I have a love-hate relationship with phone cases. I love the different looks and feel they can give your phone. I hate that they make my phone bigger and cover up the beauty of my iPhone. I have used many phone cases over the years. In fact, some people (my wife) have accused me of having a phone case problem. They (she) may be right. I am always on the search for the perfect case. The holy grail of phone cases that satisfies my every need (desire) in a phone case. I have come to the conclusion, however, that such a phone case does not exist. While my idea of a perfect phone case has changed and evolved over the years, as of right now, I have four basic desires when looking at phone cases, and they are as follows:
- Bulk. I don’t like cases that add a lot of bulk to my phone. I like my slim, sleek iPhone and I would rather not turn it into a fat cow of a phone. My only exception to this rule is when I am hunting Pokémon and need to sport a battery case. Bulk is kind of unavoidable with those cases.
- Design. My iPhone looks awesome, so the last thing I want to do is cover it up with an ugly case! This one’s a no-brainer, but I have sometimes had to sacrifice on this point in order to better meet the other criteria.
- Protection. I spend a considerable amount of money on my iPhone, so of course I want to protect my investment. A case that only serves to look good isn’t going to provide much, if any, protection. Unfortunately, the more protection a case provides, usually results in more bulk. So two of my criteria are working against each other.
- Grip. I don’t like slick, hard phone cases that are prone to sliding out of my hands. To me that kind of defeats the purpose of having a case!
So in a nutshell, I’m looking for a case that provides good protection, isn’t bulky, provides some grip and looks good. I think that’s probably what most people want in a case as well. (Unless you’re my daughter. She only seems to care about number two. But that’s for another blog post on another day.) Finding a case that meets all four criteria, however, can be a challenge.
I used to really like Otterbox cases as they provide some of the best protection you can get. However, my tastes have changed a bit and I don’t care so much for the bulk they add to my phone. I carry my phone in my pocket and Otterbox cases do not exactly work well for that, especially for bigger phones like the iPhone 6/7 and even more so for the iPhone 6/7 Plus models. When I upgraded to the iPhone 6S from my 5S, I did not want to put an Otterbox on what was already a larger phone than I was used to carrying. So, I began looking for a smaller form factor case that would still provide good protection. And that’s when I came across a company called Tech21.
Tech21 makes phone cases that are made from a flexible rubber material that provides excellent grip when holding your phone with one hand. Inside the edges of the case is a material called FlexShock™ that I believe they invented (I could be wrong). At any rate, this material is nothing short of magic. I watched a YouTube video of a guy wrapping the silly-putty-like substance around his finger and smacking it with a hammer to demonstrate the shock-absorbance of the rubber. I also watched a video review of the case on an iPhone 6 being dropped from a second-floor fire escape onto brick pavement and the phone was unscathed. I was sold!
So I purchased one for my iPhone 6S and immediately loved it. My phone still felt slim and sleek. It no longer felt like it was going to slide out of my hand, and, while the case was not the greatest color (brown), it looked better to me than an Otterbox. Plus, I was happy to have found a case that satisfied three out of my four criteria!
Well, fast-forward a year and I just upgraded to the iPhone 7 Plus. Yes, I gave in and got the iPad mini of iPhones. I found my self once again looking for a case, knowing that this phone was going to be even more difficult to fit in my pocket, let alone hold in one hand! Naturally, I looked to see what Tech21 had in terms of 7 Plus cases, and was happy to find that they already had a line of cases ready to go for the 7 Plus. And not only that, they now had more colors to choose from, including white, which I thought would go great with my gold and white iPhone. So I purchased the Tech21 Evo Check iPhone case in white.
Now that I got all the boring background out of the way (sorry about that), we can move on to the what you started reading this for! I’ll break my review down into the same categories as my four criteria.
One of the things I love about the case is that it is thin and lightweight. It almost doesn’t feel like there’s a case on the phone. My phone still feels thin and sleek.
With the additional color choices, the case looks as great as it feels. I’m often hesitant to get white iPhone cases as they usually don’t stay white for long, and then you have a dirty-looking phone case. Yuck. But the white case I chose is actually clear rubber with the white being the FlexShock™ material underneath the clear along the edges. So the clear rubber protects the white from getting dirty and stained. Plus, the clear back allows the gold design on my phone to show which I think looks really sharp. The case is also available in black and light pink.
As I’ve already stated, the FlexShock™ material lining the inside edges of this case provide excellent shock absorption so if you drop your phone, the impact shock is absorbed by the lining and not passed onto your phone. I can’t attest to this personally as I have yet to drop the phone with this case on (see the next category). But if you’re curious, just search YouTube and you’ll find a plethora of videos of crazy people throwing their phones with Tech21 cases on them across rooms with tile floors, cement, etc. with no harm to their phones. The edges of the case also provide a small lip around the front of the iPhone so you can lay it face down on a table or counter with no fear of the screen getting scratched.
The rubber material that the case is made from has a nice “grippy” feel too it. Some complain that it can get greasy if you’re hands are sweaty or oily, and they’re correct. However, I’ve never had anything on the case that couldn’t be quickly and easily wiped off on my pants or shirt (don’t judge me). The material provides great grip in your hands. I can hold my iPhone 7 Plus in one hand with no sliding whatsoever. I can even tilt the phone to more than 45 degrees without holding onto it and it doesn’t slide off my hand (see images below).
So for now, my search for the Holy Grail of phone cases is over. Measuring by my criteria, the Tech21 Evo Check phone case is, in my humble opinion, as close to the perfect phone case as you can get. It’s the closest I’ve ever found, anyway.