Add a Beast Grip Knife handle feel to your iPhone

Even though we are told to avoid judging books by their covers, it is nearly universally done.  I find it quite interesting that this cliché applies to just about everything, including phone cases.  I have seen some attractive cases that provide little protection, and I have seen some visually unappealing cases that could win an egg drop challenge.  With the price of a modern phone breaking the $1000 mark, I want a visually appealing case that also protects. 

The smartish GRIPZILLA 2020 iPhone 6.7” Case (12 Pro Max) arrived in a 3 1/2 inches wide by 6 3/4 inches tall by 11/16 inches wide.  The white cardboard background, although clean/sterile appearing, was a smart choice for the packaging. Both side panels sported the “smartish” company name, as did the top panel.  The cover panel provided a larger name with action markings. These reminded me of the “Bam,” or “POW” signs in the old Batman television program.  I liked the playful banter and the relaxed presentation.  The GRIPZILLA title was my favorite part of the packaging.  The phrasing reminded me a bit of old B Monster movie nostalgia.  The image of the grey/white obliquely angled phone case proved to be a bit subdued on the off white sticker.  Interestingly, they put an off-white sticker with a grey image upon the clean white background.  Other than the mint green smartish name, the dark blue GRIPZILLA name, and the three feature-descriptions (Mighty Protective, Grooved Sides, Beastly Grip), the panel was on the boring side.  There were a few other splashes of color, but they did not really add to the experience (wine glasses, and an angled phone image on the bottom). 

The back panel was identical to the review of the smartish “WALLET SLAYER” that I recently completed.  The top half of the panel was dedicated to a naughty phone case, with a saddened/pouty face, in the middle of writing “I will not expose my phone during YouTube videos” upon a chalkboard. There was a link to a YouTube channel directly below the image (smartish.com/YouTube) linked to phone cases acting poorly.  For a chuckle, check out Mall Santa 2020, the Protexitall video, and the JackCase parody.  Returning to the packaging, you will again find the smartish name along the bottom of the panel and then a brief self-descriptive paragraph.  The cover sticker wrapped around to the bottom and the back panel and had an SKU barcode plus the TZ20P-Gray model number.  The bottom panel provided many of the manufacturing labels and some of the legal copyright information. I lifted the “OPEN SESAME” tab, visible at the top of the back panel, and removed the inner cardboard, a small circular smartish sticker, plus the 1.86-ounce smartish case. In addition to the shield/kit, phone, and dinosaur cartoons, the internal cardboard panel had an attached cellphone sizing chart: 5.4” Tall, 6.1” Grande, and 6.7” Venti.  The inner surface provided a smartish.com/protection link for a free screen protector, mentioned the lifetime warranty, and then listed a cartoony thought-bubble algorithm chart that led to the Instagram (@StaySmartish) and YouTube/Smartish links.  

The case measured 3 1/2 inches wide by 6 1/2 inches tall by 1/2 inches thick.  The phone’s edges and the rim of the 1 1/2 inches wide by 1 9/16 inches tall camera cutout were lined with an attractive, grey-rubberized material.  The side/top panels’ outer rim added a gritty/grippy texture, which drastically enhanced the grip-feel of the case.  I found it difficult to decide which feature I liked more, the grippy texture or the included finger-grooves along the side.  The added grooves reminded me of those on my fixed blade knife and how much a comfortable grip enhances the overall experience. The lower rim had a generous 9/16 inches wide by 5/16 inches tall lightning port cutout and surrounding 3/8 inches wide by 3/16 inches tall and 9/16 inches wide by 3/16 inches tall speaker port cutouts.  The right side panel had a nested 3/8 inches wide by 1/4 inches tall mute toggle cutout with 9/16 inches wide outer rim.  Beneath the cutout, you will find dual 1/2 inches wide by 1/8 inches tall volume buttons. The left panel had a single 1 3/4 inches long by 1/8 inches tall power button and a cutout for a lanyard that was not included. As an added layer of protection, the case jutted upward about the screen to add a degree of glance-protection.

The installation process could not have been any easier. Align the volume toggle, press the edge into the case, and then press your thumbs around the edges. The camera cutout, the lightning port, the speaker ports were precision cut and allowed full access to the phone’s features. The case design allowed me to charge the phone via lightning cable but also did not prevent wireless charging. For a sub $20 case, I found the GRIPZILLA case’s features to be top-notch.  Although concerned with the lack of drop rating, MIL-STD 810G icon, or any mention of drop testing, I liked the case.  Unlike the mushy buttons of the “Wallet Slayer” case, the GRIP ZILLA case’s buttons were crisp and reactive. I loved the grippy texture, the finger grooves, and the color scheme of the case.  The case design accommodated wireless charging, but I did not test any of the MagSafe products as I do not yet have any of them.  The packaging proved to be a bit generic and could have been a little more specific to the GRIP ZILLA case.  I would give the overall score a 9.5/10 with a single reservation about the meaning of “Mighty Protective” and the lack of drop protection rating.

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