3 March 2015

REVIEW: Tech 21 Patriot iPhone Case

Patriotic to the core.

It can't just be us who thinks this, but put the word 'patriot' on any kind of new tech and it instantly sounds more serious, more severe, less forgiving. We think this is due to America's foreign policy during the past decade (rather than the film with Mel Gibson), so to protect your most valued possession - your iPhone - in a case called Patriot suggests that it will launch drone attacks on civilian villages and unlawfully detain terror suspects in order to keep your phone free from damage. It's the Tech 21 Patriot Case for iPhone 5/5S.

Just before Christmas we reviewed a screen protector for the ol' iPhone 5 from Tech 21, and mightily impressed with it (and the way it fitted to your phone) we were. So it was great to receive the company's latest handset protecting innovation, one that threw our minds back to a certain Otterbox Defender review from 2013.

The case comes in three parts; a plastic inner shell that clips directly onto your iPhone and features a Tech 21 Impact Shield built-in. It doesn't actually adhere to the screen of your phone - it doesn't have to, being pressed against it by the clip itself. Once this is on you then push it gently into the outer rubberised FlexShock cocoon.

This is the part that now gives your iPhone up to 13 feet of drop protection, or so Tech 21 assures us. That is pretty impressive considering that most other protectors of this size and cost tend to offer no more than 6 feet of drop-proofing.

Once suitably encased, your now much bulkier iPhone 5 or 5S can then be locked into the belt holster, the third and final part of the Patriot case. We've reviewed a few other cases that included belt holsters, and although we can see where the makers are coming from by eliminating the need for blind and slippery pockets, we never feel comfortable using one. There is something dickish about the person wearing their phone on a belt clip instead of just popping it in their pocket, and so we were happy to see that the outer FlexShock layer of the Patriot case hadn't been cut or altered to fit into the holster, but vice versa. If you choose not to use the holster your phone's case won't look like it is missing another component.

Clearly the Tech 21 Patriot is a serious bit of kit, and we're actually tempted to drop our phones out of an upstairs window to test that, but do consider bulk. We weren't joking when we said that the case increases your iPhone's thickness, and at first it may take a bit o f getting used to, consider the model's usual slimness. But once your hands are used to an extra bit of bulk, you've got a fully protected phone that actually still looks pretty good, and that still givse access to all the buttons and ports you need.


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