I have a feeling a lot of our early iPhone 6 case reviews are going to receive B grades. That’s not a reflection on our rating system, but on the quality of the cases we’re receiving so far. The bigger name companies are the ones with the finances and the staff to hit the ground running, so we’re receiving review units from companies who have been at this quite successfully for some time. The big question is which company will be the first to break out and achieve an A. Urban Armor Gear doesn’t quite do it with their Outland composite iPhone 6 case, but they come pretty close.
The Outland name signifies the color, not the design. It’s the orange version of UAG’s composite case, which also comes in Aero (blue), Maverick (clear), Navigator (white), Scout (black) and Valkyrie (pink). All provide an armor shell and impact resistant soft core that meet military drop-test standards (MIL STD 810G 516.6). What’s impressive about this is how slim and light the Urban Armor Gear case is despite the protection it provides.
The sides and top are completely covered, with only the mute switch access open. The sleep/wake and volume buttons are under tactile feedback coverings that provide tremendous response when used (I didn’t realize how “soft” the Trident Perseus case sleep/wake button was until I moved on to this UAG case).
The bottom area provides access to the speaker, headphone jack and Lightning port, but is otherwise covered to the point that won’t be able to dock your iPhone 6 when its in the case. It’s not difficult to get your iPhone in and out of this case, but I’m not sure you’ll want to do that every time you need to dock your phone on anything other than a Lightning cable.
We’re also left with this new issue; because the volume and sleep/wake buttons are opposite each other, you can’t really get your phone in and out of tight cases without pressing the buttons. Because the area around the volume buttons is less rigid than the sleep/wake button cover, I found it better to push that side in last. Still, this is something I don’t want to have to get used to, so I’m looking forward to a case that better addresses this minor inconvenience.
That aside, the Urban Armor Gear sells itself on protection, and at that it does a fantastic job. In addition to the tough composite construction, it features skid pads on the bottom and comes with a screen protector even though the edges that rise up to keep the screen off of surfaces.
Oddly, the design features two openings on the back that will allow dust, crumbs, etc. to get inside and contact the phone. The placement is off, too; look at the top image above and you can see some of the word “iPhone” through the bottom opening. It’s an odd design mistake in an otherwise solid case.
Still, none of that takes away from the fact that the Urban Armor Gear composite iPhone 6 case is a great early option for durable protection that doesn’t too drastically add to the bulk of your new device. It’s a bit more masculine than some may like, but you’ll be okay with that after you drop your iPhone 6 the first time.
Provides: Protection from scuffs/scratches, military drop test standard protection
Developer: Urban Armor Gear
Minimum Requirements: iPhone 6
Availability: October 7-13, 2014