach.
The other truly important feature of all cases, as stated above is impact resistance. This is moderately more difficult for a single user to test. UAG touts that the phone case has a hard shall and impact resistant soft core. It is also compliant with the military standard for shock tests. They describe this on their website as follows, “To achieve this certification, a device must be dropped from a height of 48 inches, on each face, corner, and back. The device is dropped a total of 26 times and must function properly after the test, while not sustaining any damage to the touch screen.” Again, this is not something that I have tested personally, but even if it comes close to hitting those numbers it provides some measure of security.
With an MSRP of just under $35 (more for the iPhone 6 Plus), and an actual price on Amazon currently of just under $30, the UAG case is a mid-priced model. It is also available in a variety of colors, although I certainly prefer the “Scout” or black version. It has just about anything I could ask for in such a case and is worth looking at if you want a simple, functional, case for your phone.
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