Tag Archives: iPhone case

REVIEW ~ URBAN ARMOR GEAR IPHONE 6/6S CASE


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This is a tough iPhone case – it’s military drop-tested to the 810G-516.6 standard. Once your iPhone is pressed into it, it’s light, doesn’t interfere with the iPhone camera’s flash, has buttons that connect to the iPhone buttons and a raised lip to stop the screen contacting the surface should you place the iPhone face-down on – you will do this sooner or later, even if you don’t mean to. Anti-skid bumpers add to the package so it doesn’t slide across your desk, and there are cushioning disks inside as well. Since the iPhone 6 and 6s are slippery, this is something I appreciate.

The slight matte black cowl around the flash and lens is designed to cut down glare when the flash fires.

But despite the lightness of the case, this UAG case adds a fair bit of bulk to the iPhone and you’ll find it a bit of an effort to get out of some pockets. For those with big hands and big pockets, this can add a satisfying grip-ability and heft to the iPhone, but others may find this all a little clumsy.

Aesthetically, I’m not a big fan of the visible hex pattern in the transparent material on the back (main picture, above), but there are other patterns and colours available – check out the site. There are also different sorts of cases, plus cases for iPads and smart devices by other makers.

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Urban Armor Gear iPhone 6/6s composite case US$34.95 (about NZ$47.77, free shipping worldwide, one year warranty).

More info — Urban Armor Gear.

Moshi iVisor Glass iPhone Screen Protector


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I’ve been pretty happy with my Logitech magnetic case that both protects my iPhone 5 and snaps to the Logitech car mount I have, but I felt a little insecure about the face of my iPhone being exposed, as the rubbery case I ditched in favour of the Logitech case+energy had a raised upper rim so if you laid the iPhone down on its face, it didn’t come into contact with the flat surface it was on, so ever since, I’ve been a bit worried about the glass face.

Then I spotted this new screen cover. I’ve tried screen covers before – a few of the various smooth-on ones, but I never like the feel or the look of them and, despite my best efforts, I always ended up with an air bubble somewhere. But this ones entirely different – it’s a rigid piece of glass, for a start, with a silicon adhesive on one side, then an anti-shatter film, then a very thin piece of ‘atomically strengthened’ glass and that, in turn, is covered with an oleo phobic coating. This lets the touch interface work as if you haven’t even added a layer. In fact, despite all the aforesaid layers, the whole iVisor is barely thicker than a thumbnail and it works with the Logitech case+drive perfectly.

It adds a cover right across, including a coloured bezel, so it really is full protection to the front face of your iPhone 5, 5s or 5c (and there’s a version that fits the 4/4s). The colours, in fact, match the iPhone 5c colours and you can get black or white, also.

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Also, though, as long as you clean the surface of your iPhone (a tiny microfibre cloth is provided) well and then line the screen up very carefully from the get-go, it applies with no bubbles at all and the transparency appears absolute, while some plastic films appear ever so slightly slightly opaque.

And it’s not easy to get off – in fact, a little suction cup is provided should you need to, but I was loath to try it since I want this cover on my phone, OK? Sorry. I don’t want to mess it up and luckily I managed to apply it perfectly first time.

Tough — Moshi reckons this protector is shock and scratch proof and to back that up, if iVisor Glass is damaged or broken while protecting your device, Moshi replace it for free within a year from purchase. That’s a pretty big risk on Moshi’s side, I’d say – the number of cracked iPhone screens I have seen lately is impressive. Also impressive is that people can 1/ keep using them and 2/ don’t get them repaired, even though excellent repairers like Richard DeGranpre (in Auckland) can do such a good job of it. Now my iPhone has metal on the back thanks to Logitech and extra-strong, layered glass on the front thanks to Moshi. Sweet!

Conclusion — Rigid, tough, crystal clear and very thin, this is the best looking and best working screen protector I have seen so far, and because of that should work with most existing cases.

What’s great — Slim and very clear, touch works perfectly, and it adds a lot of protection

What’s not — It really sticks on. You don’t want to apply it badly the first time.

Needs — Anyone who values their iPhone a lot.

Mac NZ’s buying advice — This is a superior product.

What — Moshi iVisor Glass, NZ$49.99. Marketed in New Zealand by MacGear, and available from your favourite iPhone accessories shop (if they haven’t got it, ask them why not).

Logitech case+energy for iPhone 5/5s


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Logitech, in many ways, keeps ramping up the quality of offerings for its Apple stuff, and the latest two things I got to look at are beautifully made and well designed.

The case+energy comprises a fairly normal-style hard case for iPhone 5 or 5s with a metal back, plus a second part virtually the same size. Once the iPhone is in the normal case part of this package (it comes with two components plus a charge cable), the feel isn’t too dissimilar to the iPhone itself, uncased – firm and hard-edged, although the smooth-touch polycarbonate parts are slightly soft to the touch and feel nice. The second, and ‘back’ part of the case, houses a battery. With this on, it effectively doubles the battery life of your iPhone, and this back-case has the smooth, slightly satiny polycarbonate all over.

The hard case snaps on. It’s not that easy to remove the iPhone from it, should you want to – this takes a bit or earnest levering, as is the case with most hard cases. The case has a cutaway for the camera lens and there are others at the bottom for the earbud port, speakers and connector, plus slots on the left hand side and top for the Sleep/on-off buttons and volume and mute.

These do allow access, but they are effectively recessed in slots, so not quite as handy as those cases that add flexible buttons as par tot the case to make it easier to depress the iPhone buttons fitting underneath. But it just takes a little getting used to.

Magnetic attraction
The point of the metal back to the iPhone case half is not just its welcome strength and rigidity – it’s magnetic, which means it mounts in a snap (literally – it’s quite a strong magnet) to Logitech’s ‘+ drive’ car mount (that’s a separate review).
This spares you from putting one of the two stick-on magnetic panels that comes with that, which you can then use for other things.

Extra charge
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Once you slip the iPhone into the Lightning connector on the battery pack then snap the top of the iPhone against the clip at the top of the charger, the case-back part charges your iPhone in turn.That’s the good news. The bad news is that, thanks to the dock connector sticking out and thanks to the fact that the iPhone becomes a pretty thick unit with both cases on, it’s pretty hard to thrust it into a pocket once the case, iPhone and case-back is all mounted together into one unit. It’s slicker looking and feeling than that might sound, but I’d worry constantly about catching that stick-out connector on something. So if you don’t mind a bulky (at least twice as thick) unit and you don’t keep your iPhone in your pocket, you might like to leave the battery-back constantly on the iPhone for a double-length charge, but that’s not the intention. The intention (its called case-PLUS-energy, after all) is an accessory you can carry that helps you out if you get caught short.

You’d probably prefer (I would) to charge the battery-back separately in your bag for those long haul flights or emergencies when you can’t get near a charger, having remembered to load up some charge into it, of course, before the trip. Then put it together and there you go – at least as long again of iPhone goodness.

If you plug the included mini-USB cable into the charge-back while it’s mounted on the iPhone, it charges the iPhone first, then the spare battery in the case-back. In turn, once mounted, the battery pack recharges the iPhone. The USB end of the supplied cable goes into your standard iPhone charger wall plug, or your car charger if you have one. Of course, you can charge your iPhone and the case separately, too.

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According to Logitech, the case+energy battery pack offers your iPhone an additional 2300mAh of power – the current iPhone 5 battery has 1440mAh and iPhone 5s 1570mAh. On the back of the battery part, a little line-button, once depressed, shows green lights in series to show charge – four lights is full, one means almost empty, and these blink then solidify to show charge progress.

To get the iPhone off, the Lightning connector flexes. You put your thumb on that (there’s a video at the link below that shows you how) and bend, and the iPhone pops out of the battery cases top-clip and you take it off.

Conclusion
REVIEW-Logitech-case+energy4This is one nicely made product that could solve your charging needs, but it adds bulk if you are want to keep them together rather. I’d be a little worried about the lump at the bottom for the Lightning connector, but I don’t know how else this might have been achieved.

What’s great
A smart, well-made, nice feeling case with two awesome extras: it snaps to the +drive car mount, and it adds at least double the battery life to your iPhone 5 or 5s. That also means if you have a 5 now (as I do) and you’re considering a 5s in the future, you can hang on to this excellent case for that as well.

What’s not
Bulky (the iPhone is almost all battery anyway, so add another one and that’s what you get), and there’s that protruding Lightning lump at the bottom that catches on things.

Needs
Anyone who hates getting caught without any juice. Great for any travellers, or even those with big pockets, or perhaps heavy users who always carry their smart iOS device in a bag and don’t mind the bulk.

Mac NZ’s buying advice
I like it. This could be the answer to your prayers, but consider how you like to carry and use your iPhone.

What
Logitech iPhone 5 case+energy, NZ$129

System
iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, and it comes in black or white to suit (the white one has a green dock connector), the black has grey).

Contact
Logitech NZ Ltd (and check at your favourite retailers)