Here at infiniGEEK we try to review only the best stuff – and today I am pleased to say we are continuing that trend! Not only do we try to review only the best stuff but we try to review only things that matter to YOU. What could matter more than iPhone cases? I’m not sure.
Seeing as almost all of us have purchased or used one I’d say they rank up there as pretty useful. You might even be looking for an iPhone case right now for that shiny new iPhone 7 that is burning a hole in your pocket – and hopefully not crashing to the floor accidentally.
If you’ve been trudging through the sea of mediocre iPhone cases out there trying to score one before the holidays (for you, or for your apple fan boy/girl friends) then this review is just for you! Yes we know how hard it is to find a good one that isn’t completely ugly.
This week we had the opportunity to test out some great cases from Tech21, and we can’t wait to tell you about them.
We have tried our fair share of cases in the past (heck, we review things for a living you know) but we really like what Tech21 is doing in this space. This might not be the first time you are hearing about Tech21, they have been around for years and can even be found in major retailers like BestBuy and Newegg to name a few. Well, they have an impressive polymer material (you may have heard of FlexShock™) that flexes to protect your phone by absorbing the impact and distributing it evenly. You may have even seen youtubers like UnboxTherapy wrap a finger in their orange goo and hit it with a hammer!
Tech21 Evo Range with FlexShock™
The Science Behind Tech21
We started (and inherently continue to be) a geekzine that loves the science behind everything. Who would we be if we didn’t talk about it?
There is a lot of science at the heart of Tech21’s operations since innovation is in their DNA.
Tech21 designs and manufactures their own materials – this came out of necessity as they wanted to improve their product (and what better way to improve than to invest in research and development?). The way they achieved this is by building an R&D facility at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in London, which is the UK’s National Measurement Institute, a globally recognized leader in its field and the UK’s largest applied physics organisation.
This has allowed them to build cutting edge equipment, unique testing methodologies, and form a team of over 500 highly skilled scientists. Needless to say they are doing things right when it comes to advancing their technology and capabilities in the material sciences behind their product.
Science Meets Style
Now that you know a little more about what is behind the scenes keeping your phone safe, let’s see how you can mix science with style and look at the beauties that came out of that process.
The cases we are reviewing today are the Evo Gem ($39) for iPhone 7, the Evo Tactical ($39) for iPhone 7, and the Evo Wallet ($59) for iPhone 7.
In the three cases we were sent to review, all of them look great – which is no surprise because Tech21 has a range of nice looking impact resistant iPhone 7 cases.
They don’t just make iPhone cases though they also make protective laptop cases, Android/Microsoft phone cases and tablet cases that add extra bumper protection.
So without further ado, let’s dig into each case:
- Case for Phone Model: iPhone 7
- Dimensions: 75.26mm (W) x 10.35mm (D) x 144.54mm (H)
- Screen Size: 4.7″
- Price: $39 USD
The first thing I noticed about the gem case is that it is just plain beautiful. I got the blue option (it also comes in Rose and Green colors) which looks super clean with the refracting transparent prism pattern on the back of the case – it looks like ice! I’m a sucker for blue, but the green looks awesome too – very gender neutral colors – although the ladies love these colors a little more than most guys do!
You can’t really tell from the pictures but the cases are flexible but they are by no means flimsy – it gives you a stiff and protected feel but it is just flexible enough to easily put the case on and take it off without too much trouble. It has all the standard openings you will find on the typical iPhone case – so no need to worry about something not fitting or losing access to a port. You’ve got plenty of room to play with your connections and attachments.
While researching these cases we had found people complaining about the large opening around the camera and flash but we actually found this space refreshing – since we are photographers that like to use macro (and other) camera attachments to get even better pictures from the stock camera. Power users should be comfortable with all of the extra room these holes give to the experience.
Tech21 is known for their great case designs and hardware port opening strategies, and if anything else would be a signature of theirs it would be drop impact protection. Remember the FlexShock™ technology we mentioned earlier? Well that technology gives these cases a 3M/9.9FT drop rating – that means that they (all) can withstand a pretty steep fall. With the assurance that your phone will most likely survive without a scratch. In our tests of the case we dropped the phone from 2.5FT several times and didn’t observe any adverse affects or scratches!
- Case for Phone Model: iPhone 7 Plus
- Dimensions: 85mm (W) x 11mm (D) x 159mm (H)
- Screen Size: 5.5″
- Price: $39 USD
The first thing I noticed about the tactical case is that it isn’t bulky at all, in fact it’s quite thin which leads to a nice snug fit on your iPhone 7.
I won’t repeat a lot of the generic points that are great about these cases (check the Gem review above if you missed them) but this is a great minimal case for the price, it has a great slim fit and really blends with the look of your iPhone. If you are the type of person who doesn’t want flashy colors on their gadgets. This is the fashionable choice.
- Case for Phone Model: iPhone 7
- Dimensions: 74.18mm (W) x 11.05mm (D) x 144mm (H)
- Screen Size: 4.7″
- Price: $59 USD
The thing I love about this case (and what makes it stand out from the rest) is it’s utility lead functionality of the wallet flap! Yes it costs $20 more than the other cases but I feel that it is worth it because it truly achieves the purpose of replacing your wallet! Now let me tell you, replacing a wallet with a smartphone case is no easy feat, i’ve tried it in the past – and it isn’t that easy. This case actually pulls it off quite well (as you’ll see below) and it is a very liberating feeling to be able to just take your phone and keys somewhere, sans wallet!
As you can see in the image gallery above for the Evo Wallet there is a flap that protects your screen (and your money/cards) that snaps shut on the case. If you open the wallet flap you will see nothing out of the ordinary at first – because your money and wallet stuff is hidden behind a magnetic grey flap! Genius. If you pull back the magnetic grey flap you see a pocket on each flap (the wallet flap itself and the extra “hidden” flap that is held into place by magnets) so you have plenty of room for your ID, Paper Money, and Credit Cards/other cards.
As if that wasn’t cool enough (and totally convenient) if you decide for whatever reason that the wallet flap just isn’t your thing – you don’t even have to use it – you can detach it and attach the piece that comes with the case that fills in the hole that it leaves on the back. Talk about versatility! If that type of stuff makes your geek gears turn, then this is the case for you.
It is very hard to find any fault in these cases. These are great cases, durable, and stylish while providing a great value.
The only downsides we were able to find in the few weeks that we’ve been testing them is the mild button stiffness that we have observed while using the cases. Due to the stiffness in the material (which is a good thing) it becomes a little hard to press with the case on, but hopefully over time that will break the presses in and maybe yield a lighter touch. We’ll definitely update the review if we find this to be a non issue, but that is a small price to pay for the assurance that your gadgets are protected in the event of a steep drop. We were particularly impressed with the protection from a drop from such a height with these cases, however they don’t protect the screen that much. We would recommend pairing these cases with a durable and compatible screen protector as well.
Tech21 doesn’t just seem like a reputable company, it truly is. With their distribution arms in place and time tested science backing the product’s very materials, it doesn’t get much better than that – but they even have great policies too. If your case gets messed up it comes with a Lifetime Warranty, meaning if your case does develop a fault during normal use they’ll replace it for free, so what do you have to lose?
If you are on the market for a case then you definitely need to try out Tech21. They are a brand you can trust and don’t take my word for it, you can find them at major retailers across the U.S. and UK – millions of people trust them to protect their phones, for good reason.
I hope you enjoyed this review – let us know in the comments what you think, have you tried these cases before? Any tips for new case buyers out there? Thanks for Reading!
Disclaimer: Samples supplied for review, but the opinions contained within are my own.