When I (finally) upgraded my iPhone 5 to the 6, the first thing I did was buy a case for it. I will not ever go without a case for my iPhone … period. I am basically clumsy and always dropping things. I’ve seen too many iPhones with cracked screens to ever want to take a chance with my own overpriced toy with that fruity logo.
When the iPhone arrived in the mail, I already had the case and was happy with my choice. It’s highly rated and deserves it. Then I got the chance to try the Tech21 Classic Tactical Black iPhone 6 case and the obvious question popped into my head: Will the Tech21 case make me want to switch?
One thing I noticed with the new iPhone 6 is that there were a LOT of cases for sale before the iPhone was even available. I always thought that Apple supplied case manufacturers with measurement specs before public announcements so a supply of cases would be available. Au contraire! These companies have no more information than anyone else with an internet connection, but they plow ahead anyway and make cases. I doubt Tech21 did this because the Classic Tactical case fits the iPhone perfectly.
The Classic Tactical Black iPhone 6 case is made from what Tech21 calls “Impactology”. Impactology is a ruggedized TPU formula lined with shock absorbing D3O® impact material. I don’t understand it either, but the result is impressive. The case is light, easy to grip with its textured surface, and has good protection from drops. I know this because I dropped my phone from about 2.5 ft. height on a hard, tiled floor and it just bounced once. No damage or even marks on the case itself. Part of the protection is visibly obvious: the rounded edges of the Classic Tactical case are thicker than the back. This provides extra protection for the iPhone’s corners where it’s needed. The back covers the iPhone completely—no silly logo hole included.
The front opening of the Classic Tactical case protrudes beyond the iPhone’s front face with a smooth, rounded edge. This allows the iPhone to be placed (or dropped) face-down and the iPhone’s glass doesn’t touch anything. The same is true of the back camera lens opening. The iPhone’s lens extends beyond the surface just a bit. I assume this allowed Apple to tout the thinness of the iPhone, but the lens is now more vulnerable than the older flush-mounted lens on all previous iPhones. The back of the case is thicker than the lens’ protrusion, so it’s also nicely protected.
However… I do not understand the lens opening in the Classic Tactical case. The opening is shaped to match the case’s design style, but it ignores the circular shape of the lens and flash. In other words, the opening should be a small oval opening, but it’s a large weirdly-shaped hole that leaves too much of the iPhone’s exterior unnecessarily exposed. This is almost a deal-breaker for me and yes, I am that paranoid.
The port-holes are accessible and well-protected—unlike Apple’s own case which leaves them dangerously exposed. Because the ports are protected, there may be some difficulty plugging in some headphones/earphones, depending on the size of the mini plug’s shell. There can also be docking problems using the case, but this is becoming much less of an issue simply because more and more speakers are now wireless only—no docks. The On/Off and Volume buttons are covered completely. I’ve had other cases where it was hard to feel the button underneath being pressed. Not so here. The tactile feel of the buttons is successfully transferred through the case. The iPhone’s mute switch is left exposed, but that’s the case (pun intended) with other cases of this type.
Installing and removing the Classic Tactical case on the iPhone 6 is easy, but once attached, it remains snug. Since the case is made of a harder-than-silicone material, it never feels like it can be accidentally pulled off or become loose with age.
The Classic Tactical case is a minimalist iPhone case that provides more protection than any reasonably careful person will need. It’s attractive in a subtle way and feels good in the hand. If the lens opening doesn’t bother you, then you can’t go wrong choosing this case.
Does the Tech21 case make me want to switch from the case I started with? Until and unless they make the camera lens opening smaller, I’m afraid not. Otherwise, I would in a heartbeat.
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Tech21. Please visit http://tech21.com for more info.