Are you looking for a phone case that offers effective drop protection for your expensive iPhone X?
Are you worried that you could end up with a chipped frame, broken buttons or a cracked or shattered screen if you accidentally drop your iPhone?
Unfortunately, whilst most smartphones are designed to look great, this often means that they have no real protection in the event that you were to drop one. The result of this is that the smartphone case industry is flourishing and you will find all sorts of cases out there, from cheap poor quality ones through to more expensive, high quality, professional cases.
One term that you might have heard of is ‘military grade’, often used when describing a case which claims to be rugged. You can find lots of outdoor style cases, which claim to provide ‘military grade protection’, some will even claim that the case has been put through a ‘military grade drop test’ which may sound cool, but the question is, how strong are they? What sort of protection can they really provided and are they indestructible?
1. What you really need to know about ‘military grade phone cases’.
So, as I said earlier, there are many cases out there that claim to be ‘military grade’, ones that claim to provide ‘military grade’ protection for your phone. But hold on, what, you might be thinking, is the difference between a ‘military’ and a ‘non-military’ case?
Before we get into the detail, let’s just clarify what exactly is, ‘military grade’.
If you look at the packaging of your ‘military grade’ case, you should see this logo; it signifies that the case has been certified against a military grade drop test standard?
So, what is that?
Put simply; it means that either the manufacturer or a third-party tester has carried out a series of tests on the case that conform to the military standard MIL-STD-810G ( a United States Military Standard used to ensure that testing is consistent within the U.S. Department of Defense). Actually, to be a little more specific, the ‘military grade’ testing carried out on phone cases is done in accordance with MIL-STD 810G-516.6 (Procedure IV, Transit Drop Test), which is a smaller series of tests. Tests which are the ‘more applicable’ to a phone case.
So how are these tests carried out?
Under certain conditions, the test is to repeatedly drop the case with a phone inside it from a height of 4 feet (48 inches) onto 2-inch plywood (rather than concrete) and ensure contact is made with each surface of the case, front and rear faces, corners and edges, and 26 times. And yeah, the ground is ‘plywood’ instead of concrete like you would find on a sidewalk.
So, let’s go back to the previous question: what’s the difference between a ‘military grade’ and a normal case? Well, now you know the answer: Only a case that has been tested under the military grade drop test standard, ML-STD 810G-516.6, can be classed as ‘military grade’.
Hold on though, even if a case has been tested in accordance with the drop test standard, are they 100% a ‘military grade’ case?
2. Does a ‘MIL-STD Drop Tested’ phone case actually mean anything?
Watching a video about a phone being dropped onto a sidewalk can be quite exciting if it’s not your phone, or terrifying if it is. Although, you might be less terrified if it’s a MIL-STD Drop Test, don’t you think?
1) There are no consistent drop test standards
Just like the drop tests that some reviewers do on YouTube, the military drop test standard is quite ‘flexible’ and people can adjust it to fit what they need. To clarify, a “MIL-STD” label does not actually mean that the item has been tested and certified by the military.
Check the original purposes of ML-STD 810G-516.6 below:
Whilst the military do carry out testing, you can be sure that they do not test phone cases! So, even though it’s called a ‘military grade drop test’, anyone can approximate the tests and say that their case passed them.
You see, drop tests are often conducted in different ways by different manufacturers, some will drop them onto ceramic tiles whilst others will drop them onto plywood and each with a different number drops, yet they still call them a military drop test.
In other words, even though some cases claim to be ‘military grade’, you won’t actually know what actual test methods they used.
2) The standards are not strict and not very ‘applicable’ to real life.
Even if you were to assume that the manufacturer does carry out their drop tests and it is done in a strict way according to the military grade drop test standards, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the phone case is as indestructible as you might expect.
Yeah, you have probably already guessed it from seeing what the test conditions consist of, but, is 4-foot drop onto wood for 26 times really indicative of a real-world situation? You judge for yourself.
Sadly, the accident happens, and I suppose all rugged cases that meet Military Grade Protection Standards can’t guarantee their cases will save your phone every time. But if you are prone to dropping your phone or you often use it in more accident-prone environments, like a travel or on a construction site, it would be a really good idea to invest in a solid case with plenty of protection.
3. The PITAKA MagCase Pro drop tests: what can you expect?
Firstly, let’s check the drop test video.
Needless to say, the case proves itself in the video.
Pay close attention to the ground; it’s either a concrete sidewalk or cement stairs with different strengths and different heights. Also to perfectly demonstrate the actual point of impact, we drop it multiple times ensuring that it lands on those weaker points. It’s this type of impact that is more likely to occur in real life, for example, your phone being dropped onto the stairs, just like the video shows.
Now check another one.
This video is a little more interesting. The guy uses his phone whilst doing different activities and the phone survives every impact even the impact from the table tennis and the golf.
What? It's still not convincing enough for you? Check the one made by EveryThingApplePro!
Now you might want to know, what makes the case so tough? What can you expect from this case?
Firstly, it’s scientifically designed with the smart details. Check the picture below.
Secondly, it’s made with premium materials, which are normally used for high-tech applications, especially the Aramid fiber, a high-tech luxury material used in body armor, the aerospace industry, and supercars.
Not to mention its other features: wireless charging friendly, Zero Signal Interference, Insert Molding Technology and the Extra Protective Ring for your camera lens, etc.
You can check my other article What is the Ultimate Phone Travel Case and how do you find it? for more detailed information.
Military grade protection can be quite attractive when it comes to a rugged case, especially when you need better drop protection for your expensive phone.
The only problem is the military grade drop test standards are flexible and therefore they are open to interpretation by the manufacturer, meaning that one drop test standard can actually be quite different to other manufacturers drop test.
However, it is still worth investing in a solid case with lots of protection if you are prone to dropping your phone or you often use it in more accident-prone environments, but care should be taken to make sure that the manufacturer has really tested the case in real-world situations.
The PITAKA MagCase Pro is engineered to handle the impact forces experienced when you really drop your phone onto a harsh surface through intelligent design, careful material selection and clever use of technology during manufacturing.
The thing is, I wouldn’t say it’s a military grade phone case; instead, it’s a case that can provide solid drop protection for your phone.
Maybe, just maybe, you should take a closer look.