Among many accessory manufacturers Apple use in their official stores, Tech21 are a company that is a little further down my list in terms of ones I had heard of before. When the company approached me to review a couple of their cases and what they were all about, I couldn’t help but be inspired by their confidence and how proud they are of what they believe in, and what it means to be what they say they are. This, in part with other reasons, made me fall in love with this company. An infectious desire to be the best and make a difference in ways others aren’t is a one-way ticket to being one of the greatest around, and I’m riding first class.
It’s all well and good talking the talk, but can the UK-based company hit a home run in all categories?
DISCLAIMER: Tech21 sent this case to me free for the purpose of review. All opinions on this case are my own
If you read back on the other case reviews I have done in the past, you will know I miss this section out in all of them. The reason being for this is because all of the previous case manufacturers I have reviewed before have one thing in common: Lacklustre packaging. To some degree I get why they do this; you don’t need to increase your manufacturing cost when all you really need is a decent enough product to show you what it’s made of.
But unlike the ‘norm’, Tech21 went in a completely different direction from its direct competitors. They have some of the most beautifully presented product packagings I have ever seen for a case. And it’s not just the looks, either. It’s the content within it that impressed me most of all. It reads like a well-written Ernest Cline novel – explains what is needed in the most eloquent of ways.
If we take a look at the front of the wondrously used piece of cardboard, you won’t be mistaken knowing that this is indeed a case you are looking at, with the main event (the case) playing the lead role in its own production front and almost centre of the box. Just slightly below the imagery of the case, is a wonderfully presented font staking its claim just as much as the case imagery does, with the ‘Evoke Edition’ stamp. Just to the top left of the box is the ‘Tech21’ logo. In addition, to finish this portion off, there is also an informational snippet telling you how high you can drop the phone without it damaging the device, which is 3M/10FT, in case you were wondering.
Moving to the back of the packaging now, and it’s pretty much more of the same, with buzzwords in tow. Tech21 have a patented technology called ‘FlexShock’, as well as their more famously known ‘Impactology’. Impactology isn’t important here, as FlexShock is the main event to this robust affair. Here’s what it means:
FlexShock is where the ‘business’ end of the 2 technologies comes from. What FlexShock is, in simple terms, is a very thick rubberised material that surrounds the outer skirtings of the case to protect your phone from drops up to 3m (or 10 feet) with a proven enough track record of rigorous testing to guarantee that your phone will be 100% safe from these types of drops. Height dependant, of course. From the information I have gathered from Tech21 themselves, and the very handy information included on the packaging, the FlexShock comprises of 3 things:
- FlexShock – The ‘core’ of the 3 materials used, which is a toughened affair to keep everything together as well as keeping your phone safe and secure.
- Skeletal Frame – Once the FlexShock material is applied, the frame goes around it; again another hard material to protect your phone from impact
- Flexible Outer Shell – The outer shell is there to make sure the end-user has 100% comfort when handling the case. Because who wants an uncomfortable case? The outer shell is a rubber material.
Before I move onto what the case is actually like from my extended time with it, I wanted to mention one more thing in relation to the packaging:
As soon as you open up the magnetised booklet-like casing which holds…the case, you will notice a plethora of information that not a lot of manufacturers tend to do these days. It goes into depth about what the technologies mean, the science behind making it, and even a nice informational paragraph on what they do to test their devices and what types of environments they are tested in. This, to me, was the icing on the already glamorous looking cake that Tech21 presented to me.
The theme of the packaging follows suit from the abstract floral render that is on the back of the case itself. Well presented, doesn’t bore you with too much detail, and it’s extremely informative.
Fit & Finish
If I’m being 100% transparent, I was very sceptical about how this case would look and feel. Being someone that prefers a thinner styled case, taking my phone’s life into my own hands each time I grab it out of my pocket, anything other than stick thin is slightly concerning to me. I like to have a naked feel to my phones, without deterring from how great the iPhone X feels and looks in the hand.
Bias towards what type of case I prefer aside, the way this case presents itself almost brings out its own personality with it. It adds an extra class of sass that I never expected a case to do. I fully expected it to spring to life, spawn a mouth and say “Yeah, I know I look cool”. The choice of the gorgeous-looking abstract floral imagery on the back of the case, with an almost mesh-like feel between the parts that don’t have the imagery, gives off a feeling of safety. Almost as safe and secure as the Terrapin Folio Case I reviewed a few days ago.
The colour choices of this case aren’t to my personal tastes, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be for someone else. I’ve never been a fan of a white border around the edges of a case, it sometimes can be mistaken as somewhat cheap in its execution. This isn’t to say that this applies to the Tech21 case; not by a long country mile, but whenever I see that colour surrounding the innards of the casing, it reminds me of a cheaper manufactured case. The feel of the FlexShock skirtings feels nice and sturdy, with a smooth rubber finish for added grip.
If there’s one word I would use to describe this case from the moment I took it out of its exceptional packaging, it would be ‘tough’. Just feeling the case, and even adding a little tension as you try to bend it, you know that it’s not going to budge unless you’re Arnie back in his prime days. Fitting the phone into the case was a fairly painless experience, starting with the top of the phone (camera lens first), then working your way down to the bottom ports.
As soon as the phone is in the case, you know you’re in business. It’s hard to really describe the feeling, but you get an overwhelming feeling of security exhuming from you as soon as you pick your phone up. Almost like a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders by the fact that your £1000 phone is safe for even the most rigorous of drops from just above waist height.
The rubber texture which houses the FlexShock technology feels magnificent and you really just have to feel it in person to behold what that security feels like in the long run.<
If I were to be slightly critical of this case, the volume/power buttons become very heavy and more of a chore to press. Now I understand why this is the case – the FlexShock technology that is used to surround the casing is a very thick, robust set of materials that require a little give in some departments. I just feel like Tech21 could have used a hard plastic inlay for the button cutouts to have that extremely satisfying click feeling again. There were a few points during my tenure with this case where I didn’t know if I was pressing the buttons correctly or not, and I still wouldn’t have if the volume dialogues weren’t appearing to show the volume was increasing/decreasing. Other than that, this case is flawless in every sense of the word.
There’s a lot of things to be excited about with this case if you’re in the market for something that you know won’t let you down. It’s a beautiful thing to behold and appreciate when you see it for the first time, it’s extremely robust, and it has an admirable amount of drop protection.
ech21 were a company I once never heard of before I was approached by them to review this case, and they have sold me on what they believe in from the minute I noticed their intricate, detailed, beautiful packaging. The case itself is well put together, alluring, and it’s the safest I have ever felt when using a phone case. Tech21 should be extremely proud of what they have done with this case. You notice from manufacturers that make these types of cases is that they concentrate on function, and not form. The UK-Based company did both exceptionally well and will give Otterbox a run for their money.
Thank you so much to Tech21 for sending this case along for review.