Hands-on with Apple iPhone 6s Plus Rhino Shield Crash Guard and PlayProof cases

There are plenty of case options for the Apple iPhone and I've spent the last couple weeks with two options from Evolutive Labs. If you purchase one before December you can even save 15 percent or more.

There seems to be an almost unlimited number of case options for the Apple iPhone. If I am not involved in some extreme outdoor activity, then I like to look for cases that offer some drop protection, style, and functionality. I spent the last couple of weeks with two case options from Evolutive Labs.

Evolutive Labs sent along a few samples of the Rhino Shield Crash Guard and Play Proof models to evaluate. I ended up having a clear favorite between these two and found that Evolutive Labs sells these same cases for smartphones from Samsung, OnePlus, Motorola, and Google.

If you have any interest in cases from Evolutive Labs, then you should consider purchasing one in the next couple of days. Evolutive Labs is holding a Black Friday sale until December where every case is 15 to 70 percent off.

Rhino Shield Crash Guard

There are a couple of package options for the Crash Guard, including the Crash Guard bumper and Crash Guard bundle that includes front and rear Rhino Shield protectors. The regular price for the bumper is $24.99 with the bundle priced at $49.99.

There are 13 color options for the Crash Guard, including red, black, blue, green, pink, military green, yellow, dark blue, white, purple, coral pink, shell pink, and charcoal black. I was sent dark blue and charcoal black bumpers to evaluate.

Special Feature

The Year's Best Tech for Work and Play

ZDNet takes a look back at very best tech stories and features of 2014.

Read More

The Crash Guard case is an advanced bumper case that weighs in at just 12 grams (0.42 ounces). I've tried bumper cases in the past, but have never tried one that is this well built. The bumper is made of matte finish material with a honeycomb pattern interior and smooth exterior. This material ia a custom formulated polymer. The matte finish is excellent for enhancing your grip too.

After sliding the bumper over three corners of your iPhone, you then pull it and work it over the last corner. It's a tight fit that keeps the Crash Guard securely in place on your iPhone 6s Plus. The bumper extends over the front and back of your iPhone so that the camera protrusion is protected, as well as the display when you set your iPhone face down on a table.

Unlike some other cases that make it difficult to find and press the power button, the Crash Guard has a power button that is easy to find and press. The same button design, opening around the button with the button rising above the bumper edge, is used on the left side volume buttons.

I did find it a bit difficult with my fat fingers and short fingernails to flip the ringer switch on the left side. The bumper is a 2.5 millimeters thick so the switch is a bit deep for my finger size.

There are openings for the headset jack, Lightning port, and speaker along the bottom. Due to the thickness of the bumper, I was unable to use my favorite Lightning cable because the opening around the port was not big enough. My standard Apple cable worked just fine though. I was able to use my headset without any kind of extender though.

The Crash Guard bundle includes front and rear screen protectors made of impact resistant plastic material. Given that the Crash Guard is a bumper, it's nice to have some kind of method for protecting the rest of your iPhone. I installed the back screen protector, but wasn't satisfied with the way the protector fit over the two rear antenna bars. These areas are raised slightly and even when I pressed down on the protector there was still a bit of an air gap around the bands.

The front screen protector fits well and was easy to install without any air bubbles are raised areas. I'm not a huge fan of screen protectors any longer though so wouldn't personally use them on my iPhone for the long term.

I really like the design, fit, and finish of the Crash Guard bumper and found that it offers a great level of edge protection. Evolutive Labs states that this protection is provided by its Eggdrop technology that provides absorption of impacts of at least 11 feet. Since most of us are probably six feet or less in height, typical drops of three to four feet are more likely in daily use.

Rhino Shield PlayProof

The Rhino Shield PlayProof cases have nearly the same edge design as the Crash Guard, but also have a full back cover. The Eggdrop technology, honeycomb design, is used throughout the interior of the back so that your iPhone is well protected from drops.

The PlayProof edges are not as thick and robust as that of the Crash Guard. This makes the case a bit shorter than the Crash Guard too.

You can find the PlayProof case in blue, pink, black, red, and white for $24.99. For $5 more you can select a customized case available in a vast number of other colors and designs. Evolutive Labs states that new designs appear weekly too so you are sure to find something you like.

I personally enjoyed using the Crash Guard case because I like the metal feel of the back of my iPhone and the rugged edge protection. I barely even notice the case on my iPhone, but do like that it lies flat when placed face up or face down while offering a gap and some protection of the front and back.