16 August 2013

FEATURE: Get off our case!

We test out some of the latest smartphone cases and covers in which to wrap up and protect your pride and joy.

We cant speak for you (we could try but we would fail) but we at The Test Pit are a right old group of clumsy bastards. After a quick hands-up poll we discovered that all of us have at some point completely ruined a mobile phone through abject butter-fingerness. Its our job to carry, hold and fiddle with phones and tech and yet we still drop things more times than a drunk baby would.

That is why we are firm exponents of the mobile phone case; that handy and usually vital accessory that adds a layer of personalised style and much needed protection to our talkie-boxes. To that end, we decided to group a solid bunch of products together and test the living day-craps out of them. Here are the best of the best.

NB. We tested most of the cases on a Samsung Galaxy S3 and although most modern phone makes are catered for by the manufacturers, check that your phone is compatible before buying. Aren't we sensible? If you're looking for a new device to fit your new case onto, you could always visit Mobile Mob

Ted Baker Cases.

If style wins over total utter protection, Ted Baker is your man. The new range of beautifully styled cases (or rather something that clips to the back of the phone, leaving the screen unprotected) are minimalist, thin and printed with exclusive designs.

Considering the aesthetics over functionality (as you might expect from a fashion designer) the Ted Baker range includes seemingly traditional printed images including birds and flowers. Protection offered is limited to the back plate of the phone and the edges, but still that protection is light. If you're taking your phone to a building site you might want to opt for something thicker. And one without birds on it.

Still, we love the range and the silky feel was a pleasure to hold.

£ 29
Visit whttp://www.proporta.co.uk/catalogsearch/result/?q=Ted+baker

Proporta Leather Flip Case.

Although this flip case from mobile accessories giant Proporta is perfect for the Galaxy S3, the design means that it can be fitted to almost all phones smaller than a Galaxy Note-sized model.

Simply peel off the sticky inside part and attach to the back of your phone: it's that simple. The flippy part closes with the help of a hidden magnet and, as you would expect from a 100% leather product, feels proper swish like, adding a business-like chic to any phone.

In terms of protection offered the flip case does pretty well. Obviously the screen is covered up most of the time preventing annoying pocket scratches and because the case protrudes around the edge of the phone (or at least it does on the S3) it acts like a cushion should you drop it.

Many people might not be bothered with having to open the case to use the phone, and admittedly it looks pretty bulky while pressed to your ear, but for the business exec on a budget this is perfect.

Mother flipper.

£ 19.95
Visit www.proporta.co.uk

Impactology Case and Screen Protector

Time to bring out the big guns, and with a name like Impactology (which apparently is NOT the study of crashing) you'd expect something special. That's exactly what you get from these two products which work well together but can be used separately - but not in the area you expect.

First of all, the case: slick, black, rubbery feel, nice to hold... but a bit dull. We weren't really sold on the case itself, despite it boasting some impressive coverage of the phone. But the Impact Screen Protector was another matter.

Most screen guards are usually designed to protect your phone's glass screen from scratches, but this one can prevent actual smashes. Using the same technology employed by the military to make their cockpit windows bullet proof, the Impact Screen Protector absorbs the energy of an impact and spreads it out across a wider area. This would, so we are told, drastically reduce the chances of a crack or smash. Needless to say we aren't going to test that.

Although the screen protector may be slightly thicker than your average run-of-the-mill one, we actually rather like it. Also, it doesn't spread to the very edge of the screen which some people might find off putting. This does however make it easier to fit and harder to tell if you screwed up aligning it correctly. And hey, bullet proof phone!


Case: £29.99
Screen Protector: £14.99
Visit www.tech21.uk.com

Griffin Technology Survivor + Catalyst Waterproof Case

Bit of a mouthful we know, but this wonder of transparency is a joint effort from Griffin and Catalyst Lifestyle which apparently took two whole years of development. Essentially what you have here is a totally encapsulating case for the iPhone 5 that not only protects against wicked water but also from dangerous drops.

Everything gets covered by the Survivor, including the headphone and charging ports. As the case is mostly clear it is very simple to check that the water resistance is working, thanks to twisty rings that lock into place once sealed. So if you are planning on taking some holiday snaps while in the sea you'll be fine down to three metres under the waves. Hmm... can you make calls underwater?

In terms of dropage protection, the Survivor helps keep your iPhone happily chirping away even from falls of up to two metres; so basically a little bit higher up than your ear is. Or the ear of the guy on top if you are two midgets standing on each other's shoulders.

Despite the hardy design and impressive features, the Survivor is surprising thin and nowhere near as bulky as other supposed waterproof cases. Even if you weren't intending to take photos of sharks and upload them straight to Facebook while submerged, the Survivor is a good day-to-day case.

Visit www.griffintechnology.com

So there's a few we like. Hopefully you'll see something that tickles your fancy and buy it before your toddler decides to use your phone to play catch with a pigeon.

Pigeons can't catch. Think on.
© The Test Pit

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