Monday, July 8, 2013

Review: Griffin - Mossy Oak Survivor iPhone case

One of the contacts I made whilst at the SSAA SHOT Expo was Peter Ferrigno of Griffin Technology, who showed off one of their pretty hard core iPhone cases. I've covered a couple of cases before, in the Snow Lizard SLXtreme case and the Opt Silicone Armor case.

Being a Sporting Shooters type event, Griffin was displaying the Mossy Oak variant of their Survivor range, Peter was kind enough to send me one to have a play with.  This is a three part case, which Griffin report being compliant to MIL-STD 810G standard.
Griffin demonstrations for this case include imbedding it in a block of concrete and hammering it free, which is pretty impressive. The three components of the case are the main body, the removable face-plate, and the belt clip.Here's how the whole case it put together:

The outer cladding is made of shock and vibration-absorbing silicone, whilst a polycarbonate shell provides the outer structure and is also the patterned component, for your Mossy Oak needs.

Inside the outer cladding, the inner structure is again the hard polycarbonate plastic providing inner support and is backed up with foam padding to add to the internal shock absorbance.

A scratch resistant polycarbonate screen cover clips into the main outer cladding at six points to lock into place.

The belt clip attaches via two clasps that lock onto the top and bottom of the phone, and will work either way up, to suit your tastes and how you wear your rig.

You can see here that the back panels of the phone have a couple more polycarbonate sections with the Mossy Oak pattern showing through. You can also see the clever swiveling camera port, which is inset into the backing.

These ports follow the same pattern for all the access points of the camera, and whilst they don't offer submersion-level protection, I imagine that they would shrug off anything but total immersion. This is a weather proof case with a lot of thought put into the needs of the outdoorsman.

Each of the audio port, mute-switch and power socket ports are covered with a thick, snug fitting silicone plug, hinged and deeply set, almost difficult to open, so no risk of accidental exposure.

 I found the home button a little tricky at first, as it needs a good solid press to activate, but once I have the angle down pat, it was a breeze to operate.

The polycarbonate screen protector was really responsive, and tactile, which was a nice change from the somewhat sluggish response from the SLXtreme case, even with a film screen-guard on my iPhone. The audio was pretty clear, both receiving and making calls, and the front facing camera still worked fine for all my tacticool selfies.

The belt clip deserves some more description too. Fully swivel-able, in stiff slicking fashion, the clasp itself has a latch over the opening end, to lock it closed, to prevent accidental un-clasping when you are belly crawling in the wilderness. It also will lock open, and back, to create a stand, which is a nice addition.

 The all-important PALS/MOLLE test was a great success, and showed that not only did the tongue of the clip fit into the channels nicely, but that it could be swiveled in place for optimum viewing angle, and detached from the backing for use easily, and replaced just as easily.

The biggest drawback I had with the case was that the power socket plug was too small for me to dock with either my in-car music/charger or my desktop docking clock-radio. However, when I was out and about, this wasn't really an issue.

Being a clip-on cover, and the way the access ports close, this isn't a submersible case, which means I wont be strapping it to my chest on my next Tough Mudder, but it IS really weather resistant, which means I can keep using my phone in Melbourne's inclement weather, and not worry about shirting it out.

All in all this is a very rugged and hard wearing feeling case, and I have no doubt that I could hand it to any of my kids and expect to get it back fully functioning, if a little sticky. Perfect for distracting them when taking out zombies or triffids in the front yard!


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