How to choose a Tough case for your mobile technology
For so many of us, packing some technology when we are heading out is just par for the course. Mobile phones, tables, cameras – these are more than just gadgets to us, they are connection with the rest of the world but also the best way for us to capture both the big moments and also the tiny details of our adventures.
From reliving the rush of adrenaline of the fast then slow decent of a sky-dive, recorded on a camera strapped to your chest, to the impromptu photos that eventually form our memories later, of mates enjoying each other and the great outdoors. Being able to call Mum from the summit and show her the view. Mobile technology helps us capture the ‘ahhh’ and share the thrill.
So its pretty important to keep it going and ‘earning’ its space in the backpack, rather than being a deadweight. Tough protective cases are available in different degrees of grrrr to keep your mobile best buddy ready for the ride.
There are a range of choices in tough gear, so the question is: how do you choose the right tough case for your device?
It starts off with the device. While we all like to be individual, the fact is that the more popular a device, the better choice you will have in protective and mounting equipment for it. iphone and Samsung phones, for example, have a significantly longer list of options when it comes to dropproof and waterproof cases, than say a Lumia phone.
Next is the brand. No one likes to be a slave to brands for the sake of it, however in terms of protective equipment, the best, most reliable protection will come from a brand with experience and a deep commitment to excellence. There are brands for protective equipment that have been started by people who love the same lifestyle and were sad at all their lost phones and cameras, so did something about it: built a business to make the kind of gear that they dreamed of. Their solutions offer real protection from the kinds of risks that are going to challenge your device to survive. The key differences between quality brands such and the flimsy silicone bandaids offered at the local supermarket are clear once you look closely.
Materials matter. When your phone or tablet is at risk of tumbling down a steep incline, you want it wrapped in tough material. Quality tough cases use protective materials such as ABS toughened plastic and dense silicone to give mountain-climbing-degree protection. Think of it as a helmet for your portable brain, and then you see why the materials matter.
Engineered protection. Not only are the materials specially chosen, but they are designed to withstand the kind of pain that a fall from a high place will give. They often use layers, using a multiplying effect of protection from for example a rugged skeleton of ABS with the shock absorption of rubber or silicone outer layers. They build in specific features such as corner protection through inbuilt air chambers strengthened by internal bracing.
Port covers. Keeping the muck out of your ports is crucial. The toughest case in the world won’t help you if sand, water or mashed banana gets into your power port. Secure port covers are important.
Guard your screen Grit scraped across your device glass can scratch your viewing surface so protecting it with a screen guard helps keep your view clear today and into the future. Many cases have inbuilt screen protection however toughened glass screen guards can also be added to your device, giving your screen shock and scratch protection.
Waterproof. Several brands offer waterproof protection, so choosing a product that you can trust to do its job before your phone falls into the drink is imperative. Water is clever and can sneak into any gap, so a quality brand for waterproof equipment will have engineered a solution. Lifeproof Nuud cases, for example, use an O-ring secured hard to the glass surface of your device screen, offering a nude experience for your screen with water tight protection for the rest of the device.
Compatibility Having the ability to put your device just where you want it can make the world of difference for your day, whether its for work or play. Consider where and how you want to use a device and choose a protective case that is compatible with its own optional accessories for mounting the device, or can be used with universal mounts. A suction mount for use on a kayak or car windscreen, or a belt clip which allows you to click on and off your device as you need makes life easier.
Certifications can help you decide Choosing a case with international recognition for its ability to protect your gear can help ensure your device gets the protection it needs. The key qualifiers of tough are US Military Standards and IP68.
• MIL-STD-810G: Military Standard 810G is a United States Military Standard that establishes testing methods replicating environmental effects to determine resistance to environmental stress sequences and the life cycle of the equipment. This certification requires that your case can physically withstand the drops, fumbles, vibrations and bumps you encounter day to day, and more often when you are outdoors doing fun stuff.
• IP68: Ingress Protection (IP) Ratings are published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). These ratings categorise the degree of environmental protection a case provides against the invasion of solid foreign objects and water. 6 and 8 are the highest ratings for solids and liquids, so a protective case with an IP-68 rating can withstand circulating talc for 8 hours and water immersion to 6.6 feet or 2 metres for 1 hour.
What to look for in a tough case To be sure you can really rely upon a tough case, buy a genuine brand case. The cheap copies just don’t have the same engineering and quality. The cost of a fake case is a broken device – and that is just not worth it.
Key things to look for in a tough case for your mobile phone or tablet
• Does it have a screen protector?
• What is its rating for drop protection?
• What is its rating for dust protection?
• What is its rating for water protection?
• What/who rated it?
• Where am I buying it from? Are they a reputable retailer, with quality products? Do they know about the products they are selling? Can they help me choose the right one?
• Is there a warranty with your purchase?