There are an abundance of iPhone case on the market that claim to be heavy duty; and while many may meet the rigorous Military Standard criteria, some are better than others. Recently one of my associates in the PR industry turned me on to the Dualtek XT from Pure.Gear ($49.99), and I have to say, overall I was quite impressed. Read on to get the complete scoop as well as to hear about the pros and cons of this new, ruggedized, "extreme terrain" iPhone case.
First of all, it's worth noting that the Dualtek XT is compatible with both the iPhone 5 as well as the Touch ID-enabled iPhone 5s, which can't be said for many of the current crop of heavy-duty protection iPhone 5 cases, many of which don't accommodate the 5s Touch ID. This case offers superior protection from the elements and from impact, all in a very affordable package. Its easy to get on and take off and the built in screen protector is comprised of a superior scratch-resistant plastic that should hold its shine for a good long while. The ports seal well, if not quite as securely as some of the pricier rugged protection iPhone cases. An added bonus is the little lanyard attachment point allowing you to attach either a key ring or a lanyard to the corner of the case, which gives you a much better hold on your iPhone.
If you primarily use headphones or Bluetooth devices with your iPhone then the following might not be a big deal, but I have to say, the sound quality of the iPhone's speakers when in this case is pretty horrible. I'm prepared for every extreme-duty iPhone case to sacrifice some level of sound quality in the name of ruggedization, but this case creates what I'd consider severe distortion. If you don't talk on the phone much or don't listen to your iPhone's speakers, then this may be a non-issue, and then again, the affordability of this case may trump its poor acoustics.
Well-designed, slim profile case. Doesn't add much in the way of unnecessary bulk.
Grippy exterior and lanyard attachment point help ensure your iPhone doesn't leave your side.
High-quality, scratch-resistant screen protector built in to front panel.
Compatible with the 5s Touch ID.
The case has full water resistant protection over the iPhone's speaker but this comes at a price. The sound quality of the iPhone's speaker is significantly distorted when it's in this otherwise exceptional case.
Very few color options.
If you are looking for a reliable protective case for your iPhone 5/5s, at a savings of between $10 to $50 over some of the other extreme-protective cases out there, this one is a good deal—if the sound output from the iPhone's speakers isn't a big deciding factor. I give the Pure.Gear DualTek XT 3 out of 5 Stars, and I have to emphasize that the only thing keeping this case from being a 4.5 Star case are its acoustics. Hopefully Pure.Gear will improve on this issue in the DualTek XT's next iteration.
Images courtesy of CargoCollective.com