Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Review: Strike Industries - Battle Case iPhone4
I tend to burn through "regular" phone cases, which is why I have had ones like the Opt Silicone Armor as my every-day case, and collect "extreme use" cases like the Snow Lizard SLXtreme and the Griffin "Mossy-oak" Survivor and as cool as they are, they are overkill for my regular use. I need something that will give me easy access to all my ports and buttons, protect my glassy faced iPhone 4S from drops, spills, and sticky faced and fingered small humans, without being a brick on the board room table.
I has spotted the Strike Industries - Battle Case when I had been cruising their site for the Tactical Sling Catch that I picked up, along with the Picatinny vertical sling-loop and later on, the Simple Plate-Carrier satchel they were kind enough to send me, so I finally got around to placing an order.
What had initially caught my eye, other than the slim design, was the large "quick pull loop" not unlike the Magpul loops available for magazines.
I also really liked the extra features hidden away within the case. I am a sucker for extra features, as many of you will already appreciate, but these two were very simple, and elegant additions.
Recessed into the case was a large depression, which Strike Industries have designed to fit a special kevlar insert (for non-ballistic protection only) to bolster the protection offered by the stiff but flexible thermoplastic of the case. A second recessed spot allows a protective lens-cover to be inserted.
The outer face of the case is macroscopically honeycomb patterned, with a fine grained rough texture for added grip. I really liked the pattern, it is sufficiently contoured to add grip, without being overt. A very subtle surface.
I had wondered about the lack of padding, and how that would protect my phone, but I can honestly say that I've had no reason to have been concerned. I've not changed my usage, and the phone is just as whole as when I had it wrapped in silicone and wire.
The thin side edges are even further textured, with these seven notches in the front and back, adding to the positive grip you can get on it. Between these, and the quick-pull loop, through which I usually curl my little finger when holding the phone, I have not once dropped it, and have frequently carried the whole thing in my teeth, mostly by the ring, when I've needed to go "hands free" without wanting to re-holster my phone.
That loop will easily fit three fingers, two when gloved, which also means that I have been able to secure my phone into much tighter pockets, as I can yank it out easily, with no snagging, no hanging-up just a clean pull.
The honeycomb pattern on the surface of the case really adds to the grip, as well as offering a nice visual pattern. Each of the hexes is also textured with a fine leather-like pattern. This pattern is not unlike the Magpul magazine pull-rings, it fits really snugly in the hand, lays flat on a car bonnet, dashboard or whatever, even at quite an angle, without sliding.
The sides of the case have an extra layer of gripping features, the seven notches on the bottom half of the edges. These really add to the drop-free design and give me a lot of confidence, even when I don't have fingers curled through the quick-pull loop. The leather-like patten continues along the sides as well.
As well as the large loop, there are two eyelets that not only add to the flexibility of the loop, but also adds a connection point for a lanyard, if you don't want to add it to the main loop itself.
I found that my only gripe with the case is how well it fitted. Ironically, the snug fit of the screen-edge lip tended to lift my screen protector, leading to it bubbling from time to time, mostly as a result of the alarm-clock-dock I use not accepting such a hard-core case (this is true of almost all my cases, as it happens, no fault of Strike Industries. I suspect if I didn't continually pop it in and out of the case, that wouldn't be an issue.
I haven't had any issues with the factory-standard accessories for the phone, but some after-market chargers need to wiggle the case apart a little to get them to seat properly.Totally workable. This is one of my favorite cases and it gets a lot of positive comments, even at work. This is a top notch case, that offer slimline protection for my favorite electronic urban-survival tool!
One last thing, the fine folks at Strike Industries also sent me a deluxe set (including lens covers and plug-caps) of their even MORE rugged, spring-enhanced iPhone 5 SHOX Battle Case to review, but alas, I don't have an iPhone 5 .... so, if you live locally to me (Melbourne, Australia), hanve an iPhone 5, and an interest in a rugged, hard-core and stylish case, hit me up, and I will send it your way, with the proviso, that you give me a review to publish!