You’ve heard me complain an awful lot about how difficult it is to get many cases off the iPhone 6. I blame the rounded edges. Manufacturers are hugging them so tightly that you can’t just snap cases off like you could with the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4 models. This problem is compounded by the fact that the volume and sleep/wake buttons are opposite each other, so if you place one side in first and slide the case up over the other, you’re going to be pushing those buttons in ways they weren’t supposed to be pushed.
The obvious answer is to just leave those areas open on the case, but I haven’t seen too many developers take that approach. STM didn’t with their Harbour case, now available for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but they’ve still found a way to ease the process.
The STM Harbour is made of a dual density thermo polyurethane (TPU) that provides rigid protection for the back and edges of your iPhone. Those edges also rise a bit above the screen to keep it safe if placed face down. The areas around the volume buttons and mute switch—as well as the sleep/wake button on the other side—are softer, and can be easily pulled back. This means you can peel the case away from buttons when prying it off, so it won’t pull against them during the process.
It also helps that the bottom 1/5th of the case can be pulled back to serve as a makeshift stand in vertical mode.
If you pull this back before removing the rest of the case, you’ve already got two corners cleared. The ability to pull back the bottom flap won’t help you dock it with third party accessories, however, because it’ll get in the way of any back plate meant to keep your iPhone securely docked. If your dock doesn’t have that back plate, you may be fine.
An additional problem is that the opening for the headphone jack is pretty tight, and two of my pairs of headphones wouldn’t fit in (both with L-shaped connectors). Again, though, you can peel back that bottom flap to get access.
The matte finish of the TPU offers a nice texture that retains fingerprint smudges, but is easily cleaned. Three of the case color options—black, green and dark red—offer a duo-tone effect, while the charcoal option comes with blue accents.
The STM Harbour, then, ends up being a decent, basic case with just enough additional functionality and accessibility to help it rise above the bulk of its low-cost competition. At only $24.95, it should serve you well…provided your headphones are okay with it.
Buy the STM Harbour iPhone 6 case
Provides: Protection from scuffs/scratches and minor drops, built-in vertical display
Developer: STM Bags
Minimum Requirements: iPhone 6 (also available for iPhone 6 Plus)
For more iPhone 6 case options, see our full iPhone 6 Case Review Roundup.