More than an attractive, protective shell, the Vortex case from SKECH enhanced the experience with a ring holder, kickstand and magnetic car mount.
A quick internet search revealed hundreds of specific phobias. As the price of a smartphone has increased, I believe that I have developed a partial acrobarotechnophobia. Basically, I fear the effects of heights and gravity upon my technology. With the introduction of the new iPhone each September, I begin my case search anew. Even though I have several brands that I return to, I love to learn about new styles, and about new protective/functional features. With the new iPhone 11 Pro Max, I was excited to learn about the Vortex case from SKECH.
The SKECH Vortex iPhone 11 Pro Max case arrived in a 4 3/4 inches wide by 7 15/16 inches tall by 5/8 inches/1 1/2 inches thick triangular retail package. The cover was adorned with a slightly raised, glossy, blue-colored image of the Vortex case. The obliquely angled 2 1/4 inches wide by 5 inches tall image was surrounded by seven grey icons, which detailed the main features of the phone case. From top to bottom, you will find the following icons: 10 feet/3.1 meter drop-tested, Car Mount Compatible, wireless charging compatible, 360 rotating ring holder, 1-year warranty, built-in kickstand, and Car Mount included in the box. The company name was boldly displayed along the top left, “Vortex 360 degrees of movement” was labeled along the bottom left and for new iPhone 6.5" was labeled along the bottom right. The top panel provided a convenient white product hanging tab, the right side and bottom panels were blank, and the left panel had a very small “open” inscribed onto the surface. The reverse panel provided the lions-share of information. Similar to the cover, the labeled back panel added useful information about the case. We were again informed of the included car mount, the built-in kickstand, rotating ring cover, and compatibility with the included car mount. The main focus of the reverse panel was the horizontally oriented 2 13/16 inches wide by 3 inches tall diagramed-image of the SKECH Vortex case. Lastly, I was pleased to find that the Vortex was compatible with any magnetic car mounting system and that the company backed their product with a 1-year Warranty.
I lifted the magnetic cover and found another labeled diagram along the inner flap and a few additional tidbits of information about the case. The 1 5/8 inches wide by 3 3/8 inches tall blue image had labels for the soft-touch finish, scratch-resistant coat, drop protection, 360 rotating ring holder, responsive buttons, 1.1mm bezel for screen protection, car mount compatibility, and port protection. SKECH added a small paragraph along the bottom of the flap and another image of the included metallic car mount compatible plate. The integrated ring holder was designed to enhance your grip while holding the phone and also doubled as a kickstand. Contained within the center of the ring, SKECH included a metallic plate. The built-in plate paired perfectly with the included car mount. When paired with the dual-layer construction, the SKECH case features truly combined form with function.
Looking to the right, you can directly view/touch the 3 1/4 inches wide by 6 3/8 inches tall by 1/2 inches thick case resting upon a white pedestal. The 1 1/4 inches wide by 1 5/16 inches tall raised camera cutout, 7/16 inches wide by 1/4 inches tall volume mute toggle cutout, 9/16 inches wide by 1/4 inches tall lightning port cutout, and dual 11/16 inches wide by 1/8 inches tall cutouts were easily visualized. Along the bottom of the smooth blue surface, I found a 2 3/16 inches wide by 1 1/16 inches tall rotatable finger ring/kickstand. Along the right side of the phone case, I found the volume toggle cutout and two raised plastic 7/16 inches long by 1/8 inches tall volume up/down buttons. Along the left side of the phone case, I found a single 11/16 inches wide by 1/8 inches tall raised power button. The Installation process proved to be straightforward. I slid the volume toggle side of my iPhone 11 Pro Max into the case and pressed my thumbs along the top, side and bottom edges of the case. Similar to the reverse raised camera edge, the cover was protected with a slightly raised bezel.
The smooth soft surface did provide a positive tactile and visual feel. However, without the keyring deployed, the smooth surface proved to be a little slippery in my hand. I feel that a slightly tackier material would have allowed the same visual appeal but would have enhanced the drop protection further. I loved the included keyring/kickstand/car mount feature and feel that it drastically enhanced the overall utility of this case. I initially thought that the iPhone would be too tall to enjoy the kickstand in the vertical position. However, I was pleased to discover that the deployed keyring worked well as a kickstand in both vertical and horizontal positions. Interestingly, the included magnetic car mount could be utilized as an added vertical/horizontal kickstand as well. The vent mount easily slid over my car vent but did not provide a lower support arm. My favorite vent mount to date has been the Ventev Car Mount system, due to the included lower support arm. When added to the vent mount, the weight of the phone caused a significant downward pull upon the vent. Without the lower support arm, it proved to be quite difficult to find the optimal viewing angle. Additionally, the positioning of the magnetic rectangle along the bottom of the phone ensured that I had to utilize the setup only in a vertical position. If you desire to use your navigation/phone in horizontal mode, you may need to consider a different phone case. Lastly, the positioning of the magnetic plate along the bottom of the phone allowed me to fully utilize my magnetic charging stand/pucks.
With so many cases on the market, how do you pick the just-right, Goldilocks case for your precious device? You can use those cookie-cutter, generic, everyone-buys-them cases that are commonly found within the Verizon/AT&T or Best Buy/Walmart Stores, or you can venture out a little and find a more unique look/feel. SKECH can be found at many retailers, to include some phone stores, but they tend to be overshadowed by the name and product placement of a few other brands. The Vortex case combined significant drop protection with the added feature of the keyring/kickstand. Instead of a single feature, the SKECH case successfully combined several features into a single case. I loved the color and the included screen/camera protection. The lower lighting port accommodated every cable that I tried, to include several boxier versions. The cutouts were well placed and the raised buttons were quite reactive. The metallic plate allowed me to combine my phone with any magnetic mounting system available and did not block the ability to magnetically charge the phone. As noted above, the only slight negative aspects that I could find were with the surface texture of the case and with the weight of the phone. However, I did not feel that the surface texture was enough of a negative to detract from the overall positive feel of this case. For just under $50, I do not think you can find a more function filled, protective, attractive case.