Elegant clear TPU case provides grippy surface but suffers from lackluster, mushy-buttons.

When we purchase a new iPhone, many of us quickly search for a suitable case. Some want aesthetics, some want protection, and some want a full suit of armor.  With the latest devices’ prices greater than $1000 dollars, I want to know that my phone will survive the modest-risk-life I live.  I still have friends who use their phones unadorned, slide them into their pockets, and apparently live a care-free life.  My internal angst will not allow me to carry an au naturel phone, even with Apple Care+.  In fact, I typically have a case ready at the Verizon store or Apple store before leaving the facility.  As I find new cases, I shed the old ones like snakeskin and enjoy the newer shell features.  With features like wireless charging, forward-facing speaker cutouts, included grips, wallets, etc., you may find some neat features that enhance certain circumstances.  It seems that with each iteration of the phone, I amass a Hall of Armor that would make Tony Stark smile.  

The Grip2ü iPhone 12 Pro Max Slim case arrived in a 7 3/8 inches tall by 4 1/2 inches wide by 3/4 inches thick hanging case.  The emergency-cone-orange side and top panels well accented the white-colored front/back panels.  The top panel contained a plastic white hanging tab, while the right/left panels displayed the Grip2ü Logo and #PreventTheDrop.  The pristine-white main panel provided the company name along the top, the “SLIM” name along the right edge, and four icons were listed along the left edge: 1. Grip Design, 2. Slim Design, 3. Precision Cutouts, 4. Changeable Bands.  Along the lower right edge, you will find a white/orange shield denoting “Clean Action Technology.”  You will find a wrap-around sticker that detailed the iPhone 12 ProMax Slim Case and a QR code along the panel’s lower-left edge.  I loved the orange cover accents and the orange side panels.  I felt that these features added a much-needed splash of color to an otherwise black on white design.  The main showcase had to be the centralized plastic window and small round cutout.  Far superior to a simple, flat-image, I truly appreciated the ability to touch and visualize the clear plastic case directly.  The rear white panel provided the company name/logo along the top, five orange-colored icons along the middle (Grip Design, Slim Design, Precision Cutouts, Wireless Charging, Changeable Bands), and provided the information in eight other languages.  For added information, you can navigate to www.PreventTheDrop.com. Lastly, you can peruse the bottom panel for warranty information, trademark information, and warnings about the case’s chemical composition. 

I gripped the internal cardboard, slid the case downward, and removed the 1.34-ounce case from the internal clear plastic tray.  The 6 1/2 inches tall by 3 1/4 inches wide by 3/8 inches clear case had a rear 1 5/16 inches tall by 1 1/4 inches wide camera cutout.  The cutout had a slightly raised 1/8 inches wide bezel that recessed the camera.  Alone, the cutout would have led to a lopsided back surface.  However, along the bottom of the rear panel, you will find a slightly recessed 2 1/4 inches wide by 3 inches tall cutout, with a rubberized-plastic grip. ( 1 3/8 inches wide by 3 1/2 inches tall).  Along each of the four corners of the rubberized grip, you will find slightly raised attachment points. Coupled with the camera cutout, the case was able to lay flat on its back.  I inserted my blue-colored iPhone 12 Pro Max into the case by sliding the volume toggle edge into the case and then pressing my thumbs along the top panel and then along the power side.  The phone slid into the case with minimal sound and the duo weighed 9.41-ounces.  Along the volume toggle side of the case, you will find an off-centered 11/32 inches long by 5/32 inches volume toggle cutout.  Without fingernails, accessing the volume toggle was a bit of a challenge.  Offset, there was more case beneath the toggle than above and it was smaller than the tip of my finger.  

Just beneath the toggle cutout, you will find two highly mushy 7/16 inches wide by 1/8 inches tall volume buttons.  The same mushy button technology could be found in the 3/4 inches long power button on the other side of the case.  I was very displeased with the buttons’ construction and found that I had to squeeze harder than normal to power off my phone, turn the volume up/down, and capture screenshots (power button and volume up simultaneously).  Luckily, I have set up my phone to capture photos when the back surface is tapped three times (Settings-Accessibility-Touch-Back Tap-Add desired actions for double and triple tap).  I struggled with this feature while listening to audible books on my drive to and from work.  Additionally, I have struggled with adjusting the volume for phone calls, music, and movies.  Without using the back tap feature or the screen controls for volume, I found the buttons nearly unusable and tainted the entire experience. I did like the grippy sides/back and would have loved a separate cutout with plastic buttons for the volume/power. With fixed buttons, the case would be closer to a 9/10.

The lightweight case surrounded only three of the four surfaces.  The lower edge had a trapezoidal cutout measured 2 3/8 inches wide at the base, 2 9/16 inches wide at the screen edge, and measured 1/4 inches tall.  The cutout did not protect the bottom of the screen but did leave the lightning port and speakers completely unobstructed.  The bezels extended roughly 1/16th of an inch above the screen’s surface and provided a small amount of protection.  The thin case did allow for wireless charging and full access to all types of lightning chargers.  I have carried the case for the last 1.5 weeks and found debris under the back surface of my case, and have grown concerned with the case’s ability to protect my phone.  I have removed it and reinserted it to ensure that the button issue was not due to user error. Alas, the mushy buttons persisted. 

I like to keep my technology in crisp, pristine, mint condition.  I have tested other Grip2ü cases and did not come away with the same negative feelings as those for their SLIM case.  The buttons make this case unusable, despite any other positives.  During the testing process, I ensured that I did not drop my phone due to my concern with the open bottom and the perceived inability to protect my phone. The sides/back will provide some bump protection and the screen bezel will provide some glancing screen protection but I would not rely on this to prevent an Apple Care+ claim.  The camera recess and the screen recess were not tall enough to protect that much.  Even a small crumb on the table could scratch/soil the surfaces as they are not recessed that far.  I loved the ability to charge my phone inside of the case wirelessly but disliked the lack of protection to my phone’s bottom edge.  Overall I would rate the packaging at a 9.5-10/10. I would rate the case at a 7/10 due to the mushy buttons and open bottom design. If they were going to design a version 2.0, I would request an upgrade to the side buttons and a rim along the bottom of the phone.

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