Another iPhone and another chance for Griffin to produce a new version of their hugely popular, successful and extremely protective Survivor Case.
In fact the traditional Survivor Case is now actually a range of cases. There is a Survivor Extreme, Survivor Strong, Survivor Clear, Survivor Prime, Survivor Fit and coming soon there is a Survivor All-Terrain. With the exception of the latter the above list goes from most rugged to least. Least by the way does not mean none, the survivor fit is tested for a 2.1 metre drop so is certainly no slouch.
This review though focuses on the Griffin Survivor Extreme.
I managed to pick this up off Amazon at a bargain £21, the RRP being £47 on the Griffin website and Amazon are now selling it for closer to the £40 mark.
It arrived next day (thank you Prime) and I was excited to get at it. I have used a Griffin Survivor before, although I think it was about the era of my iPhone 5. I remember it as a proper rugged case, I had no issues whatsoever with it, it really is remembered fondly.
Look at that range – it was a great case and I remember correctly – it was the case I got for my iPhone 5 on release day :
In fact after a little searching I was even rocking one of these on my iPhone 4 :
But times have changed – we are now at the iPhone X, my needs haven’t really changed though – I still need a good rugged case and when I seen this Griffin Survivor Survivor Extreme (especially at the price I paid) I thought my problems were solved.
So the case arrived and it offers some good bold claims, none of which I plan to intentionally test :
1. Slide on screen guard – protects screen, prevents damage.
2. 3 metre / 10 foot drop protection.
3. IP-55 Rated against rain and water damage.
4. Impact Dispersion System – cushions the phone inside the case.
All sounds good, right?
Well to be fair it does, but read point 1 again. ‘Slide on Screen Guard’ – That is the reason I will not be using this case.
It has a built in screen protector, which is plastic. It is horrible. The screen on the iPhone X is gorgeous, covering with anything other than pure glass should be illegal. With the quality of screen protectors now available putting a sheet of plastic over the top of this screen is unforgivable. Not only does it ruin the quality of the screen it ruins the touch of the screen. If half the user experience is how the screen looks the other half is how the phone feels and putting this plastic cover over the screen ruins that look and feel. So now the look and feel of the world’s best looking and feeling smart phone are both very, very sub par! Ruined!
I understand that this cover is designed to be rugged, but the phone is now waterproof and have a look on YouTube – some reviewers are claiming it to be very waterproof so why do we need this screen guard, why not take a leaf out of the Lifeproof Nuud case, no built in screen guard.
Here’s the sickening point, everything else about this case is great, I would change none of it! But that horrible screen guard ruins an otherwise outstanding product.
The case feels strong and rugged the ports are sealed but easily accessed, and the buttons are well aligned – if a little hard to press, and the camera is unobstructed and importantly keeps the lens above the desk should you lay it down on its back – but it all works well and it feels substantial, you could be absolutely worry free with this case as you should be with something called a Survivor Extreme.
So there you have it – a good feeling rugged case, that I have no doubt can stand over every claim it makes, but lets itself down with a horrible screen protection system. Maybe if protection is so important to you that you are prepared to lose the quality and touch of the screen then this is the case for you, I would wonder why you bought an iPhone X though?
For those that are interested this case did go on with a glass screen protector installed (Belkin) and a rear shield (Screen Knight) – it was tight but did go on without causing damage to either.
If you are wondering what can be done to in relation to a rugged case and screen protection have a look at the Amzer Crusta – it is a rugged case, with the perfect screen protection system – a tempered glass screen shield. I have not found a better system for a rugged case than this one to date, unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be available in the UK as yet for the iPhone X and is sold out in the USA.
Update : On reading further it looks like Amzer have done the unthinkable and integrated the screen protector into their design for the iPhone X. Disaster!
It is my plan to take the hair drier to this case and remove the integrated screen guard – if it works I will update you!