We all know today is the release date for the new iPhone5S and the iPhone5C. Here at RainyDayMagazine, we have been at least one generation behind on every iPhone Apple has brought onto the market. It is not that we don’t like to be at the bleeding edge of tech; rather, it is that Apple’s “almost to be discontinued” products provide the most value for the money. A case in point is our setup for putting out this online magazine. We use a 17″ non-unibody MacBook Pro (2008) paired with a first-generation 20″ lucite Cinema Display (2002). This combo can typically be had for less than $500 on Craigslist/EBay. Dated it may be, but it runs all of Adobe’s current software just fine, and we are happy with our setup.
Now that the iPhone5S/C has arrived, listings of used iPhones will undoubtedly be flooding Craigslist and EBay. The best time to score a good used one will be in the next few weeks. One simple trick in making a used iPhone feel like new again is to put it in a new case. To help our readers with that task, we have selected a few for their stylish form and some unique functions. Enjoy.
In the collection are:
- Otterbox Armor – toughest iPhone protection on the planet
- LuxA2 – strong corner protection without the bulk
- Graft Concepts Leverage – great protection coupled with easy on/off
If you are getting a new-to-you iPhone because you bounced your last phone off the sidewalk, dropped it in the drink, or damaged it in ways too embarassing to say out loud, then the Otterbox Armor Series is what you need to keep your new iPhone from going the way of your old iPhone.
We have looked at a lot of Otterbox cases over the years, but this series is different. The case is now water-proof to 6 feet for 30 minutes, laugh off a 10-drop drop, and will let you stomp on it until you have exhausted yourself. However, the surprising thing about this tank-tough case is, unlike some of the ones in the past, it is simple to install.
The key to this Armor two-piece case is not the internal rubber padding, nor the O-ring sealed ports, nor the covered camera lens protector. The key is its double-catchlatching mechanism, which makes a water-tight seal work lets the user pop in/take outthe iPhone in just a few seconds. This kind of ruggedness/ease of use combo is not found in any other case on the planet (we have looked).
Once encased, the iPhone will be fully protected from everything short of a bullet. All of the phone’s buttons and ports are, of course, completely accessible. The screen is still crystal clear, completely touch-sensitive (no lag, no haze), and fully shielded from dust, dirt, and water. All of this protection does add a bit of weight and a little bit of size to the normally slim iPhone, but if you tend (intentionally or not) to treat your phone as a frisbee, this is the best way to ensure it survives the occassional drop.
For some, a fully encased iPhone is overkill. Those who just want to protect their iPhone from an occasional drop onto the carpet or a wooden floor may be fine with bumper. A bumper may be made of polycarbonate or silicone, but we prefer the look and feel of anodized aluminum.
We tried a bunch of aluminum bumpers and the one we liked best was LUXA2’s. The frame came in two pieces which are held together by stainless steel screws. The CNC machining is clean (note the screw hole pic with the nice beveled finish). The shape also makes the iPhone easier to grip/hold. The iPhone is protected from the shock by padded internal corners. The other feature we like about this iPhone bumper is the integrated stand…great for watching videos hands-free! So if you have a iPhone4 or iPhone4S and want a sleek aluminum bumper to protect it, this is the one.
We know that bolting on a bumper to the iPhone is a commitment. If you are not ready for that, there is an alternative: a Graft Concept Leverage frame. The Leverage stradles the line between bumper and case, depending on whether you use the back cover or not.
The Leverage frame and back cover are made froma hard polycarbonate/ABS blend with a rubberized finish. The latch is made of a light-weight zinc alloy. The Leverage’s latching mechanism is similar to Otterbox’s Armor with its easy on/easy off operation. No fuss, no muss, entirely secure. So if you are the type who likes to go commando with your phone, the Leverage may be just the thing for you.
While it is true that Apple’s iPhone gets a disproportionate amount of press, some Android phones are making quite a bit of noise. Take the Samsung Galaxy S4 as an example. One of our contributing editors actually broke rank and got one when he recently renewed his contract. To celebrate this brave break from the pack, we got him a few cases from Element Case (Eclipse, Atom) for his new phone, to show him that we’re not here to judge. We hope to have his thoughts on them in the near future.
All of the case makers mentioned in this article have brand-new cases for the latest phones, even if those phones aren’t iPhones. So if you crave the latest gear andthe coolest cases, the folks at Otterbox, Graft Concepts, and Element Case have you covered. Go check them out…and tell them the folks at RainyDayMagazine sent you.