The best kind of case is no case of all. That’s what I was thinking when I got the Utomic Edge for my iPhone X. It’s such a beautiful phone, and I want to show it off. So, I got a “case” that just covers the edges, one that would do nothing more than protect my phone from drops and on flat surfaces. I had a similar case for my iPhone 5, and it was protective enough against drops, so I didn’t have any qualms with the minimalistic case. Unfortunately, it seems I trusted the wrong company. Utomic has made what should have been the best case I’ve ever owned, instead it’s been the worst.
Utomic sent me more corners (5 more, to be precise). I also sent my iPhone on a nasty drop. Full update below.
Weeks before I got my iPhone X, I held a case for it in my hands. Spigen was quick to release a case for the iPhone X, and I ordered it expecting the best, an iPhone on launch day. I didn’t get that. In fact, I didn’t get my iPhone X for some time later. I’m still working on the review for the iPhone X, but I used it with this case for long enough to form an opinion on it. I recently switched to a different “case,” the Utomic Edge protection for the iPhone X. The Utomic “case” is nothing more than 4 corners attached to the edges of the iPhone to protect it in the most minimal way possible. However, it means I can’t swap cases without pulling the adhesive pads off, breaking the Utomic case. Therefore, there’s no better time than right now to write my review for the Spigen Liquid Crystal case, as I can’t use it again for some time. Knowing I was planning on getting the Utomic edge protection, why’d I get the Spigen Liquid Crystal case? Because Spigen was on top of their game and had a case ready at launch day, while Utomic didn’t have anything available until even after I got my iPhone X weeks later, I knew I’d need something to cover the gap, and went with a trusted case maker.
So, how did I like the Spigen case while I had it? Well, that’s what you came here for to find out!
Without fanfare, an event, or a large announcement of any sort, Apple released a number of new products. This included A new (Product)Red iPhone, a beautiful red finish for the iPhone 7, a new low cost iPad to replace the iPad Air 2, and an update to the storage capacity of the iPhone SE. Along with the new hardware, Apple also introduced a spring collection of Apple Watch bands and iPhone cases. The updates bring new options to Apple’s lineups, whether it’s new colors, new prices, or new storage space. However, these certainly aren’t as exciting as Apple’s usual product announcements, which is likely why they did so quietly, without a large event.
Everyone’s talking about their Patronous these days, essentially what their “spirt animal” would be in the Harry Potter universe, thanks to Pottermore’s inclusion of the spell in the game. I don’t play Pottermore, but I am a fan of the book series, and I always thought mine would be a phoenix, a mythical creature (that also exists in Harry Potter’s magical universe). When the phoenix dies, it burns up, rising from its own ashes, being reborn from the flame and finding itself renewed and stronger than ever. I always felt like that was a good symbol for life: what doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger. I myself have felt as though I’ve been kissed by fire, so when I saw Katy Lipscomb’s phoenix design on Carved website, ferocious and beautiful, complete with a colorful array of colorful rainbow plumage, I had to buy the nearly $40 case (if you’d like one yourself, use my referral link, to save 10%).
I occasionally browse the Carved website to see their latest cases. Carved makes handcrafted cases that incorporate wood into their unique designs, with some even being completely carved from wood. I reviewed their excellent Traveler case before, and recently started using it again. However, it wasn’t as pretty as it was the first time I got it. Water damage hurt the design a bit, and I carved the case up to better accordance a thick cable connection. I didn’t want to have to do that again, so I went with Carved’s slim case, which is open along the bottom, and made of a more rigid plastic. However, it doesn’t protect as well as the Carved Traveler case, and that’s its greatest flaw.
Sure is pretty though.
The other day I was using my iPad as a drawing pad for my Mac using AstroPad (review pending), and it slipped off of my lap and fell about two feet onto my hardwood floor. It made a terrible sound. It was laying there, face down, I thought about Apple’s overpriced $70 cases. I thought about the $100-$200 it would likely take to fix my iPad, and suddenly I wished I bought one of those overpriced cases. I picked up my iPad, but found it wasn’t damaged at all. Not even a scuff or a dent. By some miracle, the iPad was unharmed. I wasn’t about to test fate a second time. I opened my Apple Store app, added a (Red) iPad case to my cart (because it looks cool and money goes to an amazing cause). But before I swallowed that bitter $70 pill, I went over to Amazon. When I had last looked, there were almost no options that worked with the Smart Keyboard, so I wasn’t expecting much. However, this time, I found quite a few. I ended up selecting an iPad Pro case from Poetic’s Clarity Series, a gel-like case with an Apple Pencil holder and even a spot to hold the Apple Pencil’s cap while your Pencil is charging so you don’t lose it. Best of all, it was only $12.95. So I nabbed it up. I’ve been using it on my iPad every day for the past few days, and thought it was time for another classic Leaf and Core case review.
The Poetic Clarity Series case is unique. I didn’t see a single other case like it. Sure, there were other cases that worked with a Smart Keyboard and could also store your Apple Pencil, but no other case had the Pencil portion of the case off to one side, and no other had a place to store the Pencil cap. The Pencil portion makes the case asymmetric and the Pencil cap portion actually extends below the bottom of the iPad. It’s asymmetric in design, but rather than getting in the way of normal use, it actually helps. With the Pencil and Pencil cap portions where they are, I can get a much better grip on my iPad with just one hand. Plus, I can hold it with one hand without my thumb being on the screen. Not only does the Pencil holder key your Apple Pencil always within reach, it also makes your iPad easier to hold.
With the iPhone 6, Apple designed a beautiful phone, but they didn't design a phone that stays in a hand without effort. Because of that, I always recommend a case for the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s. You'll want a case that protects your device, looks good, and provides grip. You might even want additional features, like a wallet, a waterproof design, or screen protection. But we won't be discussing those things today, because instead, we're discussing the Incipio NGP, a case that's so basic, it's the best at being basic, and that's basically a good thing. Being such a simple case might make it one of the best cases I've used. Compare my previous cases above to the Incipio NGP Case below.
Comparitively, it's quite simple. No clear parts, no special lips, no bands, and no felt liner. Just a rubbery material that Incipio calls a “Next Generation Polymer,” NGP.
My crazy iPhone has been wearing a straightjacket for a few months now. That is, I’ve been using the Loop Straightjacket case on my iPhone for a few months. The case is great, one of my friends even bought one for her phone, but I did have some issues with cracking. It seems the Loop case suffers from the same problems that the SGP case has suffered from, thin plastic around the ports and switches. Case makers haven’t changed their designs since iPhones were much thicker, and, as such, the plastic that used to surround their ports has become very thin, causing it to crack when being placed on your device. I take my case off more often than most people, and often use my phone without a case. My Loop Straightjacket is still holding it together, just barely, but I may have to replace it very soon. I’m going to miss it. I use it to hold my metro card, and I haven’t found a similar case that could hold a thin card without adding bulk.
Apple’s going to keep making their phones thinner, so they’re going to have to consider using rubber around the ports and switches, so they’re far less fragile. Until then, I’ve learned my lesson. No more cases with thin plastic.