Although we actually received several iPhone X cases prior to the release of the phone, the true flood of cases designed to protect and/or enhance the looks of Apple’s latest has reached biblical proportions. After Dennis Sellers’ look at a trio of cases from Twelve South this morning, I’m here with three cases from PureGear.
Just for clarification, we checked with PureGear and all three of the cases listed here are compatible with wireless charging of the iPhone X.
Glassbak 360 for iPhone X
The $39.99 Glassbak 360 is a very minimalist case for the iPhone X, more like an aluminum bumper protecting the sides with a tempered glass piece that sticks to the back of the iPhone.
It’s available in three colors: silver, space grey, and pink. The latter is perfect for those who wanted a pink (or rose gold) iPhone X and were disappointed that Apple only ships the device in two metallic colors.
The bumper provides an extra level of protection with an interior rubber lining to provide cushion from drops. All three of the bumpers feature distinctive thin metal lines around the bottom and top edges that add a “racing stripe” to the case. The buttons are also metal, and do a good job of protecting the actual iPhone buttons. Both front and back have a slight raised lip to protect the screen from flat falls onto the ground.
Installing the Glassbak 360 is quite easy: first, you put the iPhone X into the bumper. This is usually a step I hate, but fortunately the design of this case includes a flexible section on the bottom that makes installation a snap. Next, you use the cleaning kit provided to clean fingerprints and dust from the back of the iPhone X. Finally, you remove a backing on the glass back to expose an adhesive that sticks the glass to the iPhone X glass.
I have to admit that I have a bias against anything that uses an adhesive to stick to a phone, unless I’m absolutely sure that it can be removed in the future without damaging the original finish of the phone. I'm also not thrilled about the fact that the "Glassbak" doesn't cover the entire back of the phone -- as seen in the photo of the back of the unit, there's about a 1/4-inch gap all the way around.
Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★
DualTek for iPhone X
If the Glassback 360 is all about the looks, the DualTek ($34.99) is designed for protection. Available in black or white finishes, the DualTek cases designed for maximum protection of your iPhone X by including thick corner bumpers, metal covers for the buttons, and even a unique feature PureGear calls AirTek Suspension.
This feature comes into play on the back side of the phone, providing a thin protective pad surrounded by air. If the iPhone X is dropped, that pad and the air layer provide padding that isn’t found on most other iPhone cases.
Of course, you may not drop the DualTek as often as other iPhone cases, as the sides include a ridged pattern to give your hands extra grip.
The DualTek comes in two colors; matte black and arctic white. Both cases look like they provide extra protection, but I have to take issue with PureGear’s “military tested and approved” line on their website and packaging. Unless the company can provide proof that some military force on Planet Earth has actually spent the time to test an iPhone case and then given it some sort of certificate of approval, stop with the hyperbole. Just say that it meets or exceeds a particular MIL-STD rating, OK?
That complaint aside, DualTek looks like it can provide decent protection of your iPhone X in the case of a drop. The price is right, and the case is very well constructed.
Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★★
Slim Shell for iPhone X
If you’re looking for something that is perfectly acceptable for day to day use, the $29.99 Slim Shell is probably right up your alley. It’s available in five colors — one that’s black all around, another that’s black with a clear back, one that’s completely clear, one that’s light blue with darker blue accents, and one that is magenta with orange accents.
The Slim Shells are made of flexible rubber and a hard polycarbonate shell, so they’re mainly designed for the occasional drop and mostly just protect the iPhone X from scratches. There are metal buttons for volume and sleep/wake, and a slight lip above the screen to protect from face-down drops.
There’s one little design detail that I love on this case — three small bumps that keep the phone from rocking when you place it back-down on a table. They’re just high enough to keep the iPhone X camera from touching the table surface.
I like the bold coloring of the blue and magenta models; they’re reminiscent of the old iPhone 5c coloring. At $29.99, there are probably similar cases that are less expensive for equal protection, but I liked the looks and the slightly grippy sides. If you’re like me and rarely drop your iPhones, this is probably all the protection you’ll need. Fumblers and kids should get the DualTek.
Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★