I’ve discussed it on Twitter with a few other folks, but I figured for anyone who was even remotely curious who either missed the discussion or didn’t feel like digging through timelines, I’d put together a brief summary of the iPhone 6 Plus cases I’ve tried so far. Perhaps as I keep going, I’ll update this later too. I’m waiting on at least one more case to arrive, so there’ll be that evaluation coming soon.
I’ll discuss them in order of acquisition. My criteria are simple: must feel good in the hand, have a reasonable amount of grip/texture (since I feel the iPhones 6 are surprisingly slippery in their naked state), be priced around or under $30 (I mean, let’s be reasonable, I’m buying multiple cases, I still need to look at myself in the mirror), and not be overly bulky. My goal is something that complements the 6 Plus and adds something without feeling like too much of a compromise, as in my heart of hearts, I’d want to use the device with nothing. And I have: prior to the 6 Plus, my 5 was caseless, and while I’ve dabbled in the past, all my other iPhones have ended up that way as well.
All prices are current as of posting, they may be different by the time you see them.
I’m not actually sure that’s the name of this case as the makers have spewed keywords throughout the product name on Amazon. Anyway, I ordered this prior to getting the 6 Plus, as Spigen was one of only a handful of makers ready to go. The case is fairly lightweight, has a decent but not amazing grippy matte texture, and doesn’t add much bulk to the device. It doesn’t cover all edges, leaving the top and bottom mostly open, which you might see as a plus. It didn’t bother me, but I’ve discovered I prefer something that keeps the lines of the device consistent as much as possible for aesthetic reasons. Buttons are available through cutouts in the case, but aren’t completely exposed either as with some smaller cases. As such, it’s a little tough to get on and off, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing; if you plan on leaving it on, it’s a nice tight fit. It’s on the lower side in terms of price, so if you pick it up and don’t love it, you won’t hate yourself either. Of the cases I currently have, it’s probably my favorite overall.
Immediately differentiated by its higher price, Apple’s own rubbery case has some advantages. It fits the device perfectly–it’s really quite nice. The texture is great, although it is a total magnet for pocket lint. On the topic of pockets, because of its texture, I never feel like the phone might slide out in some unexpected way. Button actions are very rewarding and feel great, although everything except the ring/silent switch is covered. The single largest downside to the Apple case is that while it feels amazing, it does add the most size to the device. It’s a worthy tradeoff if you like the way it feels, but it’s the largest of the ones I’ve tried. That said, it’s not terribly large, like an Otterbox, so don’t worry too much if you end up going for it. (As an aside, I tried the leather case on other people’s phones, and while it would solve the lint problem, I prefer the grippy feeling of the silicone.) I am noticing however, that as I use the case, it’s starting to weather significantly. There are scuffs and dull/shiny spots now where I guess I’ve applied pressure or wear, and while it doesn’t bother me at all, it’s worth mentioning that it happens fairly quickly.
I’ve been a big fan of the Incipio Feather line for a while now. They won’t really protect your phone from much more than scratches, but they are usually extremely thin and light. Not so with the 6 Plus case. For whatever reason, this particular Feather case feels bulkier than any of the others I’ve ever used. It’s most similar to the Spigen case, but slightly thicker plastic (which, if you want a bit more sturdiness, I suppose is a positive) which doesn’t add bulk per se, but adds a bit of weight strangely. The button cutouts are completely accesible, with no small pieces obscuring them, so if that’s something you look for, you’ve got it. I put this case on the phone for about 30 seconds, before putting it right back in the packagaing and going back to the Spigen, which is almost identical in shape, but lighter.
This one was mentioned to me by fellow thin case obsessive Ian Reed Kesler who has been instrumental in my continued pursuit of case perfection this year. It’s super cheap, and super thin. It’s barely larger than the phone itself. I was actually surprised by its minimal nature. However, it’s a soft case, which means it’s not very tight around the edges. Holding the phone, you won’t really notice it, but when you pull it from your pocket, the lip will move ever so slightly, making you insane every time (not murderous rampage insane, but if you notice it at all, it’s likely to make you nuts). It’s shiny, which I don’t care for, but I imagine with sustained use it’ll dull up, which might be an improvement. But if you haven’t picked up on it, the theme here is thin and cheap. It’s about the price of a sandwich, so if you’re curious, it’s not a big deal. If you’re looking for ‘almost invisible’, this is for you.
Coming Soon(ish): Shumuri Slim Case, $21
I ordered this a few days ago and it ships from Hong Kong. I think it’s going to be a while before I get it, but it looks tremendous.
Potential Contender: Pasonomi Ultra Thin, $8
While grabbing links for this post, I came across this one. It’s in my Amazon cart and looks similar to the Shumuri case, but at a much lower price. It’s not a soft case, but a very thin hard case, so I’m definitely curious.
[Update 11/06/14] I received the Pasonomi case last night from Amazon, and was disappointed to discover that it is literally the exact same case as the Maxboost skin. I thought it was going to be a harder plastic, but it isn’t. Still waiting on the Shumuri (fingers crossed).
[Update 11/16/14] In talking about cases on Twitter, someone mentioned the Caudabe Veil, which I’d heard about earlier in the week. Someone from their support team reached out to me and is supposed to be sending me some samples.
I received my Shumuri case in the mail early last week and it is the thinnest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s basically like rice paper that you wrap around the phone, it’s amazing. Unfortunately, the grip is a little lacking for me, and feels only slightly less slippery than the phone by itself. I think it’s a complete feat of engineering, but I don’t think I’ll use it day-to-day.
I also buckled and picked up the Apple leather case earlier today when I was at the mall. It’s way better than the silicone model. Lighter, thinner, more flexible. Slightly less grip right now, but I imagine as the leather wears, that may change. Everyone told me how great it was, but I was pretty stubbornly insistent that I preferred the silicone one. Guess I should know myself better by now. This is my current case.
[Update 02/02/15] I never actually received the Caudabe case to test out, and I was too lazy to pester someone about it. I picked up the Totallee Scarf, $13 a little while ago, which is very much like the Shumuri case, but a tiny bit more rigid and with a little extra texture. As of right now, this is what’s on my phone. I left the Apple Leather case a few weeks ago to try it out and I’ve been enjoying it.
I’m still searching for the perfect one. As thin as these super thin ones, but with a rubbery grip. I’m beginning to think it’s my unicorn. Everything with a rubbery grip is thicker and heavier, which may simply be the result of the manufacturing. I really would love something with the thinness of the Scarf or the Shumuri, but instead of smooth matte texture, a grip like the Feather or Spigen Slim.
- Spigen – thin, good texture, best overall so far
- Apple (silicone) – best hand feel, but adds a little more bulk
- Apple (leather) – superior to the silicone, lighter, thinner more flexible
- Incipio – slightly stronger, still thin, too much bulk for its size
- Maxboost – impossibly thin, but too mushy around the edges
- Shumuri – so thin you can’t believe it, but not enough grip
- Pasonomi – sadly, exactly the same as the Maxboost case
- Caudabe – [awaiting samples]
- Totallee – super thin, slightly better texture than Shumuri
Of course there are plenty I haven’t tried, but I didn’t claim this was going to be exhaustive. I’d love to hear if there are other notable thin cases you like though. Give a shout on Twitter.