SwitchEasy is often one of the first companies to offer cases for Apple’s new devices, and almost always a leader in pricing, as well. Three new iPhone 6 cases represent a fairly wide array of different protective options for the smaller of Apple’s new iPhones. The first is 0.35 ($15), a 0.35mm thick layer of soft plastic sold in five colors. So thin that it sounds almost like paper when you run your fingernails across it, 0.35 just barely qualifies as a case thanks to the top, side, and back coverage; the buttons, switch, bottom and screen are left entirely open. It provides anti-scratch coverage but will be no help in the event of a drop — from our standpoint, it’s not enough protection to be worth $15, and the color choices are mostly iffy for the metallic iPhone 6.
By comparison, Numbers ($20) is a resized sequel to the company’s basic TPU case, available in six colors. As a rival to Incipio’s NGP series of cases, it offers protection for the majority of the iPhone 6, including both full-time and responsive button covers, as well as port protectors. Apart from the lack of screen protection, which is also an issue with 0.35, Numbers has only two problems: first is the color assortment SwitchEasy went with, a collection of bright choices that largely look mismatched to the gray, silver, and gold iPhone 6 bodies. Frosted clear and matte black are the closest to “right” this time out. The price is also $5 higher than the prior versions of Numbers we thought were ideally set at $15. Unless you really value the integrated port covers, it’ll be easier to pass on these.
Last up is LifePocket ($40), a wallet case with a nylon exterior, compartments for five cards and five bills, and a non-removable rubber iPhone 6 case glued to the back. An elastic strap holds the case closed; three color combinations are available. As with the other cases here, the color options are sort of off this year: dull gray, navy blue, and olive are paired with black straps and iPhone holders. The front card and bill compartments are rather passively protected, with basically no protection for bills once the case is opened. LifePocket looks and feels more like a wallet for teenaged boys than something girls or adults would consider.
The one thing LifePocket has going for it is substantial iPhone protection. Unlike most wallet cases we’ve seen, it actually covers the iPhone 6 on all sides, including the screen when it’s closed. We remain skeptical of the comfort of everyday use of an iPhone held up to the face with a flap full of cash and cards dangling off the side, but some people do like cases like this; we just wish the iPhone case could slide out and be used independently of the wallet as needed.
Overall, the latest SwitchEasy cases for iPhone 6 aren’t quite as polished and right-priced as previous versions we’ve loved: while it’s the best of this bunch, Numbers falls short on screen coverage and pricing relative to the iPhone 5/5s version, and merits a B+ rating. LifePocket is a “good enough” wallet for a very specific audience, succeeding more in protecting the iPhone 6 than serving as a truly great holder for cash and cards. It merits a B- and limited recommendation. Finally, 0.35 is merely an okay case at an okay price, offering very little protection at the same price level Numbers used to sell for. It merits a C+ and falls short of our recommendation.
Update: We later received Numbers ($25) for iPhone 6 Plus, as well, and we found the same pros and cons as in the iPhone 6 version of the case. Though the case is $5 more than its iPhone 6 counterpart, we feel it still deserves the same rating.
Company and Price
Model: 0.35, LifePocket, Numbers
Compatible: iPhone 6