X-doria Defense Case REVIEW Protect Your New iPhone X in Style
Every September, I excitedly await the Apple event and the latest tech announcements. This year proved to be even more exciting, with the release of two new iPhones and the new series 3 Apple Watch. Many people have criticized the cost of the iPhone X and questioned the mentality/sanity of those who would spend that much money on the phone. To the naysayers, I would state that my iPhone is always with me and it is more than just a phone. At $4 per day, I have a camera, an internet searching device, the ability to download/utilize numerous apps, a messaging device, a video/voice recording device, a running/walking/biking/car-driving tracker/navigator, health tracking device, alarm clock, stopwatch/timer, and so much more. My point is, many people spend more money in a day on Starbucks, food, and possibly cigarettes than I do on my device. Lastly, I love my devices, and I enjoy the new features.
When my new iPhone X preorder arrived, this past Tuesday, I excitedly looked through my available cases for that Cinderella fit. I received three varieties of X-doria Defense case to review: Shield, Clear, and Lux. The packaging for each of the varieties of X-doria Defense case is the same, with minor differences in the front image and the coloring of the wording for Shield (red), Clear (turquoise), Lux (yellow). The covers provide a raised image of each of the three versions of the case. The Lux case shows a stitched fabric appearance with silver edging. The Shield has a maroon/purple edge coloration and a slate grey colored backing. The clear case has a white rubberized edging and clear back. All of the cases are rated MIL-STD 810G for drop protection, meaning they meet/exceed those standards that are set for military devices. The Defense line of cases are bumper style, protecting the back and sides of the case from scratches, strikes and up to 3-meter falls. The rear face of the packaging displays the color differences between the cases and each provides email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram information and details the Lifetime Warranty Guarantee (craftsmanship). The front flap of the packaging is magnetically connected to the base and provides further information about the construction: Machined metal protective side (aluminum), rubberized shock absorbing sides, ultra-hard polycarbonate back shield, a forward facing acoustic channel to direct sound towards the front and a very generous 12 x 6.5mm lightning port. The only main difference between the different versions of the Defense cases can be found in the clear case. The clear case does not have a forward facing acoustic channel, and it has a shock absorbing DropShield Polymer to further protect your phone. I tested each of the cases for about 72 hours and detailed the devices below.
The LUX and shield cases are essentially the same cases with a difference in the backing. Each of the cases has a perfect cutout for the vertically oriented iPhone X camera, the 12mm wide by 6.5mm tall lighting port, the volume toggle and rubberized buttons over the volume up/down and power buttons. The back of the LUX case is very attractive, both in the visual and tactile sense. There is a very interesting woven appearance that provides an impression of chainmail armor. The backing is contoured around the camera and is edged with a dark gray plastic/rubberized material. The sides are machined aluminum and then gray rubberized material. It arrives atop a thin plastic insert with a thin piece of cardboard within the case. The inside of the case is a light sky blue color and has oblique cuts likely to provide ventilation for the phone. The backing is solid and will not allow you to see the phone, except for the camera. To slide your phone into the case, place the left top corner into the case and then move your thumbs around the case. You will feel a physical snap as you insert the phone, which provides a good sense of security.
Since the case does not provide any direct protection for your screen, I would consider either a liquid screen protector (Whoosh Diamond Defense) or a Glass type from Zagg or similar. The raised sides will provide some protection from glancing blows and will help to protect the screen if placed face down. The camera fits flush with the backing and has very little protection. I wish the edges around the case were mildly raised to protect the camera a little more. The back/sides of the case protect the iPhone very well. I did accidentally drop my iPhone, in a leather holster, from about 3 feet and the phone was not physically damaged. Despite this successful test, I was not brave enough to purposely drop the new iPhone, no matter what promises were proposed. I was pleased with both the appearance and the feel of the LUX case. In fact, of the three varieties of Defense case, the LUX was my favorite. The rubberized buttons are very sensitive and provide a nice tactile feel. The back chainmail provides more than just visual/artistic features; it was a good gripping surface. The lightweight case weighs 1.4 ounces and measures 2 7/8 inches wide by 5 7/8 inches tall by 1/2 inches thick. A shared feature of both of the cases is the forward facing sound channel. This is quite convenient for music/movie enjoyment. The sound is louder when it is directed toward the listener. Lastly, wireless charging is possible with the case. If you are looking for a bumper style case that provides more than a simple shell, consider the X-doria Defense Lux case. I would rate this version of the Defense case at 5/5 stars.
As stated above, the Defense Shield and the Defense LUX cases are very similar in their features but differ in color scheme. Instead of having the raised back of the LUX, the shield packaging suggests a solid grey backing with thin blue, surrounded by thicker purple accents. The case itself has a clear back and has a color changing blue/green metallic rim. This is the same machined aluminum rim that you can find on the LUX. The case has a thin piece of cardboard on the inside and is lacking the obliquely angled slits that are present within the inside of the LUX case. Other than the color scheme and the raised back, the rubberized buttons, the cutouts, the front facing volume channel are equivalent. The back of the case is smooth and provides a less secure grip. I did not mind the color scheme on the packaging, but the color changing rim of the Shield case was more impressive. I favored the LUX case better than either the Sheild or Clear cases, however. The case has the same dimensions but weighs 0.2 ounces less than the LUX case. I would rate this version of the case at 4/5 stars.
The Clear case does not provide the pizzaz of the LUX and Shield cases. The case is thinner than the other two cases yet weighs the same 1.2 ounces as the Shield case. There is no aluminum machined edging along the sides of this case. Instead, X-doria opted for a clear plastic backing and soft white rubberized plastic accents/edges. The edges of this case are easily bent, reminding me of silicone bakeware. Both the LUX and Shield cases are more structurally rigid than the Clear case, and I felt that they provided more protection than the clear case. It is true that the case is minimalistic and will provide the bare minimum in regards to bells/whistles. There is no forward facing acoustic channel, but you can still enjoy the same cutouts and rubberized buttons of the other two varieties. I did not test the Mil-STD 810G promise of this case, but it was listed on the cover. The case will provide edge/back protection and still provide perfect access to the lighting port, camera and buttons. As a case it is okay, but I would prefer the LUX and the Shield to the Clear. I would rate this case at 3.5/5 when compared to the other two members of the family.
Similar to most other tech items, cases are an individualized choice. There are so many choices that you do not have to settle for anything less than your favorite case. Whether you choose the LUX, Clear, or Shield, you can know that your phone is resting securely in the DEFENSE of X-doria.