[REVIEW] Which type of smartphone case is right for you?

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Technology breaks. It’s that simple. Look at last year’s bendy iPhone 6 issue, or the plethora of examples of people dropping phones in toilets bowls, taking them for an unintentional swim or just dropping them so hard (or at the wrong angle) that they completely shatter.

If you’ve ever experienced one of these frustrating scenarios, you probably wished at the time that you had a really decent case to protect your smartphone.

Thankfully, there are a number of great cases available. Below, we take a look at three that provide different levels of protection – from rock-solid to purely aesthetic.

LifeProof Frē for iPhone 6 (R700)

LifeProof make some amazing cases which are guaranteed to protect your smartphone from just about anything. The Frē model is particularly tough, in the sense that it will protect your most precious form of communication from water, dirt, shock and even snow.

Better protection will be hard to find.

Included in the box is the case, a screen cleaning cloth and a headphone adapter.

Which also leads us the about the only negative about the case: it makes the iPhone 6 about one-and-a-half times thicker than when it doesn’t have a cover on. It’s bulky, but there is good reason for it – LifeProof cases are all about withstanding situations and this particular model can be submerged in 2-meter water for about an hour.

That means that all the ports and the entire phone needs to be water-tight, and to do that, more plastic and clips are needed to create a seal.

You still have full access to the screen, and it actually responds pretty well with the built-in screen protector. You will, however, definitely notice that it is there. Because the case makes the phone so much thicker, a headphone adaptor is needed as the original iPhone headphone’s jack just isn’t long enough to reach the screw-sealed port.

Dropping a phone may be one of the biggest causes of damage, and this case tries to overcome any accidents by exceeding US military drop specifications.

All the ports are secured tightly.

Overall, the Frē (which is also available for Samsung’s Galaxy S5) is the epitome of smartphone protection. If you are looking for something that will secure your smartphone from almost any mishap that could possibly happen, this is it. Sure, it’s a bit bulky and not particularly stylish, but it will save you from the robot apocalypse. That we can be certain of.

[symple_box style=”boxinfo”] VERDICT: Strong and rugged, its maximum protection. [/symple_box]

OtterBox Symmetry (R450)

If you don’t feel the end of the world is nigh, you might to opt for OtterBox’s new Symmetry line of smartphone cases.

Otterbox has been protecting smartphones for a while.
OtterBox has been protecting smartphones for a while.

Symmetry aims to give you a bit more protection that your standard case, but it’s not as gung-ho about making your phone virtually indestructible as LifeProof is… it also looks pretty.

OtterBox has been in the smartphone protection business since 1998, so they kind of know what they are talking about. In the past, their cases lacked flair but Symmetry is trying to bridge that gap by giving something to protect your phone with that doesn’t look like an army tank. It’s like a smartly-dressed samurai, if you will.

Available for both Apple and Android smartphone models, the dual-material construction absorbs shock and can withstand drops from a reasonable height. The edges of the screen wraps around the front of the phone, so even if it falls flat on its face, it should be able to withstand force.

the dual-material construction absorbs shock and can withstands drops from a reasonable height.
The dual-material construction absorbs shock and can withstands drops from a reasonable height.

Where the stylish part comes in, is that the case is available in a wide variety of designs and colour pairings – from a solid teal to a rose-pink with small diamond details, to the general solid black and red and grey accents.

It’s not waterproof and doesn’t come with a screen protector, but it’s a really great option if you want to protect your phone from bumps and dings without making it as thick as a brick.

[symple_box style=”boxinfo”] VERDICT: It looks great and offers a sturdy level of comfort. [/symple_box]

TheKase customisable cases (R350)

TheKase recently launched its first South African store in Rosebank, Johannesburg, and while it has a wide range of cases available for most of the popular brands, it’s not about what they sell, but how they sell it.

The customisations are really endless.
The customisations are really endless.

TheKase has a multitude of designs that you can choose from, and once you know what you want, it prints your smartphone case right there in the store. It takes about seven minutes to do, and it’s ready for use as soon as it pops out the machine.

If you would rather have your own image on the back of your phone, you can also upload your own picture, or take one to the store for printing.

The silicone case is slightly thicker than a smartphone skin, and pops onto the phone without any hassles. The cases look great, but provide almost no protection to the device other than preventing scratches on the back cover and chips on the edges. Other than that, it’s good quality silicone and the printing looks great.

Although the protection is thin, it will prevent scratches and dings.
Although the protection is thin, it will prevent scratches and dings.

If you are looking for something that is aesthetically pleasing, then TheKase is a good option. You will be able to customise your phone cover and it will stay as slim as it was before – all at the expense of having very little protection.

So if you aren’t prone to dropping your phone everywhere you go, then you shouldn’t have a problem at all.

[symple_box style=”boxinfo”] VERDICT: It’s great that you can create your own design on a cover of your choice. [/symple_box]

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