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Gadgetell Review: Snow Lizard SLXTREME

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Snow Lizard SLXTREME

Snow Lizard SLXTREME

After living with an iPhone 4 for almost a full two years after it turned obsolete, I finally bid farewell to Anders, who has been shipped to the mysterious place that trade-in Apple products go to die and be [hopefully] recycled. Now I’m an iPhone 5S girl, and that iPhone 5S is Miss Piggy, named for the juxtaposition to the case she’s currently living in.

This bad boy is the Snow Lizard SLXTREME, and I’m pretty sure if I threw it ninja star-style at my wall it would bust straight through and keep going until it hit the house across the street. This thing is big, it’s bad, and it makes your phone un-mess-with-able.

Design

The case itself has a design that screams, “I’m an outdoorsy son of a gun.” If you want the Normals at Starbucks to know that you do awesome isht like climbing rocks and scuba diving with sharks, this rugged phone case says all that plus, “I know how to kill you with a spoon.” If Indiana Jones had an iPhone, he’d have had this case on it.

Despite its bulky size, the case is half the weight it appears to be (150g). Its sturdiness and simplicity are what make it so enjoyable to use. Scrolling through Facebook looks like tracking terrorists from far away (awesome) and screen use is mostly unimpeded by the built-in screen protector. It’s waterproof (up to 2 meters), sand-proof, fall-proof, and baby-proof, as I found out during a particularly traumatic episode of babysitting my niece, who I’ve nicknamed “The Thunder”.

The integrated 2,500 mAh battery takes up little space overall, but looks bulky because of the bottom plug hinge. The back of the case is a solar charger, which adds about 2 millimeters of bulk. It also has a little clippy loop on the bottom so you can cam your phone to your Adventure Shorts.

Quality (Does it do what it says it does?)

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 10.46.14 AMThe short answer is yes, the case performs its designated functions. The long answer is, “You don’t even know how badass this thing is.”

To test this case, I took a bubble bath with it– A rugged bubble bath. I had a few glasses of wine, as well–Rugged glasses of wine. So with compromised motor skills, I effectively dropped my phone into the water so many times I eventually lost it in the deep end (I have a really big bath tub) and had to drain the water to find it. Lo and behold, my phone was bone dry and blessedly functional ruggedly functional.

As I said, The Thunder put me through a particularly scary phone-thrown-off-the-second-story-landing episode because she just turned two and apparently never wants to have dessert again, so I can say with pretty high confidence that your phone will be protected from the most rugged of falls.

I tried out the speaker phone function with the case on but, unless I was in a perfectly silent environment, that function is unusable with the case on. Normal phone calls are unaffected with no echo or hollow sound, however.

The large lip around the screen made it a little hard to type on keys that line the outer edges of the screen, but it was a small inconvenience and one exacerbated by my longish girl nails. You know, my rugged girl nails.

All the keys worked splendidly under the rubber pseudo buttons and only required a little bit of extra pressure.

On a particularly special note, the battery pack charges after your phone charge is at 100% if it’s in the case at the time. That means you don’t have to remove the case and charge the two separately over night. It’s a small inconvenience fixed, but you don’t realize how much you need it fixed until it’s fixed… You’ll see.

The four blue LED indicators on the back keep you in the know on how much charge you have left to feed your phone. I successfully recharged my phone from 5% to 100% with two blue dots left over, so I assume I could recharge my phone twice over with a full pack. I didn’t get a chance to test the solar panel directly, but I did find that my half-empty pack had a good bit of charge boost after a BBQ, though I couldn’t tell you how much. You probably couldn’t charge your phone from empty to full on the solar panel alone, but I doubt that’s its intent.

Specs

  • Height- 151mmScreen Shot 2014-07-07 at 10.47.21 AM
  • Width- 70.5mm
  • Depth- 24.8mm
  • Weight- 150g
  • Headphone- 3.5mm audio jack
  • Compatibility- iPhone 5/5s
  • Comes in a variety of rugged colors that include camouflage

Verdict

You can probably tell from my overt enthusiasm that I love this case, but it’s definitely not for everyday use. It’s bulky, it’s a touch heavy, and it’s got a lot of unnecessary features for a commute to work. But if you’re headed on a big boy adventure and want your phone to take underwater photos and survive being chewed on by a bear, this case is a good pick. I’ll most certainly be taking it to the beach and on my next camping trip.

Again, other uses include baby-proofing, drunk bubble bath-proofing, and Starbucks patron intimidation.

The phone is definitely worth its $149.99 price tag for the true adventurer.

 

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