I recently switched to an iPhone 7 Plus which means I’ve been on the hunt for cases that will protect my expensive phone from scratches and falls, but aren’t overly bulky. I asked the folks at RhinoShield if they could send me one of their Crashguard Bumper cases because I am a minimal kinda girl. They sent the Crashguard along with the PlayProof and SolidSuit iPhone cases, so let’s take a look.
RhinoShield SolidSuit Brushed Steel Finish Case for iPhone 7 Plus
This case comes in white or black. I was sent the black version of this polymer blend case. The back of the case has a modern geometric design with two panels that look like brushed steel, but the panels are not real steel because that would play havoc with the iPhone’s antenna/signal. From what I can tell they are plastic.
The interior of the case has a layer of soft suede to protect the back of the iPhone.
The sides of the case have a honeycomb pattern that is designed to add impact absorbing properties to the case which can protect the iPhone from up to an 11ft drop.
The SolidSuit case has an oval cutout on the back of the case for the iPhone’s dual camera and flash.
On the right side is a built-in button over the iPhone’s power button.
And on the opposite side, you’ll find buttons over the phone’s volume buttons and a cutout for the mute switch. The buttons all work fine, but it is a little hard to flip the mute switch because it’s recessed due to the sides of the case.
On the bottom of the SolidSuit case, there are holes for the speakers and a cutout for the lightning connector.
You’ll also notice from the picture above that the sides of the case are raised higher than the display, which helps protect the display from scratches when it is face down.
I have no doubt that my iPhone 7 Plus is well protected in the SolidSuit. The case feels substantial and does add some extra bulk, but not too much.
I like that the case feels sturdy and that I know my phone is protected, but the biggest problem that I have with the SolidSuit is that it’s really hard to remove your phone from the case once it’s snapped in place. I got a little panicked when I tried to extract my iPhone because it felt like I was going to break the phone or my thumbs trying to remove it. After a lot of swearing and some perspiration, I was finally successful, but it made me reconsider of putting my phone back in the case.
Pros: Rugged, 11ft drop protection
Cons: Tough to remove phone from the case
Clear PlayProof iPhone 7 Plus case
This case is similar to the SolidSuit except that the back of the case is see through so everyone can still see the Apple logo.
The back of the case has a matte finish that gives it a nice grip.
The PlayProof case is available with a black, clear, or pink bumper. As you can see, I was sent the black version.
The case has a cutout for the dual camera, mute switch, speaker grills, and lightning connector. It has covered buttons for power and volume.
The PlayProof case has the same honeycomb pattern design inside the bumpers to absorb impact and like the SolidSuit, your iPhone will be protected from falls up to 11ft. and the lip around the screen protects the display too.
I liked this case best of the three cases that RhinoShield sent me to review mainly because it wasn’t nearly as hard to remove my phone. Don’t get me wrong, it still takes some effort to remove the iPhone from the PlayProof case, but it won’t make you sweat and fearful that you’re going to snap the phone in half.
Pros: Rugged, 11ft drop protection
CrashGuard Bumper Case for the iPhone 7 Plus
As I mentioned in the first paragraph of this review, the CrashGuard Bumper case was the RhinoShield case that I really wanted to try.
The “case” is available in a large selection of colors, but I chose the red one because I thought it would look pretty cool with my black iPhone.
The bumper case has a large cutout for the mute switch and covered power and volume buttons.
The case is basically an open frame that only covers the iPhone’s edges. But like the other RhinoShield cases that I’ve talked about in this review, the CrashGuard Bumper case also has reinforced corners and a special shock absorbing honeycomb structure that will protect your phone from up to an 11ft drop.
There are also large openings for the speakers and lightning connector.
Installing the iPhone 7 Plus in the CrashGuard Bumper case takes some thumb strength to snap it in place, but once it’s seated, it looks really nice.
The sides of the bumper wrap around the iPhone’s edges to protect the top and bottom surfaces.
I was really happy with this case until I needed to remove my iPhone to test one of the other RhinoShield cases. At that point, I was even more panicked than when I tried to remove the Solidsuit case because the CrashGuard Bumper didn’t want to budge at all.
I tried and tried so many times that I thought my thumbs were bruised. I had Jeanne try it too and she didn’t have any luck either.
I finally gave up and took drastic measures to remove the bumper case by cutting it off with some snips. Luckily the area around the mute switch opening was perfect for this task and one tiny snip was all that was needed for the bumper to spring open.
Afterwards, I wondered if I was the only one with this problem, so I checked some reviews on Amazon for the CrashGuard Bumper case and found that others had resorted to the same solution that I had.
RhinoShield does have a video tutorial for removing the CrashGuard bumper case:
I don’t remember if I tried this method or not. They claim it’s really easy to remove if you follow the directions. I’m asking if they want to send another one so I can try it and update the review so stay tuned.
I received another bumper case to see if it would be easier to remove that the first one they sent me. I made sure to watch the removal tutorial video (link above) before trying to remove my iPhone. And…. the experience was no different. This bumper case is too hard to remove. I relayed that info to Rhinoshield and they replied with:
We are actually changing the material we use for newer devices (S8, Note 8, iPhone X) making it easier to install and remove, as the material is thinner. However it will not be available for iPhone 8 nor 8 Plus, except if you go for the Mod case (you can see more about our new modular case here).
My phone is still being held captive in the case until I get home today when I’ll have to cut it off – again.
Pros: Rugged, 11ft drop protection
Cons: Almost impossible to remove the iPhone from the case
RhinoShield makes some nice looking cases for the iPhone that provide above a military level grade of drop protection while not adding tons of bulk. The only problem is that some of their cases (Solidsuit and CrashGuard) are really tough to remove once the phone is in the case. I guess this isn’t a problem if you never need to remove your phone. But for someone like me who enjoys testing new cases, the non-ability to easily switch cases make the Solidsuit and the CrashGuard Bumper cases a bad choice for me. The PlayProof case, on the other hand, worked out fine and I’m happy to recommend that one.
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Rhinoshield. Please visit their site for more info and Amazon to order.