The first time I picked up Spigen’s overly-bulky Tough Armor case for the iPhone 6 Plus, I knew there was going to be a major new consideration when reviewing iPhone 6 Plus cases: the quantity and shape of case materials added to the already large device’s back and sides. Apple’s designers succeeded in crafting a really big iPhone that somehow still felt thin, smooth and comfortable enough in large hands — when bare — but Tough Armor’s hard edges and chunky frame made the 6 Plus feel awkward in even a large adult male’s hands and pockets.
Slimmer solutions were needed for the iPhone 6 Plus, and today, we’re looking at three of them: Griffin’s Reveal ($20, available here for $13), STM’s Dux ($30, available for $30), and Verus’s Damda Slide ($40, available here for $24). Reveal and Dux are highly similar to one another, differing mostly in texturing and corner protection, while Damda Slide is like Tough Armor, only more thoughtfully constructed and useful. It’s somewhat rare in that it offers “playthrough” or full-time access to the iPhone’s screen and side controls, while also including a wallet that can store three cards behind the iPhone. Most iPhone wallets require a large front flap that adds thickness and makes instant screen access inconvenient.
Griffin has been making Reveal cases for years, and the name now implies an entirely clear hard plastic back with opaque black rubber sides, seamlessly joined together with full button coverage and tailored port openings. That’s exactly what you get with the iPhone 6 Plus version, though there are also white- or pink-edged alternatives to the black model shown here.
Reveal’s rubber is completely smooth, like the iPhone 6 Plus’s edges, and relatively tough to accidentally scratch. But as has been the case for years, the rear clear plastic remains highly susceptible to scratching, absorbing all of the hits that your iPhone’s back would otherwise be taking. After a couple of months of use, Reveal’s back will be completely intact but scuffed to a light patina that’s only modestly obvious against your unblemished iPhone’s metal.
STM’s Dux is Reveal with fancier rubber. Clear on the back with your choice of black or red edging, Dux stylizes the rear camera opening with a rubber cut-out, gives the scratchable clear plastic beveled edges, and adds micro-textures to the rubber frame. The top, left, right, and bottom have a highly grippy but fine diamond dot texture that’s far less slippery than Reveal’s, while the four corners have pronounced added nubs of rubber to absorb drop shocks.
STM even extends one bottom corner with a D-shaped loop that conceivably could be used to attach a hand strap, though nothing’s included in the package. Collectively, the extended corners and slightly thicker edge rubber made Dux at least a couple of millimeters larger than Reveal on each axis, but the difference isn’t meaningful in the hand. Griffin’s smaller, less expensive design offers 90% of the same experience, but if you’re concerned about drops, Dux will likely absorb corner damage that Reveal won’t.
Damda Slide is a particularly interesting wallet case because it’s so well-tailored to the size of the iPhone 6 Plus. Only a millimeter or so taller than Reveal and perhaps a millimeter narrower, it has a smaller footprint than Dux — a rarity for a case made from both rubber and hard plastic. But within an angular taper, the rear extends around 5 millimeters deeper than Dux and Reveal, combining rubber and a sliding hard plastic door to safely hold up to three plastic cards inside. We were able to fit three regular cards (including one with RFID) into the nicely textured recess without a problem, though your personal combination of thick and thin cards may vary.
Four different colors of Damda Slide are available, and there’s no denying that this is a cool, modern-looking case. All three of these cases have appropriately tactile button covers, but Damda Slide’s have the crispest-feeling clicks, and the ringer switch is inside a reasonably-sized hole that’s bigger than Dux’s tiny opening, and smaller than Reveal’s slightly-too-large one. There’s ample material here to absorb accidental drops, and the bottom port holes are on the generous side, rather than as narrowly contoured as Reveal’s, or as slightly expanded as Dux’s. The contrasts between Damda Slide and Twelve South’s BookBook are obvious, but to the extent Verus offers a lot of the same functionality in a more futuristic design at a lower price, it may appeal to some people.
The key thing about all three of these cases is that they can fit about as comfortably in a hand or pocket as the bare iPhone 6 Plus — they’re obviously not as slender as the device alone, but they don’t add so much bulk that the phone becomes harder to carry. If you don’t mind the extra thickness and weight on a card-filled Damda Slide, you might even be able to eliminate your old wallet at times just by carrying your iPhone around. Should that not be possible, Reveal is your slimmest and least expensive major brand case option for iPhone 6 Plus, with Dux a step up in anti-drop protection and pricing. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any of these cases if it fits your personal needs.