• accessories,  apple,  case,  iphone 12

    Apple Leather Case with MagSafe Review

    One of the great things that I really like about the new iPhone 12-series of smartphones from my favorite fruit company is the return of the iPhone 4 and 5-series flat slides. And the return of the flat sides comes the drop in style flat side Apple Leather Cases. Here's my review.

    What Works Well

    There are many third-party cases for iPhones on the market today. I prefer the first-party cases for a few different reasons. Long time readers of this blog will know that I am a life-long Apple customer and fan. So, for me, many times, if there is a first-party accessory available, that is the one I will get.

    With that out of the way, I also prefer first-party accessories for their full support of new features. For the iPhone 12-series, that means the ability to use MagSafe. MagSafe is Apple's new inductive charging solution. Previous iPhone models and cases were compatible with inductive charging. However, with the iPhone 12 leather cases, the charging magnets are integrated with the case. The real benefit of having MagSafe magnets in the iPhone and in the case is that it is easier for the user to align the charging coils. People who receive a lot of vibrate notifications can be assured that the iPhone will stay put on the MagSafe charger - something that was not a guarantee in non-MagSafe inductive chargers.

    The case build quality is quite nice too. The iPhone 12 Pro leather cases have a softer touch to them than the Apple leather cases that I used on my iPhone 11 Pro. The edging and seam where the leather meets the soft interior lining mate up well. May Dad thinks that the Apple Leather Cases are slippery. And, in my opinion, new cases are. But once you start carrying them around in backpacks, purses, or jeans pockets, they will wear nicely. With previous versions of the leather case, I found that it took longer to break in the case while wearing dress pants to work every day. Now my iPhone 12 Pro Max mostly sits on my desk or coffee table.

    In addition to the feel of the leather, I also appreciate the use of metal volume and power buttons that are built into the case. Pressing the buttons on the case feel satisfying. The button press feels as if there wasn't a case on the iPhone at all. In my opinion, the metal buttons feel much better than the rubbery caps found on the Apple Clear Case or leather lumps that Apple used on the leather cases for the iPhone 5/ 6 /6S series. In comparison, I think that the metal buttons are just easier to press after having lived with other button options.

    Some Room for Improvements

    As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. In Apple's case you are often paying for quality. 1 The Apple's leather cases are made well, but, before you order one, you have to ask yourself if Apple's cases are worth it. The iPhone 12 / 12 Pro / 12 Pro Max Leather Case with MagSafe is $59. That's pretty expensive. If you want to add a Leather Wallet with MagSafe, that will cost you an additional $59. 2. If you are looking for an alternative to Apple's leather cases, Nomad's Rugged Case series look handsome and cost less ($49.95).

    I also think it is less than great that there is a plastic ridge that rises up around the camera bump. While this protects the glass camera lens, the iPhone is unstable when being used while laying face up on a flat surface. The wobbling of the case irritates me.

    Based on my past use of iPhone leather cases in red and yellow, the corners of these cases will wear and patina quickly. In my experience, more so when riding around in jeans pockets. Darker color Apple cases will do the same thing, but they will be less noticeable.

    Accessory adapters like the Lightning to 30-pin adapter won't work with the Leather Case with MagSafe

    The last think that perspective buys will want to know is that the bottom edge of the iPhone 12-style leather cases are boxed in. That is to say, that there is a single continuous edge around the entire iPhone 12. The first-party cases for the iPhone X/ XS / 11 Pro all featured an open bottom edge. Some people like an open edge with the speaker and Lightening port completely unobstructed. For iPhone 12, the bottom edge should offer more protection for iPhones that are knocked off tables or otherwise dropped. However, if you use an accessory that has a thick cable connector, like the Lightning to 30-pin connector that is in the 10-year-old car that my kids drive, well, maybe the Apple leather case isn't for you.

    Wby can't Apple's product pages show the slides and bottom edge of the case?

    A personal gripe that I have with Apple is the product photography that has been used for the leather case. Would it really be a problem to show the case from all sides? As a perspective customer about to spend $59 on a case, I don't want to be left wondering what the button covers and bottom edge look like. I found it completely aggravating that I couldn't see those angles on the product page.

    Conclusion

    If you want the premium fit and finish of an Apple product, you will probably want an Apple Leather Case with MagSafe. You will enjoy using it. Depending on the other iPhone accessories you may have in your life, or if you don't feel like dropping another $59 or more for accessories on top of the expense of the iPhone itself, you may want to look at the similarly featured less expensive offerings from third-party case makers.


  • case,  iphone,  review

    West Marine Dry Paks Review

    Summer is finally here and with that, thoughts have turned to keeping my iPhone safe from water, sand, and other beach related dangers.  I started looking around for water proof cases and I settled on the West Marine Dry Pak for Small Cell Phone.

    At first I was a bit skeptical about the Dry Pak.  West Marine, if you don't know, is a water sportsmen's (or woman's) paradise. They have lots of interesting stuff...that I'll probably never need, seeing as how I'm a computer geek.  That said, don't let the product name and the lack of "iPhone" scare you off.
    Fortunately for me, there is a West Marine in a strip mall not too far from my house and I decided to stop in rather than order online so I could take a look at the Dry Pak in person.  I'm glad I did.
    West Marine sells two Dry Paks.  A "small" and "large" cell phone pack.  If you have an iPhone 4S or earlier or iPod touch 4th generation or earlier, the small cell phone kit is for you.  If you have an iPhone 5, iPod touch 5th generation, or any one of the ridiculously gigantic Android "phones" then you'll want the larger pak.  (Most handheld GPS units will also fit in one or the other Dry Paks if you plan on going out on a boat.)
    Included in the kit is the waterproof Dry Pak, a rope lanyard, and a small careabeaner that connects the lanyard to the pak.  The small pak measures 4" x 6" and is model number 7699754.
    Impressions
    The Dry Pak is pretty sturdily made.  I have no reservations at taking my iPhone or iPod touch to the beach, out on a boat, or around the pool when properly sealed inside the bag.  Like many other waterproof packs, the West Marine Dry Pak will float if it happens to get dropped into water.  This bag is waterproof and will protect your iFruit device.  If your pak does fall into water, you will want to fish it out as soon as you can as water could get in after prolonged contact with water.
    The clips on the pak firmly lock into place and I'm not worried out them popping open while I'm out with my iPhone.  Another cool feature of the Dry Pak is that you can use the touch screen and use the phone feature while it is in the bag!  Pretty handy in my opinion.
    In addition to your iPhone or other similarly sized gadget, you can also put small items inside like a driver's license or ATM card, but if you are going to do that, I'd strongly suggest keeping the Dry Pak with you at all times unless it is secured inside a locker of some kind.  (Sticking the Pak with your phone, driver's license, and an ATM card into your shoe on the beach is *not* secure.  Just sayin'.)
    Pricing
    The West Marine Dry Pak for Small Cell Phone is competitively priced at $14.99.  If you order it online, factor in a few dollars extra for shipping.  Even with local sales tax, my Dry Pak was less than $16.00 which is much lower than the $29.99 or more that I saw online for similarly styled products that included "iPhone" in the product name.
    You can order the Dry Pak that meets your needs from the West Marine online store.
    Closing Comments
    If you are looking for an inexpensive solution for keeping your iPhone, iPod, or other handheld gadget safe from water, sand, sharks*, and other summer time hazards, you'll want to put the West Marine Dry Pak for Small Cell Phone on your short list.  
    *Ok, the Dry Pak probably won't save your iPhone from a real shark attack, it will hold it's own against an inflatable pool shark.
  • case,  cygnett,  galaxy s4,  samsung

    Check Out Cygnett’s New WorkMake Evolution and Galaxy S4 Drop Test

    Cygnett makes some amazing cases and the new WorkMate Evolution tri-materail protective case for the Samsung Galaxy S4 is no exception.

    But don't take my word for it.  Check out Cygnett's torture test video.

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4PrO6mn-N4]

    (No Samsung phones were hurt during the filming of this video.)

    I think the WorkMate Evolution Bright Blue case is my favorite.  I really like that color.

    The WorkMake Evolution cases are on sale now for a very affordable $29.99.  To see the full line of WorkMate Evolution cases, check out the Cygnett website for more details.

  • apple,  case,  ipad

    KHOMO Waterproof Cover for Apple iPad, iPad2

    I still have a few weeks to go before I get to take my summer vacation, during which time, I will be forced to sit on a beach in direct sunlight.

    While looking for accessories to protect my gear, I came across the KHOMO Waterproof Case Cover for iPad 2.  As far as I can tell, this kit is compatible with the original iPad also.  The kit comes with what looks like a giant zip bag with a velcro secured flap.  The bag also features a plastic loop that connects to a carry strap.  The bundle I found over on Amazon also includes a 6-foot black sync cable and sells for $12.99 plus tax and shipping.

    There are other waterproof options available, all of which cost more than this bundle.  If your iPad spend a lot of time near water, you might want to spring for a more expensive solution. Since I only go to the beach, if I'm lucky, twice a year, I might consider other options.  Since I'm most worried about keeping sand and drink spills away from my iPad while I"m traveling, this looks like the perfect balance between protection and cost.