The moshi altra case adds a touch of elegance to a practical protective shell.

I suspect that few would contest that our world drastically changed alongside the tech inside of our smartphones.  New devices are released regularly, sometimes with major changes and others with less obvious enhancements.  Interestingly, two subsets of the smartphone have evolved in a parallel manner, akin to many similarities within the marsupial and placental mammals.  Some of the tech has experienced convergence as well, similar to the wings of flying mammals, birds and insects.  Thus, we have two different operating systems that provide similar appearance, function, features, and apps.  Despite some minor differences in appearance, you can do just about everything you need to do with an Android-based phone or iPhone.  With similar shape, color, and tactile feel, we look to our accessories to provide a touch of personality and flare.   Here is where one can express their inner artist, experience a touch of nostalgia, or coat their phone with a suit of armor.  You get to choose the appearance of your device and companies like Moshi help make that choice easier. 

moshi altra XS Max case
The Moshi altra slim hard shell case arrived in a 4 1/4 inches wide by 7 1/4 inches wide by 3/4 inches wide retail case.  Attractively displayed across the cover, you will find a 1 3/4 inches wide by 4 3/4 inches tall photographic quality image of the phone case.  Vibrant, colorful and visually appealing, the black textured case invoked the Zelda spirit with a Tri-force pattern.  Toward the bottom right of the case, I was able to directly view the detachable wrist strap.  In addition to the quality image, moshi provided three icons detailing the “Military drop protection,” “Detachable wrist strap,” and that the case was “Textured for better grip.”  Beyond the image and icons, the use of a two-toned color palette added a classy feel to the cover.  The upper six-inch cream-colored section and the lower 1 1/4 inches tall flat white colored section, provided enough contrast to stand apart. Additionally, the use of the lower white section allowed the cream-colored 15/16 inches square “moshi” icon to shine. I do not know the reason that many companies add something to every inch of packaging real estate.  This may include a logo, a title, product name, images or text.  I was pleased that moshi chose to leave the top, bottom and side panels unadorned.  The experience was not pressed and did not feel like they were trying too hard.  Flipping the packaging onto the cover, the reverse panel provided a trilingual description of the altra features.  The bumper style case provides military-grade (MIL-STD 810G) protection, is compatible with moshi’s SnapTo Mounting System, has a detachable wrist strap and can be used with wireless chargers.  Accessing the product could not have been easier.  To remove the case, simply slide the lower panel out like a drawer and remove the altra case from the white plastic pedestal.

The back of the moshi altra case, as mentioned above, was covered with rubberized stacked triangles.  The case provided a tactile and visual appeal, that was quite difficult to describe.  With solid triangles, horizontal-dashed triangles, obliquely-dashed triangles, and negative space triangles, the textured case almost seemed to move.  Running your fingers over the case, the negative-space-triangles, adjacent to the raised ones, drastically increased the gripping power of the case.  I could easily rest the phone upon digits 2-5 and rotate my hand slightly past 45 degrees before the phone started to slip.  Adding a small amount of pressure with my thumb and fingertips, this case might have the best grip that I have tested thus far.  Measuring at 3 1/4 inches wide by 6 3/8 inches tall by 7/16 inches thick, the 2.05 oz (60g) case fit the iPhone XS Max like a glove.  The case had cutouts for the volume toggle, vertical camera, speakers and lightning port and had soft silicone buttons for the volume up, volume down and power button.  Conveniently, the case provided a degree of screen protection by extending above the surface of the iPhone.  

Along the inside of the case, you will find a mostly dark grey rubberized texture.  However, if you look closely, you will see two semi-circular, removable, “Snapto” spacers.  If you navigate to the Moshi website, you can see a description of this kit.  Essentially, the rubberized spacers can be removed to add metallic ones, and this allows you to affix the case to a mountable magnet.  The website stated that I could still charge the phone wirelessly, but I did not have the SnapTo system to test.  Lastly, if you place the phone face down, you will see the key ring/wrist strap port toward your bottom right.  The detachable wrist strap could be added to the brown strap hook, by using the included spring-loaded circular hook.  The strap measured 6 inches long, with a 7/8 inches long ring attachment section, and 3/4 inches wide junction point.  Similar to the texture on the back of the altra case, the strap provided an interesting tactile feel.  

I enjoyed the case and felt that it was protective, well made, provided a great gripping surface and was visually appealing.  The color scheme was well designed and would likely work well for most of our needs.  I loved the carry handle and the increased safety that the add-on feature provided.  I liked that the ring was removable and that the brown loop was a different color than the backing of the case.  However, I found two issues with the case that slightly detracted from a perfect score.  Even though the case was compatible with wireless charging, the location of the ring prevented me from resting my phone upright upon a flat surface.  Luckily, the case passed Mil-STD 810 rating because my phone fell 2.5 feet from my nightstand, hitting the nightstand and tumbling onto my carpet.  Even with the ring folded forward or backward, the phone sat at an oblique angle and did not sit securely upon my charger.  I had no issues resting/charging my phone in landscape mode, as the ring did not interfere with the surface in that orientation.  I cannot imagine a better location for the hook/ring/wrist strap.  Nor would I like to see the device removed from the case, as the benefit is greater than the single negative finding.  

Moshi alta XS Max SnapTo
The last issue that I found was another personal preference issue more than a true negative for the case.  I usually carry my iPhone inside of a Nite-Ize Horizontal Clip Case XL Pouch attached overlying my appendix.  The Nite-Ize phone case is rather bulky and will easily accommodate devices up to the size of iPhone XS Max, within a case.  The wrist strap ring extended beyond the edge of the case and increased the difficulty to insert/withdraw my iPhone XS Max.  The phone/case did fit inside of the caddy, but I had to make sure that the ring was folded towards the back of the case.  Since the edges of the Nite-Ize holster were elastic, I was able to repeatedly wedge the phone/case into the holster.  Again, I am aware that this issue will not be a universal problem, but I wanted to relate an issue that I found with the case that may provide some benefit.  

I recently visited Gulf Shores, ahead of hurricane Michael and tested the case over my Fall Break.  I enjoyed some much needed R&R and time with my children/family.  I used the strap while lounging near the water and when a just-in-case strap was needed. Moshi truly makes great products, and this case was no exception. I tried to find flaws/negatives and only found some minor preference related concerns.  If you are on the fence about where to look for an artistic yet protective and highly functional case look no further than Moshi. 

Learn more about the moshi altra iPhone XS Max case.
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