A solid case for extreme environments; not for everyday use.
There are a lot of rugged cases out there. The most popular ones come from the Lifeproof/OtterBox brand. They are form-fitting and built to be tough. But even those remarkable cases have their downside. Sometimes they just are rugged enough. For those adventurous souls, there is the SLXtreme7 by Snow Lizard.
The SLXtreme7 is a rugged case designed for the iPhone 7. It’s waterproof (rated IP-68; up to 6.6 feet for 30 minutes) and dustproof. It has a 4000 mAh internal rechargeable battery along with a solar panel on the back for recharging in the wild. For every hour of charging, you gain enough battery for a 10-minute phone call (approximately 7% battery). It’s a tough case and it is certified MIL-STD810G and is considered drop-proof up to 6.6ft.
To start things off, the SLXtreme comes packaged in a reusable dry box, which is kind of cool. If you are a weekend warrior, and I would expect that you might be if you are using this case, then the box could be used to store a wallet, keys, or ear buds. There is plenty of space for all of those items. Once you pull the case out of the box, you will notice its incredible weight. It weighs a little over 340 grams without the iPhone installed. That is almost two and half times as heavy as the iPhone 7. Aside from its weight, the case is also very thick. I admire the design because it includes the solar panel and then incorporates a power transfer method between the base where the Lightning connector is located and the solar panel. As an alternative, there is also a Micro USB port where you can charge up the phone and case’s backup battery through a wired connection. Safely tucked away beneath the base of the package you will find a USB cable and a lanyard.
Installation of the phone is fairly simple and standard and again, I appreciate the design aspect of this because it is used to slide the phone into a completely enclosed case instead of having them match up a front and back or bend the case around the phone. The base of the case inserts into the Lightning port of the phone and then the entire assembly gets pushed up into the body of the case. You have to push with some force because it’s a very tight fit for the phone. It’s so tight in fact that you might run into problems getting the phone back out of the case when you are done with your adventures.
This case isn’t meant for everyday use. It’s really meant for the weekend warrior or someone going out into the wild. Because of the case’s size, it won’t fit easily into a pocket so you will have to make room for it in your backpack. I do like that you have the ability to charge your phone directly from solar power. While I’ve had experiences with solar powered batteries, I’ve never really seen a case that transfers the charge directly to the phone like the SLXtreme7. It does work, but you have to keep in mind that it’s not going to charge your phone as quickly as a standard portable battery or a power outlet. It’s meant for emergency use only and as long as you recognize that, you won’t be disappointed with the feature.
Since I’m not really a weekend warrior, the SLXtreme7 was a bit much for my needs. I found myself getting more frustrated with using my phone than anything. First of all, my phone got stuck. I mentioned above that the case was a tight fit for the phone, well, I was trying to remove my phone and it didn’t budge. I was finally able to wiggle it out slowly and with a lot of patience. The second frustration had to do with the contact to the touchscreen. With many rugged cases, you will find that the screen is a little less touch sensitive because of the screen protector. Well, that is amplified quite a bit with the SLXtreme7. You really have to press hard to get your touch to register on the screen. In addition to that, I was only able to get my fingerprint to register about 10% of the time. I couldn’t even get the pressure to catch on the home button and as a result, I couldn’t get the phone to unlock. The plastic covering for the home button was a bit out of alignment with the button itself, but it wasn’t so far off that it would have caused that big of a problem.
I think the SLXtreme7 is an extreme case for extreme situations and environments. If I were going on an extended hike/camping trip in the middle of the wilderness, I would probably like to have this case since it would mean that my phone would be well protected. Since I don’t do that very often, I believe this case will likely go back on the shelf until I do go on my next adventure.
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