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6 smart cases for smartphones

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Smartphones have become an extra limb (or ear) for some people. So naturally there are cell phone cases that not only protect phones but also cater to the phone users' lifestyle. For example, if you want to travel with the bare necessities, there is a Smartphone case that features an integrated wall charger making it do double duty to protect your phone and conveniently juice it up. Plus, you can charge your phone without needing a charging cord or external battery pack. Or, if you’re the outdoors-type who likes kayaking, snowboarding or want to use your phone to take an underwater shot, you might want a waterproof case. Fashionistas can glam up and bling out their phones with a bejeweled case. Or perhaps you’re just interested in function—a case that protects your phone from accidental drops and cracked screens.

Here are some cell phone cases to consider.

(Note Amazon.com or the manufacturers provided cell phone cases for review purposes.)

DiCaPac Waterproof Case
DiCaPac Waterproof Case Photo: Amazon.com

DiCaPac Waterproof Case

The DiCaPac 100% Waterproof Case is guaranteed to be submersible to 10 meters (33ft).  You can use the controls through the plastic window and it does take clear photos – in spite of the fact that it comes in various colors.  It’s good to have if you're near water, dust, sandy beaches, snow or in rain to protect mobile phones.  You can talk and hear through the material.  (It will float with the Smartphone in it – so if it falls out of a canoe or kayak, it won’t sink.)  And speaking of which…

It also comes with an adjustable neck strap.  

You do want to check it after purchase to make sure there isn’t any damage to the surface, as well as  test it out (with paper or fabric) and ensure that it’s truly waterproof (the test sample was) and that there is no damage to the zipper and joint units. (You’ll need to do this every time before use—just in case.)  The manual also instructs users to avoid strong impacts and sharp objects.  The case shouldn’t be left in the sun for a long time – apparently that can cause damage.  You also can’t use it in water that is more than 86F (30C) such as in a hot spring or hot tub.   The manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) is $24.95 for the Samsung Note series.  The case is available in blue, pink, black, green, yellow and white. Visit Amazon.com.

My Bat Advanced Armor Hybrid Case
My Bat Advanced Armor Hybrid Case Photo: Amazon.com

My Bat Advanced Armor Hybrid Case

The My Bat Advanced Armor Rugged Durable Hybrid Case with Kick Stand is actually a two-piece accessory designed to protect the phone from damage. The softer rubber interior protects the ports and buttons from dust and the screen from scratches, and the sturdy exterior protects the phone from shock.

I initially had problems getting the Samsung Note 2 to stay inside the case until I realized that you have to take the rubberized interior out, put the phone in and then put it inside the hard exterior cover.

 

There is also a kickstand that holds the phone up sideways for viewing of slideshows or videos.  (But this is only useful if something rotates sideways.)

The Advanced Armor Rugged Durable Hybrid Case With Kickstand is available in Black/Black, Dark Blue/Black, Hot Pink/Black, Purple/Electric Pink and Red/Black.

The My Bat Advanced Armor Rugged Durable Hybrid Case with Kickstand has an MRSP of $9.99.  Check out prices at Amazon.com.

Empire Glitz Slim-Fit Case
Empire Glitz Slim-Fit Case Photo: Empire

Empire Glitz Slim-Fit Case

If you want to add a little glitter, sparkle or glam to your Smartphone, try one of Empire’s bejeweled Glitz cases.  The cases have a sleek and lightweight design but are made of durable polycarbonate construction and a raised edge design to protect the device’s screen.

The phone case comes with a microfiber cloth and screen protector.   The screen protector might protect the actual screen from scratches, but it easily smudges and bubbles. (If you want more protection for the screen, you can also purchase the Premium Tempered Glass Screen Protector, which is made of a chemical processed glass and an anti-fingerprint coated layer for resistance against smudges and fingerprints and anti-shatter, silicone coated film.)

Choose from Gold Glitter Glam ($14.95) or Dotted Glitter Glam (available in purple, gold, hot pink, teal and silver.)  The cases are available for several phones including the Samsung Note II, iPhone 4/4s and 5/5s/5c, Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3, Galaxy S III and Galaxy S 4, HTC One, Blackberry Q10/710, LG and Nokia Lumia 11020.  For more information visit, www.EmpireCase.com.

 

 

Prong PocketPlug
Prong PocketPlug Photo: Prong

Prong PocketPlug

If you’ve ever forgotten the charger for your Smartphone, or are simply tired of carrying around cords with you, this might be the case for you.  

(Note: The case was sent out to a tester that has an iPhone 5.)

The PocketPlug has two retractable charging plugs that come out easily, according to my tester, and also folds flat inside the case when not in use.  The case has a sleek look and a lightweight feel and “didn’t add a lot of weight to the actual phone.”

The case is made of high-grade polycarbonate, with soft touch rubber finish that is made to withstand wear and tear.  The tester noted that it seemed secure enough to protect the phone.  Other good points: the case doesn’t compromise the camera. It was easy to access the volume/silent buttons on the side and the power button on top. The tester also noted that she has small fingers. “The case might get in the way for others.”

The PocketPlug is also convenient for travel.  It has a worldwide voltage compatibility of 100-240V and 50-60Hz.

The cons: the tester’s Moshi screen protector doesn’t fit well within the case and the jack for the headphones is not easily accessible.  “You really have to pull to get them out since the jack is so deep.  You need some sort of adapter to make access easier.”

Another negative is that it’s currently only available for the iPhone 5/5s (MSRP $69.95) and iPhone 4/4s (MSRP $59.95).   There will be a PocketPlug for the Samsung Galaxy III soon.

The Pocket Plug case comes with a user manual, Micro USB cable to provide the user with the option to charge mobile devices the traditional way, and an enhanced audio adapter designed to enhance the quality and clarity of the phone’s volume speaker and microphone when in use.

For further information, visit www.goprong.com.

Samsung Protective Flip Cover
Samsung Protective Flip Cover Photo: Samsung

Samsung Protective Flip Cover

Reviewed: Flip Cover Case for the Galaxy Note II

Though the Samsung Flip Cover doesn’t look particularly interesting, it does come in some vivid colors and most importantly you can use the speakerphone even when the cover is closed.  Since you can make the call with the Flip Cover closed, it keeps your face off of the screen (great to keep oils and makeup off the screen).  It has a hard plastic shell to protect the phone against scratches and bumps.  The soft felt liner also keeps the phone screen free of dirt and smudges, and the cover folds back for easy access.  

The back cover replaces the phone’s back, which gives it an even sleeker design, making it easier to fit inside a pocket (especially if you have a Galaxy III or IV—the Note II is larger.)   You don’t have to remove the case when using the Samsung Desktop Charging Dock, Vehicle Navigation Mount or Smart Dock.

The Flip Cover Case for the Galaxy Note II is available in 9 colors and has the MSRP of $39.99.  You can find it for $14.99 at Amazon.com.

Trident Aegis Case
Trident Aegis Case Photo: Amazon.com

Trident Aegis Case

The Trident Aegis case is designed with a durable, protective exterior that, states the company, has met Military Standard tests for vibration and drops.  It features an inner layer of shock-absorbing silicone called Thermo Plastic Elastomer (TPE) with an outer layer of hardened polycarbonate, thus providing two layers of protection.  The power ports and audio jacks are covered with TPE plugs to keep out dust and debris but are still easy to use.  There are dust filters to protect the microphone and speaker bays and a lanyard loop that can be used to attach key chains and other items.

 

The case also comes with a scratch-resistant screen protector to provide protection from dust and damage from dropping the phone.  The Trident Aegis case is available in black, blue, green, pink and red.  It has a manufacturer’s suggested list price of 29.95.  It’s $17.54  at Amazon.com.

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