Speck Presidio Ultra for iPhone X REVIEW Modern Armor for your Modern Device

6 min readFeb 21, 2018

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Picking the right case for your phone can often be quite a Goldilocks experience. On one hand, you have people who choose to leave the phone unadorned, wild and fancy-free. On the other hand you can have a fully encased bulletproof shell for your smart device. It would be easy if this were an either/or type choice, but this is not the case. We have a plethora of brands producing a variety of case styles for our devices, and we have to find that perfect fit. Do you want a folio style, a bumper style, holster style, etc.? Having evaluated so many cases, I still feel like I am searching for the one. If you remember back to the scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, a Knight guarded the chalices. Choosing between cases often makes me afraid to hear the words, “You chose poorly!” With vibrant packaging and a quality case, this time “you chose wisely.”

The Speck Presidio Ultra Case arrived in a robust 4 3/8 inches wide by 7 inches tall by 1 3/4 inches thick retail package. Across the cover, Speck intelligently utilized a clean white background to display the life-sized, seemingly indestructible case. The packaging promised military grade drop resistance to 4.6 meters/15 feet utilizing an impactium shock barrier. Besides the knowledge that the material absorbs and dissipates shock forces, there was very little mentioned about the Impactium polycarbonate material on the case or the website. Along the bottom right of the cover, Speck used a colorful inlay to display the four layers of protection. This information was detailed multiple times throughout the packaging. If you evaluate the inner flap of the magnetically sealed front cover, Speck provided an even larger image of the protective layers. The phone is directly protected by the Slim Presidio case and further surrounded by an Impactium Ultra Bumper. Four layers of a rubberized material line the phone, two of which can be removed as the impactium ultra bumper. Like Iron Man adding his XLIV Hulk-Buster Armor, the Speck Presidio case utilized a modular design for this kit. Start with the Presidio slim protective case, supercharge the protection with the surrounding bumper and then display the case proudly with the easy on/easy off rugged holster.

Regardless of the material used, the word impactium inspired the inner science geek inside me to learn more about the case. I was drawn to the Speck Presidio Ultra packaging, thanks to the very elegant color scheme. The vibrant sea-blue color on the left and right sides creatively bled over to the front. The left side of the box (your right) had a large sea-blue trapezoid, which pointed directly at the image of the case on the cover. The text on the trapezoid further detailed the extreme military 15-foot drop testing, the 360-degree port protection and significant dust/dirt protection. The clean white coloration of the cover was mirrored on the back. Speck intelligently provided an exploded image of their case and listed the features of the case. Below the list, they also provided a brief discussion of their lifetime warranty. After evaluating the packaging, you will be left with a thorough understanding of what the product was designed to do.

To access the phone case, simply slide the left side of the cardboard out of the main package like a drawer. The slim case and the impactium ultra bumper arrived intact and attached to the holster. To remove the outer bumper, press along the upper edge, near the mute toggle. With a little pressure, the outer bumper will separate with a satisfying click. Hidden within the slim case, you will find the double-sided paper instruction manual. To install your phone start with the lower bumper and then push the upper edge of your phone. I tried deviating from the instruction by installing the top first and it proved to be more difficult than starting along the bottom. Having learned my lesson, I decided to follow the instructions. To install the outer bumper, align the mute toggle and then push your phone upward. To remove the case, turn the phone over and press the little orange circle located just above the orange mute toggle. Speck did an amazing job aligning the rubberized volume up and down and power buttons, the orange mute toggle, the camera cutout, the lightning cutout and the lower orange charging port cover. The phone/case combo will slide into the lower corners of the holster and will then securely clip into the top.

The holster was the most amazing part of the 4-ounce combination kit. The rear face of the matte black robust holster contained a belt clip that measured 2 7/8 inches tall by 1 3/8 inches wide. The belt clip sits atop a 1 1/2 inch diameter 360-degree rotatable disk, and the belt clip extended 3/4 inches beneath the phone case. The clip base securely held its position in both vertical and horizontal positions. At first, I did not understand why the clip was able to extend straight out from the case. However, I soon realized that the belt clip could conveniently double as a phone kickstand. The case remained securely attached at my hip for the past week and never fell from the holster. Having tested numerous holsters, Speck did an amazing job with this little piece of tech. Personally, the small attention to details is what truly gains my appreciation. If you have ever had the gut-wrenching feeling of a phone dropping from your person, try any of the generic holsters on the market. Without a belt locking system, as you sit forward or move from a standing to sitting position or a sitting position to a standing position, your thigh and abdomen will push the clip upwards, and your phone will fall. This kit is incredibly secure, will double as a phone stand and will position on a backpack or belt in vertical or horizontal position. Speck provided a hidden gem with the luxury holster for their Presidio Ultra Case.

I have only a single complaint about the phone case. Having been a fan of the larger full-enclosure cases for a long time, I have grown accustomed to thicker cases. I enjoyed the rubberized anti-slip sides and back but felt that the bezel guards along the face of the screen were too elevated. It was a challenge returning to the iPhone X from the iPhone 7 Plus. It is true that the screen sizes are essentially the same, but the phone feels miniature in comparison. The Speck case added the robustness that I missed to the modern phone that I love. However, I felt that I could not access the full screen due to the mountainous edges surrounding the screen. Other reviewers have commented about the breakdown of the thin dust port. I have so far not experienced this, but I am relatively gentle with these having broken off many Catalyst, Otterbox Defender, and Lifeproof charging port tabs. Since choosing a case is such an individual experience, I encourage you to read more about the case. I would rate it at 4/5 stars based on my last two weeks of testing. I had no drops/spills or tumbles. The clip remained securely on my belt, and the phone felt great inside of the case.

Learn more about the Speck Presidio Ultra Case with holster.
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Originally published at macsources.com on February 21, 2018.




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