REVIEW – Some items are very much personal choices: phone cases, shoulder bags, etc. The fit/feel/function just has to line up on all counts for something to fit one’s routine.
I have family members who are hard on their phones, and opt for thickness, cushion, and protection in their phone case selection. Other colleagues roll completely without cases and/or screen protectors. For my own process, I like a modest amount of protection and a few specific tactile qualities:
- Protect the sides and back of the phone, primarily for longevity and eventual resale.
- Allow normal access and feel to power/volume buttons and charging port.
- Not too smooth and slippery – I prefer it when the phone doesn’t slide off of surfaces.
- Not too grippy – the phone should not collect hair or snag when transitioning in and out of the pocket.
What is it?
Evutec has provided me with two of their phone cases from their Aer series: one in the Burmese Rosewood finish and the other in the Karbon. I’m fitting them to an iPhone 8 plus, and used both of them over a couple of months.
What’s in the box?
Each phone case comes with:
- The case
- Magnetic mount pad & car vent grippers
Some magnetic car vent mounts will include a metal disc that lives between the case and the phone. These Evutec cases have the metal inserts built imperceptibly into the phone case.
Material: EVUSOF+, Microfiber interior, Responsibly sourced rosewood
Dimensions: 162mm x 82mm x 10mm
Material: Advanced Composite Material (ACM), Aramid fibers,
Dimensions: 162mm x 82mm x 10mm
Design and features:
The Karbon and Rosewood are both full-perimeter cases, wrapping around the iPhone with elasticity and stretch. The perimeter material feels slightly softer, thicker, and more flexible than the backing. The perimeter material is also ridged for texture and grip.
Power and volume buttons are accessed with bumpers that have a good external feel, and pass through a nice tactile response to button pressing. The ports at the bottom edge expose the speakers nicely. (I conducted many speaker-phone calls with no issues.) And the case is compatible with the iPhone range of 6 Plus through 8 Plus, which means that the lower left speaker port also has room for accessing the headphone jack.
Depending on the headphone plug, the fit into the case might be poor. A headphone plug with low diameter or with some standoff would be optimal for these cases. All of the lightning cables that I have fit the charging port with no problem.
Installation and setup
My phone installed easily into both cases. My normal case is an OEM leather model, which leaves the lower edge and the charging port/speaker side exposed. The Evutec cases have full coverage on all sides, with clearance for the speakers, charging port, and mute switch. My iPhone squeezed into the Evutec cases and had a good, tight fit. I appreciated the outer edge/rim of the case – it exposed a maximum amount of my phone’s screen, left room for the installation of a screen protector, and also had a raised profile to protect the phone when placed face-down.
She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed also had a chance to use these cases, and appreciated the slim fit and the raised edge profile that protected the screen.
I made the point to compare this with my previous OEM case – I found the tactile textures to be very comparable. Enough grip to feel secure in the hand, and smooth when transitioning into the pocket without picking up lint, dust, or fingerprints. The access to the mute switch is through a deeper hole, and depending on when I’ve trimmed my fingernails it is usually easy to flip the switch, but sometimes requires more focus or switching fingers.
I had noticed that my OEM leather case can get damp and sticky when it sits in the pocket doing yard/sprinkler/strenuous work. Both Evutec cases went through several sessions of hard labor without absorbing moisture or changing state at all.
Phone cases in the past that I’ve used were sometimes made with specialty materials like carbon fiber or wood laminate. The back of the phone looks attractive with a woven or wood-grain look and texture, but at the connection to the edge and perimeter material can be problematic. Wear and separation have occurred over time. Not so with the Evutec Karbon and Rosewood cases. There is a smooth and seamless transition from the aramid weave or the rosewood to the edge, which has shown no signs of wear. The materials and the transitions are very thin, which keeps extra bulk from being added to the phone. Doing this with a material that isn’t the generic TPU feels like a quality piece of work.
Using the phone in the car was a pleasant experience. My usual routine is to toss the phone into a cup holder. The magnetic AFIX+ vent mount was easy to mount, and it holds the phone well. I did not take the car down the Blaine Staircase, but I anticipate that it will hold securely in all normal driving conditions. The mount is large/wide enough to obscure most of a normal-sized vent, and so it will probably live in the glove box for deployment in times of navigation, but won’t be a permanent fixture.
I used the Karbon case for a few weeks and then switched to the Rosewood case. At the transition I noticed that the lower edge material (which has the cutouts for speakers and charging port) had become slightly softer from usage and wear. It’s not an issue at this time, but might become noticeable as a point of looseness or possible snagging later on. (The OEM leather case simply eschews the lower edge.)
What I like
Both cases were easy to rotate into the phone routine. Similar size, weight, and tactile texture as my previous setup.
I could utilize a magnetic mount in the car without fussing with a metal plate or being unable to wirelessly charge.
What I’d change
Increase the bevel/chamfer of the hole accessing the mute switch.
The thin material around the speaker/charging port will be quickest to soften and show wear.
When comparing alternatives for these items that we carry every day, it often comes down to the question: “does this work as good as <my usual thing>?” The Evutec cases are strong competitors to the phone cases I typically use, and are rugged enough to be a preferred choice for the conditions (exercise, outdoor work) that would degrade other materials. Plus they have a well-designed magnetic mount functionality built-in. Definitely a quality product.
Where to buy: Target also Evutec: Aramid Fiber Protective Phone Case, AER Series iPhone Plus Wood Burmese Rosewood (AFIX+ Magnetic Mount Included)
Discount: 15% OFF to the entire order with coupon code: gadgeteer1
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Evutec.