A Tale of Three iPhone Cases

| Dr. Mac's Rants and Raves

Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
Episode #149


I like iPhone cases and I rarely leave home without one. The case manufacturers have apparently taken note; in the weeks following the release of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus I received at least a dozen cases to check out.

So for the past couple of months I’ve been testing a different case every few days. Most cases worked as expected, and none of them was horrible, but there were only two that I liked enough to use everyday (at least when I’m not testing other cases).

But before I tell you about those, I asked my wife Lisa to assist in testing, but she fell in love with the first case she tried and that was that. Her pick was Numbers by SwitchEasy ($14.99), a smooth, simple plastic case with a nice “soft-touch.” It offers reasonable protection against damage and comes in five colors: Frost White, Stealth Black, Baby Pink, Methyl Blue, and the color Lisa fell for, Sunlit Tangerine. It didn’t do much for me but she loves it.

Lisa’s pick: SwitchEasy’s Numbers case in Sunlit Tangerine.

Lisa’s pick: SwitchEasy’s Numbers case in Sunlit Tangerine.

As for me, after extensive testing I couldn’t settle on a single case for all occasions, so I settled on two. The first is Seidio's Obex ($79.95), which is waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof while adding very little bulk. In the past I’ve used LifeProof cases, which are also water, shock, and dust-proof, but I like the Obex case even better because it’s easier to put on and remove, feels a bit slimmer, and its waterproof Touch ID seems to work more reliably.

Seidio Obex: Waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and slim, too!

Seidio Obex: Waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and slim, too!

I expect to use the Obex most of the time when I’m not testing other cases. It has built-in screen and lens protectors and is shock-and-water proof so when I drop it onto concrete or into a pool or toilet, as I invariably do, the phone should come out unscathed.

Last, but not least, there are times when I can’t use an ultra-protective case like the Obex. For example, I like to use Olloclip telephoto, wide-angle, and macro lenses, which require removing the case. Even though the Obex is easier to open and close than the LifeProof, it’s still too much trouble when I’m using clip-on lenses.

So the case I use when I’m planning to shoot with an Olloclip lens is called the Jewel ($19.99) and it’s made of transparent rubbery plastic so it goes on and comes off in mere seconds. I like the raised lip all around the screen and the reinforced ballistic corners to better protect against cracked screens from corner impacts. Like the Obex, it claims to protect against drops up to 6 feet, but it’s not water or dust-proof.

The Jewel by Ballistic is more protective than many, but not water or dust-proof.

The Jewel by Ballistic is more protective than many, but not water or dust-proof.

So… Lisa’s loves the Numbers case; I’m alternating between the Obex and the Jewel; you can’t go wrong with any of the three.

And that’s all he wrote…

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Interesting choices.

Mine are not dissimilar. For my 6s Plus, I rotate between the Apple silicone case (grey), a Tech21 gel case, which is amazingly shock absorbent, and for serious field duty, the Sedio Obex case, which Dave Hamilton turned me onto.

Like you, I used the Lifeproof cases for my previous phones, beginning with my 4s. I pre-ordered one for my 6s Plus, but it was advertised for the 6 Plus and did not fit, nor did they have the updated models. Dave recommended the Sedio case, and I can concur, comparing them side by side, the Obex is sleeker, less bulky and still meets Mil-Spec. The belt holster (a hold-over from my residency training - they’re just plain convenient) is also superior, in my opinion, to the Lifeproof case, which had to be assembled and relied on a magnetic clasp.

For anyone looking for a water-resistant, shock resistant and dust resistant case for a 6s Plus, the Sedio is hard to beat.

If you haven’t reviewed the Tech21 gel cases (I’m sure you have), they’re worth a look for simple shock resistance with a minimal footprint.

dwight silverman

I do love the clear, soft-silicone cases like the Obex, but the problem with all of them is that they eventually discolor. Bob, if you’ve ever found one that doesn’t do this, I’d love to hear about it.

Bob LeVitus

Dwight: This one (the Jewel, not the Obex) is about three months old and is still crystal clear. But I hear you… most of the clear cases I’ve tried became discolored over time. So far this one’s the exception but it’s still young. That being said, at $20 I would probably buy another if/when this one gets ugly.

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