This iPhone 8 case has one of the coolest features I’ve ever seen

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  • X-Doria’s Defense Gear case tries to walk the line between protection and added bulk and ultimately succeeds. The case fits the iPhone 7 and 8 and 7 Plus and 8 Plus.
  • Made out of Dropshield, polycarbonate, and TPU, the case is meant to prevent damage from falls from a height of up to 6.5 feet.
  • Its best feature is that sound from the bottom speaker is angled back toward you, creating balanced audio that’s perfect for music listening and video watching.

Most of the time, when you pick a phone case, you have to pick between style, size, and safety. Because I have a bigger phone, I end up going for a slim case, leaving my phone vulnerable. X-Doria’s Defense case wants to walk the line between form and function, which it does successfully.

One of my favorite things about this case is actually how it looks. Instead of going for a uniform color, or printed design, X-Doria took a different approach.

There are three parts to the case’s design: its edges, top, and bottom are made out of Dropshield. It’s a material meant to help your phone survive drops from up to six and a half feet. The rest of the case is made out of a slick polycarbonate material and TPU. 

The Dropshield layer is textured and grippy enough that you won’t have to be scared about the iPhone’s slipperiness. It’s not as grippy as another case I tried, but it’s better in this regard than a lot of other cases. 

What sets this case apart aesthetically is that it has these two colored lines (red in the photo above) toward the sides of the case. It makes the case look a little like a Transformer, and that was really cool to me. 

Two features that help this case stand out to me, beyond the cool aesthetics, have to do with how the case was designed. The first is that the corners of the case protrude ever so slightly. Because you don’t hold your phone by the corner, you won’t notice the extra bulk, but extra reinforcement will come in handy if you accidentally drop it. The case also comes up a little bit over your phone’s screen, protecting it from shattering if it falls on a flat surface.

The second is a design choice I haven’t seen in any other case, but should be in all of them. It has to do with the enhancing the iPhone’s audio, of all things. 

The iPhone 7 Plus has stereo speakers. One is located on the bottom of the phone; the second is its earpiece, the place where you rest your ear when taking phone calls. You can see the problem there: one speaker is facing out, while the other is facing toward you.

To fix this, X-Doria didn’t leave a speaker cutout at the bottom of the case. Instead they left a little gap there, and cut holes in the front of the case, facing toward you. The idea is that audio will bounce off the bottom of the case, through the holes, and toward you — potentially picking up some amplification on the way. This is one of the smartest phone case design choices I’ve ever seen.

A cool-looking design, solid protection without adding a lot of bulk, and good design decisions make this one of the best phone cases I’ve tested. It still makes my one-handed style of using the Plus-sized iPhone more difficult, but the trade-offs are worth it.  

X-Doria Defense Gear for iPhone 7/8, $27.95, available at Amazon
X-Doria Defense Gear for iPhone 7/8 Plus, $12.95, available at Amazon

This article was originally published on 10/13/16.


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