Otterbox Preserver for iPhone 5s UnBoxing and Video Water Testing

Otterbox Logo

I am always on the search for the ultimate phone case, and with my work and hobbies of riding a motorcycle I require something tough, something that will stand up to the elements and most importantly something that will keep my phone in absolute pristine condition!  Bulk doesn’t bother me and in recent times my favourite case has been the Otterbox Armor.  I had it for my iPhone 5, and it took me from the fine shores of Northern Ireland to the finer shores of Florida.  It took me through every theme park and thunderstorm Florida could offer and it never missed a beat.  Admittedly it was a beast of a case, but I was fine with that.  Nothing was beating it.

Since then and getting an iPhone 5s I have been looking for the same thing.  I have tried many cases since then, most recently was the Tech 21 Special Ops Combat case.  And to be fair to it, it is a crackin’ case!  It felt strong, I trusted it, the only thing it lacked was water resistance and it blocked the fingerprint sensor.  And let’s be honest it is the finger print sensor on a iPhone 5s that differentiates it from a 5.  You have a 5s and you’ll want to be able to use your finger print sensor or at least show it off on occasion.

So now that Otterbox has bought LifeProof and the designs boffins have started working together the inevitable outcome is the Otterbox Preserver.

Anyone who had a Lifeproof Fre case will instantly recognise the Preserver, the similarities are everywhere from the look to the feel, although the preserver feels stiffer, more rigid and just a little bit tougher.  These are all good things, that result in a sleek package.  If you are used to the Armor case this one will feel truly insignificant.

Now I am not one to torture test my phone or a case, plenty of others do that.  I buy a case to prevent my phone being tortured but it is good to know what you are playing with and the stats that the preserver boasts are as follows :

– Two-piece case with snap assembly for easy installation

– Internal foam cushions device and holds it in place inside the caseIncludes an adjustable lanyard for convenient carrying and tethering

– Waterproof: fully submergible up to 6.6 ft. (2 m) for 30 minutes (IP-X8)

– Drop proof: protects device from drops up to 6.6 ft. (2 m)

– Dust proof: blocks entry of dust and debris particles (IP-6X)

Read moreOtterbox Preserver for iPhone 5s UnBoxing and Video Water Testing

iPhone 5 / 5s Bear Grylls Action Case UnBoxing

I have always been a fan of the rugged style cases for my phone.  The offer great drop protection and keep the phones in immaculate condition when being used in everyday life.

Whilst out shopping I noticed a ‘Bear Grylls Action Case’ with a nice yellow reduced sticker in a local supermarket.  Reduced is always good and also it was bright orange.  Thats a good way to sell me something – make it available in funky colours.  The case was also available in a range of Camouflage colour options (wood land, DPM, and urban – there may be even more, as well as grey and plain black).

The cases are identified by a large BG logo on the bottom third which to be fair I am not convinced on.  The rest of the case definitely gets my vote on aesthetics, however the big logo is just a little too garish for me.  (Even though it bright orange.)  I mean c’mon does anyone actually want to walk about advertising Bear Grylls?

Read moreiPhone 5 / 5s Bear Grylls Action Case UnBoxing

Ballistic Smooth Series Case for iPhone 5 / 5s UnBoxing

Just a quick unboxing gallery this evening of the Ballistic Smooth Series Case for the Apple iPhone 5 / 5s.

I have this installed on my iPhone 5s, which also has a full body Zagg Invisible Shield installed on it and as you can see the case still fits. If you are too using a screen guard you will need to be very careful as the case itself is rather tight fitting. It is a plastic case, so unlike a silicon based case it is not very flexible. Care is needed when popping in the last corner as it is easy to lift the screen guard, which happened to me, thankfully it didn’t damage it and the case went ok with a bit of gentle persuasion on my next attempt.

The case comes with a nice feature, namely its bumper corners, they are interchangeable and the case comes with four sets, green, red, white and black.

The case is called Smooth Series and it is for exactly that reason, it is smooth, it slips into your pocket easily. and won’t pull out every piece of dust and lint in your pocket unlike its silicon cousins. The case feels well put together, sturdy and strong, the bumper corner adding a little extra protection.

All ports are open and easily operated, the rocker switch functions easily and well, as do the volume buttons. The Home button is open, which is great for iPhone 5s users and their fingerprint centre. There is no screen protection although the case is desk safe, in that the case is edged and if set down screen first the edging means the screen will be kept clear of the desk.

Read moreBallistic Smooth Series Case for iPhone 5 / 5s UnBoxing

Griffin Protector Case Unboxing and Quick Thoughts

This isn’t so much of a review as more of an initial quick thought post.

I purchased this case as a quick installing silicon case for my iPhone 5s, at this stage such cases specific to the iPhone 5s are pretty scarce, so this case is one that has been in production since the iPhone 5. There is no functionality for the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, but other than that everything else is perfectly functional. All ports are accessible and the camera cut out works well, both with and without flash.

I won’t dwell on this case too much by simply stating the obvious, this is a silicon case, it has reinforced corners offering a good degree of drop and bump (or as it says on the packaging ‘jolt) protection.

It is face safe in that the edge of the case around the screen ensures the screen itself does not come in contact with a flat surface, should it be placed screen down on one.

I like silicon cases for the protection they offer, although like most such cases there are a few negatives.

– This case catches dust and dirt – a lot. Even in the unboxing images this is cleary evident, remember at this stage this case has been out of its packaging for mere seconds…

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– With only one application there was evidence of stretching…

Read moreGriffin Protector Case Unboxing and Quick Thoughts

Spigen Tough Armor Case for Apple iPhone 5/5s Unboxing and Review

With the addition of the Touch ID Finger Print sensor on the new iPhone 5s it has meant that case developers are still working on the technology for my usual style of tough cases such as the Griffin Survivor, or Otterbox Armor / Defender Series.  Obviously anything for the iPhone 5 that covers the home button will not be compatible with the new iPhone 5s’ Touch ID Sensor.

And like anyone with a new toy I want to play with it, so at this point covering the Home button isn’t the option I want to use.  A quick search on the net then pointed my in the direction of a manufacturer called Spigen.  I haven’t owned a Spigen case, nor seen or used one before so on taking some online reviews at their word I ordered myself a Spigen Tough Armor case.  It was pretty expensive at £20 from Amazon, however if the reviews are correct it should be a £20 well spent.

As usual with Amazon it arrived quickly and on taking it out of the box I was pretty impressed.   The case feels solid, and well manufactured.  It looks good, the white version complementing the white iPhone well.  The subtle branding of the case looks smart.  The explanation of the tech behind it is basically impact diversion.  The case takes a knock and the design of the case then spreads the forces from the impact throughout the case, keeping the forces away from your phone.  The result is it shouldn’t break.  Thats the theory anyway and the inside of the case has nice lines running from corner to corner, maybe this is an illustration of the force distribution or something.  I think it looks like flight plans plotted on a flattened out globe, but anyway that hardly matters.

One thing I really did like about this case is that it comes with a serial number that you type into the Spigen website and it checks the authenticity of the case.  As you will see from previous posts I have been a victim of counterfeiters before and this is a really nice idea by Spigen.   Something other premium branded and high cost case makers should consider implementing,

The phone fits well into the case.  The buttons are responsive, power and volume buttons are covered.  The remaining ports and silent rocker switch are left open.  There is a cut out on the rear for the shiney Apple logo to peek through, ye know just in case some one might not be aware you are using an iPhone.

Read moreSpigen Tough Armor Case for Apple iPhone 5/5s Unboxing and Review

G-Form Extreme Case for iPhone 5/5s – Unboxing and Review

Having been using my G-Form Case for my iPad since April 2012 and with it still going strong, (although a little dirtier than when it started life) I had a G-Form case ordered and sitting on my desk about 10 days before I even had my iPhone 5s. I had made an enquiry with G-Form to make sure it would fit (which it does) and that order was placed.

I am a huge G-Form fan, the iPad case I use is this one :

I have had my iPad safely homed in it for 18 months and it has been in some strange and wonderful places. The iPad is still absolutely immaculate, the case although the yellow shows up any marks is still 100%, the material is uncreased, unfolded with no scuffs or tears. It is generally in a back pack but I have 100% faith in the job it is doing in there, after all back packs are not generally one of the safest nor more stable places on earth!

It is for these reasons that I decided to entrust my brand spanking new release day iPhone 5s to G-Form.

The case feels tough and strong with the reassuring ‘squigginess’ of the G-Form material. The case has a certain ‘tackiness’ or ‘stickiness’ that means you can put the case on the dash of your car and most of the time it will sit there, however it wouldn’t be as sticky as, for example, a Griffin Survivor. It slips into your pocket and out again with ease, something the pure silicon cases don’t. And it isn’t a dust magnet, so unlike the silicon cases when you put it into your pocket it doesn’t come out as if it has just done an impression of a vacuum in your pocket.

The case is face-safe, in that it has a raised lip sitting above the bezel of the screen, meaning you can place it face down on a desk and the screen won’t touch the desk.

All ports are open and plugging in the official Apple sync charging cable causes no issues, however the official Apple 9 pin to 30 pin connector won’t fit in, you would need the cabled adapter if this was an accessory you relied on.

The camera ports caused me no issues when taking photos, with or without the flash.

The full screen is open so using the Touch-ID fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5s isn’t an issue.

Read moreG-Form Extreme Case for iPhone 5/5s – Unboxing and Review

FAKE Otterbox Defender for iPhone 5s – Unboxing, Review and Warning!

IMPORTANT UPDATE : After making contact with Otterbox this case has found to be fake! A refund was received from the seller who claims it was a genuine mistake. The original post has been corrected by removing any reference to this case being genuine and any Otterbox related conclusions then, I would like to stress Otterbox were extremely helpful as was the original seller, however at this point I will use this post and associated gallery as an illustration of what you can look for for!

For clarity here is a copy of the confirmation I received from OtterBox informing me the case was fake :

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Read moreFAKE Otterbox Defender for iPhone 5s – Unboxing, Review and Warning!

Apple iPhone 5s – Does it Blend?!? – Just Kidding – Just a Regular Unboxing!

I have temporarily fallen behind in my posts mainly due to the fact that I was without a computer for the best part of two months there. Well today my new iMac arrived in its 27″ of glory, so that’s me back on track. I am going to throw up a few quick galleries and posts of stuff that I gathered up in my computerless times, but in order to make some progress I wont be dwelling on them.

The first such gallery is my iPhone 5s unboxing. This is a release day model, 64Gb white, silver iPhone 5s, which I purchased with, the new to the UK, AppleCare+

It was picked up on release day from the Apple Store in Belfast, and I only had to queue from 3.30am! (Stocks were that low however that I had to updrage to the 64Gb model as the 32Gb were all sold out, there were only about 50 people in front of me!)

My initial opinions on this phone are great. This is another excellent device released by Apple, with the freshness of iOS7 a new lease of life has been given to the phone.

The camera is brilliant, the slow-mo addition is one of my favourite new additions and the fingerprint scanner brings a wee bit of the future a little bit closer.

I will throw up a few more tips / tricks / thoughts if and when I have them, until such times here is my gallery…

Read moreApple iPhone 5s – Does it Blend?!? – Just Kidding – Just a Regular Unboxing!

Will the Otterbox Defender for iPhone 5s work with an InvisibleShield?


Having used this case for a number of hours I took it off to check that it was causing no damage. Something I do with each case I try and it is for exactly this reason that I do this.

The case has an Otterbox Logo embossed into the rear part of the case (inside the case). The rear of the phone sits against this. Upon checking my phone this logo had transferred itself onto the rear of my phone, in a big black ugly printed mess.

Much like if you left anything lying on a newspaper.

Photos will be added soon.

I have no idea if this transfer occurs onto the aluminium of the phone, however it certainly does if you have a shield / skin on the rear of your phone.

My advice is simply do not use this case if you have a skin on your phone.

The transferred logo did come off the rear of my phone with a lot of clean and scrapping with a fingernail however it was a mess.

I will be contacting Otterbox and will advise in due course.


For me this is one of the biggest questions I have in relation to any case. I have dedicated this post to this question so anyone else searching for the answer to this question should hopefully find it easily.

1. Will the Otter Defender for iPhone 5s work with a Zagg InvisibleShield?
– No. Watermarks are present across the entire surface of the Otterbox and thus massively affects the screen clarity and usage.

2. Will the Otter Defender for iPhone 5s work with a Best Skins Ever?
– No. Watermarks are present across the entire surface of the Otterbox and thus massively affects the screen clarity and usage.

3. Will the Otter Defender for iPhone 5s work with a Body Guardz?
– No. Watermarks are present across the entire surface of the Otterbox and thus massively affects the screen clarity and usage.

4. Will the Otter Defender for iPhone 5s work with a Matt / Privacy Screen Shield?
– Yes. No watermarking occurs. Although the clarity of the screen will decrease as does the sensitivity of the screen it will function.

In relation to the above if you have one of the other screen guards on you can apply a Matt screen protector over the top of it. It will prevent the watermarking. However the clarity and sensitivity of the screen will decrease. It does mean you can keep your invisible shield etc for when you change cases.

I will add images to highlight the above when I get my computer back.

Might even do a quick video, but don’t hold me to that.