Urban Armor Gear (UAG) Trooper for iPhone 6s Plus: Leave the wallet behind while surviving drops

In Matthew Miller's quest for a perfect iPhone case, the UAG Trooper stands above the crowd with drop protection and a hidden compartment for four vital cards.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

Thanks to my role here at ZDNet, I get the opportunity to test out a ton of mobile devices and accessories. The first case brand I look to when buying a new phone is Urban Armor Gear (UAG). Every single person I have recommended these cases to has been happy and I have yet to be disappointed with the performance of these protective cases.

As a daily train commuter working in downtown Seattle, I carry a transit pass, office access card, driver's license, and debit card (not yet supported by Apple Pay). My wallet gets put into a coat or pants pocket about once a month that ends up being left behind during my daily commute. I then need to purchase a daily transit pass and call someone at the office to let me in. My phone is always with me, but my vital cards are not.

I've tried other wallet cases in the past, but the open top, folding folio design, or other feature always resulted in my leaving the case behind as I slipped my iPhone into an attractive UAG Composite case. When I saw Urban Armor Gear announce its UAG Trooper card case for the iPhone 6s Plus, I knew I had to take it for a test drive.

UAG sent along its rust (orange) and black models for me to test out and I am very pleased to say that these cases lived up to the hype and are my absolute favorite iPhone 6/6s Plus cases currently available today. These cases are also available for the iPhone 6/6s for $5 less than the 6/6s Plus variants. The iPhone 6/6s Plus cases are $44.95 and are available in rust (orange), black, and white.

These new UAG Trooper cases are very similar to the Composite line, check out my image gallery with a couple of comparison images, with the soft rubberized top and bottom, oversized tactile buttons, hard protective outer shell, and easy port access. The key addition is a bit of thickness to accommodate up to four cards accessible via a secure locking back door.

Urban Armor Gear (UAG) Trooper for iPhone 6s Plus image gallery

I was able to slide in my office access card, transit card, driver's license, and debit card before snapping the access door closed. The access door is a bit difficult to open, using the raised access tab, but I want it to be securely closed so have no complaints. A customer of the UAG Trooper left a helpful tip that includes rotating the case into landscape orientation, holding your finger down on the UAG logo (positioned upside down), and then prying the tab back to open the cover.

The UAG Trooper doesn't look like a wallet case so thieves may not notice the valuables you have stored inside when you set it down on a table with the skid pads preventing it from sliding. Feel free to set it down with the display on the table too since there is a raised screen surround to protect your display.

Each corner of the case has extra protection to help provide impact resistance if you drop your iPhone. The UAG Trooper meets military drop standards, MIL STD 810G 516.6, so you can rest assured a simple drop from a low height is likely to result in a successful drop.

I was a bit worried that the added thickness of the case would negatively impact the camera performance since the camera lens and flash are further away from open space. Thankfully, the opening is large enough to provide for glare-free flash performance and I have not seen any impact on camera performance.There is obviously a bit of thickness and weight added to have a case on your iPhone that carries up to four cards. However, if you truly want your case to serve as your wallet, then it's not asking too much to compromise on thickness and weight a bit.

For the last week, I have been out and about with nothing but my iPhone 6s Plus in the UAG Trooper rust case. It feels a bit weird to leave my wallet behind, but it's also quite a relief. My smartphone is always with me and with my iPhone 6s Plus inside the UAG Trooper I no longer have to worry about leaving my transit pass or office access card behind. There's even a bit more room to carry some cash inside the cover, which is always a good thing for emergency situations.

You can purchase the UAG Trooper for the iPhone 6s Plus for $44.95 and I am already looking forward to seeing the case launch in the slate and ice color options. Orange in one of my favorite colors though and the rust model makes it easy to find my iPhone 6s Plus when placed in my daily commuter bag.

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