12 February 2014

FEATURE: iArmour – Three ways to defend your iPhone

Suit up.

Right now, your phone is probably the most expensive thing you have on your person. So unless you've got pound and dollar signs in your DNA you’re probably going to want to take care of it. After all, who wants the embarrassment of using a smartphone with a cracked screen? Oh the shame…

With that in mind we searched high and low for a few sexy phone cases to protect our iPhones in the most manly and useful of ways. We recommend you buy all three. Just in case.

Cat Active Urban iPhone 5 Case

Last year we went nuts over the CatB15 Rugged Smartphone, even going so far as to test the phone’s proclaimed water-resistance by lobbing it in a child’s paddling pool. However, apart from the Android-running phone being practically bomb-proof, we really liked the way it looked with those tough and sturdy lines. With the new Active Urban case from Cat, your iPhone 5 and 5S can enjoy a similar rugged appearance.

It makes total sense for Cat to make a phone case for other manufacturer's phones, because although their own range of devices are very good, they will never be as popular as the industry leaders like Apple. The protective methods employed by the likes of the B15 Rugged Smartphone were so good, we’re glad to now have that level of protection on our more expensive (and more prone to damage) iPhones.

The Cat Active Urban case is nicely engineered with anodized metal and SAIF motorbike personal protective equipment. It can guard against everyday damages associated with knocks, scratches and drops. While the rugged design allows for access to all the iPhone’s ports and functions, it still offers shock absorption and impact resistance up to 1.8 meters (5' 11"). So from the ear of the average man, then.

Great Cat looks and reliable Cat engineering,  this is perfect for those who work outside on manly pursuits.

Around £20

Visit www.catphones.com/accessories

Otterbox Preserver iPhone Case

Here we have a new iPhone 5/5S case that combines the talents of two accessory giants that we have reviewed before; Otterbox and LifeProof. The prior are experts in keeping our phones safe and undamaged, while the latter know more than a few things about keeping our phones dry. Imagine the case that would result from a combination of those two skills… Well it’s here - The Preserver series from Otterbox.

As looks go, this is a tad more subdued than the Cat case and ties in more with the Otterbox classic appearance of thick and reassuring moulded rubber. The idea of the case is to remove from the user’s mind any worries that their precious iPhone will get wet while they shoot down the skiing slopes, or are ruined as they splash in puddles. So perfect for adventurous six year olds, then.

That said, despite the slim appearance the case can withstand water for up to half an hour at a depth of two metres, and protect against drops from more than six feet (so higher than the average ear). There is foam cushioning strategically placed inside the case to protect your phone’s most precious elements and, as with many Otterbox cases, the Preserver series comes in a few bright colours to match your style.


Visit www.otterbox.co.uk

Otterbox Commuter Wallet iPhone case

Another case from Otterbox, we were especially keen to see one of their new Commuter Wallet cases after we reviewed (and gave away) a PatronaConnector Wallet. Whereas the Patrona was all about style and looks, the Otterbox is all about manly protection and security.

The main thing about this case, apart from being made from the usual high-quality Otterbox protective materials, is that you can store up to three credit cards and a couple of notes in a hidden compartment. Unlike the Patrona, the compartment for your valuables is hidden away in a sliding tray on the back of the case, meaning no one will be able to tell you have anything other than a phone in your hand.

Unlike other similar cases that feature credit card wallets, the Otterbox Commuter Wallet case allows you to take out the contents of the drawer without turning your phone over. You simply pull the drawer open from the bottom of the phone and, thankfully, when you close it you hear an audible click – peace of mind that it has actually closed and that your belongings are safe. This of course could prove extremely handy, and means that for some us having this case would mean abandoning our traditional wallets at home each morning.

As with the Preserver series of cases you get some meaty protection for your iPhone (and other devices such as the latest Samsung models), all wrapped up in a two part, firmly fitting case. We quickly got used to carrying our cards and cash in the hidden compartment, and we think cases like the Otterbox Commuter Wallet will become more and more common.


Visit www.otterbox.co.uk

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