Finding the right drop-proof, waterproof case for your device can mean everything.
For so many of us, packing some technology when heading out is just par for the course. Mobile phones, tablets, cameras – these are more than just gadgets, they are tools to both connect with others and also capture the big and small moments of daily life. So its pretty important to keep devices going, rather than being a deadweight in your bag. Protective cases can keep your device going even after a bump, drop, splash or crash. There are so many choices in tough gear, how do you choose the right tough case for your device?
- It starts off with the device. While we all like to be individual, the fact is that the more popular a device, the better choice you will have in protective and mounting equipment for it. iPhone and Samsung devices, for example, have a significantly longer list of options when it comes to drop-proof and waterproof cases, than say a Lumia phone. So when you are renewing your device, consider if you want to have more choices in accessories.
- Next is the case brand. No one likes to be a slave to brands for the sake of it, however, in terms of protective equipment, the best, most reliable protection will come from a brand with experience and a deep commitment to protection. The key differences between quality brands such and the flimsy silicone bandaids offered at the local supermarket are clear once you look closely.
- Materials matter. When your phone or tablet is at risk, you want it wrapped in tough material. Quality tough cases use highly protective materials such as ABS toughened plastic and dense silicone to give mountain-climbing-degree protection. Think of it as a helmet for your portable brain, and then you see why the materials matter.
- Engineered protection. Not only are the materials specially chosen, but they are designed to withstand the kind of pain that a fall from a high place will give. They often use layers, using a multiplying effect of protection. For example, a rugged skeleton of ABS with the shock absorption of rubber or silicone outer layers. Some brands build in specific features such as corner protection through inbuilt air chambers strengthened by internal bracing. There are independent ratings for protection against drops and environmental factors, including those used by US Military Standards, and only the best cases can pass these tests.
- Port covers. Keeping the muck out of your ports is crucial. The toughest case in the world won’t help if you get sand, water or mashed banana gets into your power port. Secure port covers are important.
- Guard your screen. Grit scraped across your device glass can scratch your viewing surface so protecting it with a screen guard helps keep your view clear today and into the future. Many cases have inbuilt screen protection and for those that don’t, there are toughened glass or adhesive film screen guards that can be added to your device.
- Waterproof cases. Several brands offer waterproof protection, so choosing a product that you can trust to do its job before your phone falls into the drink is imperative. Water can sneak into any gap, so a quality brand for waterproof equipment will have engineered a reliable solution. For example, some brands use an O-rings within the case design to guard against water ingress. The IP certifications help you understand the level of protection you can expect from the case.
- Case with a battery built in. Recharge anywhere with the flick of a switch with a case with an extended rechargeable battery built in. This is a very convenient way to protect your phone plus recharge anywhere, which is invaluable when your phone is at the centre of your busy workday.
- Right case for the job at hand. From mobile white colour workers to healthcare service providers to high school students, people everywhere are using iPads as their primary content capturing device. Try it for a day and you will soon see that typing onto the screen is not really an option for long tracts of text. Think of wrist position as well as the reduced screen size once the keyboard is on display. Think of the awkward posture. The addition of a Bluetooth keyboard that easily integrates with iPad or tablet means they can type comfortably and get full use of the device for the long school day. This can be either as a separate keyboard or part of a keyboard case or folio for your iPad or tablet. The keyboard case is also a sturdy protective case as well so two jobs are done in one.
Certifications can help you decide
When you have high-protection needs, referring to international codes for protection can help ensure your device gets the protection it needs for the job at hand. The key qualifiers of tough are US Military Standards and IP68.
- MIL-STD-810G: Military Standard 810G is a United States Military rating that establishes testing methods replicating environmental effects to determine resistance to environmental stress sequences and the life cycle of the equipment. This certification requires that your case can physically withstand the drops, fumbles, vibrations and bumps you encounter day to day, and more often when you are outdoors doing fun stuff.
- Ingress Protection (IP) Ratings are published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). These ratings us the letters IP then 2 digits to categorise the degree of environmental protection a case provides against the invasion of solid foreign objects (first digit) and water (second digit). 6 and 9 are the highest ratings for solids and liquids, so a protective case with an IP68 rating can withstand circulating talc for 8 hours and water immersion to 6.6 feet or 2 metres for 1 hour.