I hate smartphone cases—they’re usually bulky, ugly and ruin the design of finely milled devices. I went caseless with my iPhone 5 for two years without any major problems. But Apple’s iPhone 6 is slippery as a wet bar of soap. I tried going sans case, but caved after I dropped the phone and shattered the screen not once, but twice.
For a while I used Incipio’s NGP, one of the most widely-praised iPhone cases on the market. It’s a nice case with a grippy, rubbery back. But it adds bulk to the sleek-if-slippy iPhone 6 design. Then a few weeks ago, I received something unusual, an iPhone case made by an Android company. Specifically, it came from China’s OnePlus, makers of the well-received OnePlus and OnePlus two handsets.
One of my favorite parts of OnePlus’ phones is their optional “sandstone” rear cover. Holding it feels like smooth sandpaper. It’s super grippy, making it very hard to drop. OnePlus’ new iPhone case takes that sandstone finish and brings it to the iPhone.
I’ve been using OnePlus’ sandstone iPhone case for a few weeks now, and I feel like there’s absolutely no way I could drop my phone with this case. It’s also ultra-slim, adding almost no bulk to the device, with cutouts for the volume and power buttons, as well as the headphone jack, speakers, charging port and microphone on bottom. Every time I’ve let a friend feel it, they’ve responded positively. It’s that nice.
Here’s OnePlus explaining why it, an Android company, made an iPhone case:
We made this because, well, it’s the holiday season. Sharing is caring. It’s not just about a case. For us and for many of you, Sandstone represents something bigger. Maybe you know someone who just went out and bought the latest iPhone. Maybe you were this close to getting them to see your side of things. This is your chance to leave your exasperation at the door and just show them what they’re missing.
However quirky its provenance, I’m glad it made its way to my phone.