The NewerTechnology NuGuard KX case for iPhone 7 or 7 Plus features a hard, grippy outer shell highly integrated with a soft, energy absorbing inner shell material. Despite that, it’s easy to get on and off and the volume and sleep/wake buttons are relatively easy to press through. It comes in three colors and a plastic screen protector is included. This is a superb iPhone case.
Back in 2015, I reviewed its ancestor for the iPhone 6. Refer to that review for more details on this case design in general. I rated it “Great,” one step below five stars because I thought the button push-through was too stiff.
Either my fingers have gotten stronger or, more likely, NewerTech addressed the problem. This time, I found the covers over the sleep/wake and volume buttons to be fairly easy to press during the week I’ve tested this case. And, combined with the price, that all leads to the highest possible rating for this product. (We introduced a new rating system since then.)
For those who want the tl;dr version, here are my notes on this case’s important features.
- For a case that’s on the high-protection, slightly bulky side, it’s easier to put on and take off than most cases I’ve tested. The edges are just the right rigidity.
- As I said, the button push-though is easy. Easy for an adult and probably fairly easy for a very young person as well.
- The Lightning port aperture is large enough to accomodate 3rd party plugs that may be a bit larger than Apple’s.
- The surface texturing and grip are superb.
- The bezel edge is thick enough that one can place the iPhone 7 face down on a hard surface with great confidence.
- For a case with great protection, it weighs only 41 grams (1.44 ounces).
- It comes in three colors: Crimson, Black and Midnight (dark blue).
- The Crimson abd Midnight cases are anti-reflective black on the inner edge of the camera port.
- There’s an easy to apply, plastic screen protector available as an extra ($14.99).
- There’s a circular aperture that reveals the Apple logo, something I consider important in an iPhone case.
As you may have guessed, this case presses all my buttons when it comes to iPhone case design.
The Screen Protector
The screen protector “Screen Armor” was included for review, but is sold separately. It has three layers: surface protection, energy absorption and adhesive. The adhesive isn’t sticky in a way that would mar or leave residue.
Despite the alcohol wipe and microfiber cloth included, I couldn’t apply this protector without a few, small annoying bubbles. In any case, I’d recommend tempered glass if you want to go this way. They’re not expensive. Or have a professional apply the Screen Armor if you purchase one.
Warranty & Materials
There is a “No Risk, No Hassle 30-Day Money Back Guarantee.” Plus, this case has a lifetime warranty. If the case ever “breaks,” and I assume that means tears or de-laminates, it will be replaced.
The military drop test standard, MIL-STD-810G, is no longer cited compared to the version for the iPhone 6. (That’s protection from 1.5 meter drop.) Instead, the affirmation is made that it goes beyond Apple’s 0.9 meter (3 ft.) drop protection standard. I asked NewerTechnology about that because the case design looks to be the same. The response was that, yes, it’s the same design as before “… they should be able to pass testing if we put them through the certification, but at this point in time we have decided not to pursue that.”
This case is made of Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) with what NewerTechnology calls “X-Orbing gel.” That’s the energy absorbing layer. It’s a once piece design, and I’ve never experienced a tear or de-lamination.
A few iPhone vase makers perceive that a high price suggests great value. This case proves them wrong, on sale at US$29.99. If you’re in a high-risk environment or you’ve provided an iPhone 7 to a youngster, this is the perfect case. Sure, it’ll hide those awesome iPhone colors, but that’s how a case like this rolls. At your first accidental drop on hot asphalt, you’ll know what I mean.