When you’re in the market for a tough and durable case for your iPhone 7 that can withstand all of your drops and bumps, then it’s hard to go wrong with the Speck brand. I’ve depended on Speck’s offerings for years, starting with the classic CandyShell for my iPhone 4, and still continue to buy their products to this day.
With the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Speck decided to drop the CandyShell line of cases and replace it with their new Presidio line, which is essentially a revamped version of the CandyShell line. They claim that the Presidio line is slightly thinner but offers the same great protection that we’ve come to love from Speck. With the Grip case being one of my favorites (the design of the past three iPhones has been rather slippery), I had to pick up one for myself to see if it was up to snuff.
The Speck Presidio Grip is an enhanced version of the Presidio, which is the new CandyShell, in a sense. The new Presidio line is a bit different from the original CandyShell series (now discontinued) due to the fact that they’re now a matte, textured plastic rather than glossy so it’s less prone to scratches, and it is slimmer than before.
What differentiates the Grip from the standard Presidio is the fact that the Grip has rubber stripes molded and integrated directly into the back (at a slant versus four sectors of straight horizontal stripes found on previous versions) of the case that provide users with a better grip on their device, making it harder to drop. If you’ve ever tried using your iPhone 7 (or 6/6s and the Plus versions) without a case, then you may know the slippery feeling I’m describing. Using the Presidio Grip means having a secure grip on your device, so you shouldn’t have to worry about drops. Even if you do drop it, don’t worry as the IMPACTIUM shock barrier (a special material lining on the inside of the case) will absorb all of the drop impact, leaving your device safe.
The rubber used in the grip ridges on the back is also used to cover the volume up/down and power buttons but still retaining button responsiveness, as well as provide a raised lip around the screen. This means that if you place your iPhone 7 screen-down on a table, the rubber lip keeps it from touching the surface. There are openings that make it easy to access the silence mode switch and the speakers at the bottom, as well as larger camera cutout.
What I Like
While I loved the CandyShell Grip cases from before, the one thing I didn’t like about them over time was the fact that they got pretty scratched up on the back because of the glossy material. Fortunately, this is resolved with the Presidio line because it now uses a harder, matte plastic so you don’t see scratches or scuffs. The rubber button covers also work incredibly well, as I had no problem feeling the buttons as I pressed on them, which is an issue I had with other cases (hard to push).
Another bonus with this slight redesign is the fact that there is no longer a large Speck logo on the back, as it has been moved to the top right corner and it just features the classic Speck asterisk depressed into the plastic. It’s much more subtle and definitely not as obnoxious as it was before, which is always a bonus.
To me, the case also feels a bit more lightweight than the previous versions, and it has protected my device from a few drops already due to my clumsiness. I have not tested it from 10-feet as Speck did in drop tests, but I can assure you that the Grip did protect my iPhone 7 from everyday drops and bumps.
What I Didn't Like
Even though the matte plastic is pretty much scratch-proof, it doesn’t provide as much of a grippy feeling that the glossy plastic had. If it weren’t for the Grip’s rubber ridges, I feel that the matte plastic would be just slightly less slippery than a naked iPhone.
Another thing I noticed was how much the rubber lip on the front attracts dust and lint from my pockets, as a line of dust often revealed itself at the very top of my iPhone 7. I know that this just comes with the territory (rubbery materials often get dust stuck to it), but it doesn’t mean it’s any less tedious to try and clean it off a few times a day. Dust will also buildup in the openings after a while, so you may find yourself removing the case to clean it out every now and then. Fortunately, the Presidio Grip is easy to install and take off when you need to.
I’ve been a fan of Speck’s products for years now, and that isn’t changing with the new Presidio series. Despite the small problems with the Grip I’ve bought and tested, I still find it one of the best cases I’ve used so far. The shell is flexible so it’s easy to put on and take off, the rubbery IMPACTIUM material has protected my phone from my clumsy moments, and the rubber ridges on the back have provided exceptional grip for my iPhone 7 when I want to use it one-handed.
The Grip has been one of my favorite cases from Speck for the past few years, and it just gets better with the Presidio Grip for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. I recommend picking one up if you are looking for a better hold on your phone and don’t want to worry about damage if you drop your phone.