Apple Matters: A case for iPhone 6

Published on the 22/01/2015 | Written by Mark Webster

iphone cases

Mark Webster road-tests a selection of cases for iPhone 6…

I bought myself an iPhone 6. While many like to keep their iPhones uncased for the slinky high-tech look, I’m not the kind of person to drop a grand on a phone that can then slip out of my hands.

Apple laid down the gauntlet by launching its own very useful silicon or leather iPhone 6 and 6+ cases that protect, add grip and best of all, offer very little extra bulk to these slinky smartphones. But while Apple sticks to simple, elegant, slim-line cases that offer some protection, they don’t guard your screen beyond offering a raised edge so that when you lay an iPhone face-down, the glass is a millimetre above contact with a flat surface. More protection than this inevitably adds more bulk.

Belkin Grip Case
This snap-on TPU and Polycarbonate has nice feel, with a textured matte surface.
What’s great: Slim-line, non-slip, attractive
But: No protection for the glass (which goes for most of these – you could still fit a plastic or armour-glass cover to the screen)
Details: Belkin Grip, RRP $24.99, available in ‘blacktop’, ‘sorbet’ (a pinkish-crimson) and ‘purple’.

iLuv Peanuts case
Slimline and snap-on, but it’s not grippy. Not exactly ‘executive’ in styling, with Peanuts cartoon graphics. This is shaped like an Apple case with cutaways.
What’s great: Shulz fans rejoice! Quirky fun. Easy to take on and off.
But: Quirky fun? Plus it’s not got quite as much protection as the Belkin, and it’s slippery.
Details: iLuv Snoopy hardshell case, RRP $29.95, available in blue, grey, black and brown with different cartoons.

Speck Candyshell + faceplate
Another snap-in rigid case, this adds more bulk than the two above. The result is more protection; this also comes with a plastic cover for the screen. It has a rugged, reassuringly protective feel and the corners the iPhone sits in are cushioned.
What’s great: Protection, certified to meet or exceed the military MIL-STD-810G drop-test standards.
But: I prefer toughened glass screen protectors.
Details: Speck Candyshell + faceplate, RRP $49.95, in six colours.

iLuv Regatta dual-layer case
These hardshell cases come in bright colours, with cutaways for ports, and even for the Apple logo on the back and it has buttons to match the iPhone 6 buttons. They are designed in New York.
What’s great: Dual layer, so you can use the inner soft case without the hard back, and mix-and-match outers and liners. Two layers ˗˗ soft plus hard ˗˗ means good protection.
But: Garish and I’d prefer non-slip. Because they are matted the cases are thick so there is a lot of material around the ports (quite hard to use the mute button).
Details: iLuv Regatta dual-layer case, RRP $24.95, in seven colour combinations.

iLuv Vyneer ‘dual material protection case’
These iLuvs are slim, semi-transparent hard-shells. The cases come in black with a smoke back panel, or pink/pink or turquoise/turquoise. The non-transparent frame is TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), with cutaways for the switches and ports.
What’s great: You can see your iPhone 6.
But: The raised edges could do with a chamfer; they catch on your fingertips.
Details: iLuv Vyneer, RRP $24.95, in three colours.

Maroo Woodland, Executive and CL
These look more ‘executive’, with material inlays (wool, vinyl, leather). The outsides are hard and strong, the insides are cushioned.
What’s great: It’s slim, useful and smart. They feel great to the hand with that slightly organic touch.
But: Maybe not as protective as some.
Details: Maroo Maroo Woodland, Executive and CL, $RRP$39.99.

Maroo Woodland, Executive and CL Wallet Cases
These are full-on wallet replacements. Some people will love being able to bundle their cards, cash and ID in one pack that includes an iPhone.
What’s great: Enough variations to suit many tastes.
But: They’re bulky and you have to open the case to use the buttons or shoot a picture.
Details: Maroo Woodland, Executive and CL Wallet Cases in various colour/texture combinations, RRP $69.99. (Maroo cases are available in Harvey Normans.)

Casemate Caliber
The ‘Genuine G10’ Composite is a two-part case you separate to get your iPhone into. It offers a rugged-looking textured surface made from ‘ballistic’ G10 for the back and, with the dull-green bezel snapped to the black back-plate, is a little bulky, with positive-feeling buttons.
What’s great: Strangely business-like case with a very definite feel.
But: Not very forgiving to the touch.
Details: Casemate Caliber, RRP $55.

Casemate Naked Tough
As transparent as the emperor’s new clothes, but with metal buttons that press the iPhone buttons. The transparent back is scratch-proof and the bezel (it’s another snap-together) is slightly more giving to the touch.
What’s great: Everyone gets to see you have an iPhone 6. Nice positive buttons.
But: Everyone gets to see you have an iPhone 6. There’s an unfortunate ridge running all round where the two parts meet.
Details: Casemate Naked Tough, RRP $35, available in clear or a tinted smoke/black. (Casemate cases are available from Dick Smith, JB HIFI, Noel Leeming and Harvey Norman.)

tech21 Classic Shell
This is a shock-proof shell made from D30 ‘Tech21 impactology’. This case has a matte interior that mates with the iPhone back-plate and a glossy outer surface, semi-transparent on the back. It has a nice positive hand-feel.
What’s great: It’s probably the most protective and less slippery than many.
But: It’s bulky.
Details: Tech21 Classic Shell, RRP $44.95, available in clear, smoke, pink and blue with different rim colours. (Available from JB HIFI and Noel Leeming.)

I looked at nearly 20 different cases. My fave at the end was the Maroo Woodland, a simple, attractive, very slim line case with a very nice feel thanks to the touch of felt in the back panel. In this respect, for me it just beats out the also-very-nice Apple (actual) leather iPhone 6 case. Teamed with a tempered glass screen protector, the Woodland is the one for me, but all the others are good, adding precious protection, with different looks and feels, to an iPhone 6.

Mark Webster is an independent writer of Apple Mac and iOS/iDevice news and reviews for Australia and New Zealand, covering Apple Mac and iDevice (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch) hardware and software and accessories. His guest blog posts make it easy to find the most up-to-date news and information on Apple products and software.

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