NewerTech's NuGuard KX protective cases for the Apple iPhone 7 and 7s Plus resemble Apple Smart Cases on steroids with their one-piece design. However, they're thicker than the Apple case. Due to this, and other features, the NuGuard KX is more protective than the Smart Case, but does add a bit more bulk to your smartphone.
The NuGuard KX case (I tested the one for the iPhone 7 Plus) boasts X-Orbing gel technology that's designed to absorb and evenly distribute kinetic energy. The outside of the case — the grip shell — has a cross hatch design that helps prevent the iPhone from slipping out of your hand.
The NuGuard case is easy to install; it snaps into place. Once on, it offers easy access to all buttons and ports on the Apple smartphone. You’ll be able to connect small- to medium-sized headphone and Lightning plug accessories; however, larger ones may not fit. Also, while the included button protection is handy in preventing accidental power-ups/power-downs, it slightly impedes the iPhone's tactility (especially the Sleep/Wake button).
How tough is the NuGuard KX? NewerTech says, in their tests, iPhones dressed in the case have survived 15-foot and 20-foot drops onto concrete, as well as a 131-foot drop test from an on-site wind turbine. I'm not going to drop my iPhone 7 Plus from 15 feet, much less 131 feet.
One caveat: I do wish there was a belt clip option available.
The NuGuard KX cases come in a variety of colors including black, crimson, and”midnight." The iPhone 7 case costs $29.99; the iPhone 7 Plus version is $33.99.