Three new cases for the Sony flagship of 2013.
The Sony Xperia Z is not far from the iPhone 4/4S in design. With the glass back it is almost like the iconic iPhone albeit flattened to become larger, and thinner. As with all devices protection is optional, and you always regret not having it when it is lying there all scratched up on the pavement. Case-Mate has launched three of their most popular designs for the Z, and this is my take on them. None of them are compatible with the charging dock, but so far no other cases have been released that are.
This is a thin snap-on case that protects the back, sides and to some extent the front of the phone. A lip around the screen allows you to place the phone screen down without the risk of damaging it. It is slim, but still it feels like it adds quite a lot of bulk. Two millimetres isn’t much in the grand scheme of things, but when the phone is only 7,9 millimetres thick it feels like a lot. There are cut-outs for the power button, volume controls, charging socket, speaker, camera and lanyard hole. The top, and bottom are also open. I found that most of the functionality are the same except the volume controls that are quite hard to reach. For grip the added thickness helps getting a more comfortable hold of the device. On the other hand the finish of the case is quite glossy making it slightly slippery. Overall it is a good case providing good impact, and scratch protection. I would have liked to see more of the phone, as it is one of the best looking smartphones out there. The Barely There for iPhone 4, and 5 harmonize better with the phone enhancing the look in a great way. For the Xperia Z it makes it look even more like a large slab.
Now this is a case for rough roads, and tough drops. Not in the maximum protection category where OtterBox resides, but definitely enough for most users. Made from two pieces: one inner rubberized silicone, and an outer polycarbonate back. The inner piece goes on like a frame protecting the sides, and some of the front. It fits like a glove, and the back piece goes around it. Together the pieces create a protection that absorbs most impacts. There are openings around the headphone, charge outlet, speaker and lanyard hole. With the case on the phone becomes a bit bulkier, but still not thicker or heavier than a naked Nokia Lumia 920.
The best aspect of the case is the excellent grip it provides. I have no worries whipping out my phone when riding my bike in pouring rain. Yes this case is a perfect combination for a waterproof smartphone. Naked it would have been too slippery when wet.
I also enjoy the rugged look of it giving it an almost special ops vibe. It is the kind of thing Sam Fisher would use in Splinter Cell when hanging from the ceiling.
Made from genuine leather this is a front flip design where the flap extends from the bottom. You insert the phone from the top, and it is held in place by the sides. The fit is tight, and there is norisk of it sliding out. The front flap is held in place by a single large piece that holds onto the top of the phone. I generally prefer magnets to close front flaps, but at least it is better than buttons. Opening, and closing takes some getting the hang off, but once you do you can flick with the best of them. For protection it is great with the thick front, and back. One thing I dislike is the fact that you can´t really fold the flap behind the phone. If you want to play a game, or use the phone in landscape mode it becomes quite awkward. This limits the appeal quite a bit for me. Still it is perhaps better to be seen as a case for work, and school where you use the phone for calls, and messages.