SASKATOON, SK, Jun 6, 2014/ Troy Media/ – When Logitech announced its case+ suite of mobile accessories designed specifically for the iPhone 5 and 5s, I was intrigued.
Case + isn’t a case for your iPhone plus some accessories; it’s a system that’s designed with practical, everyday uses in mind. While it may not hit a home run on each separate part, as a whole it’s a very useful product.
According to a poll conducted by thesnugg.com/ca, 74 per cent of smartphone users in North America own a protective case of some sort and 66 per cent say that protective qualities are the most important aspects of a case. The poll goes on to add that under 25s are four times more likely to break their smartphones than those over 50.
“When it comes to smartphone use today, market trends show people value both style and function,” said Ariel Fischer, director of product marketing at Logitech.
All this points out the need for good quality smartphone cases that protect the phone. So much the better if you can also get an add-on battery pack that doubles battery life, or a new cover to let you stand your phone up, or a car mount that’s magnetic.
Logitech’s case+ provides all that and more – and it’ll be available in Canada soon at around $200 or so.
The case+ system is comprised of five parts: the case+, +tilt, +energy and +drive. The case+ is the basic element of the system that everything else adds onto.
The case+ supplies the protection and snugly cradles your iPhone. It has a metal plate across the back that serves as the mounting plate for the other accessories, which mostly use magnets.
+energy is a battery pack you add onto the case+ by simply plugging the iPhone into the lightening port. You’ll immediately have access to double the battery life of a standard iPhone 5/5s. It’s charged via Micro USB and takes a couple of hours to go from empty to full, but it’s a great thing to have along in case your phone starts to run out of juice during a busy day of use.
+tilt is the soft touch cover that acts much like the iPad covers do. It folds into a triangle to let you lean your iPhone up for easier reading. Not only a kickstand for your iPhone, it also adds another layer of protection and its magnetic panel lets you attach your iPhone to any surface a magnet will work on. If you have a recipe on your phone you could stick the phone on the fridge (if it’s made of metal) to read right off the phone. It’s also a convenient accessory to store earbuds – although frankly I didn’t test that out at all: I use Bluetooth earbuds so there already are no cords to worry about.
+wallet is just that, a wallet made from stylish cloth on one side and a rubber backing on the other. It too has onboard magnets and it’s a great place to keep your credit cards and even hotel keys when on the road. It features Magnashield technology, which protects your cards from being demagnetized.
+drive is the final accessory. Simply put, this is a car mount with a wickedly powerful magnet in it so you can mount your iPhone either on the window or the dash somewhere. It’s got a good sucker – but I always am leery of anything that holds my iPhone to a window simply with suction, so I didn’t extensively test this accessory out either. I did use it and for the period of time I had everything connected to the window on my truck it worked perfectly. The design is kind of like a large ring case – very modern and functional.
Everything works exactly as advertised – I’ve even gotten to the point where, since it’s finally summer and I can wear shorts, I put a credit card or two in the +wallet and don’t carry my whole wallet – it’s very convenient.
Swapping out the various parts gets a bit tedious at times, but I’ve recently settled on keeping the phone in the case+, attached to the +energy and I carry the +wallet in my bag. The battery case isn’t magnetized, so if you want to use the magnetic accessories with it, you need to attach a supplied magnetic plate, which will stick to the back of the battery case with an adhesive. This kind of sticks out for me – the entire concept and design of the case+ system is elegant and having to add a little magnetic piece to the battery pack seems a bit incongruous to me.
I hope Logitech continues forward with this concept. While it’s not a perfect product right out of the chute, it’s a terrific concept with what I think could be a terrific future. Having said that, even as is, it’s pretty good!
PROS: A great concept and I hope Logitech continues to develop it; case+ is a really nice looking case to my eye, and the addition of +energy adds tremendous battery life to your iPhone.
CONS: I’m not crazy about the little magnet you stick to the back of the +energy to magnetize it; $200+ seems a bit steep. Something I never complain about is packaging – BUT, the case+ system is in a package that easily could be 1/4 as large and it actually surprises me because Logitech has always had “minimalist” packaging compared to many other vendors.
TO SUM IT UP: Protection for your iPhone investment is a requirement. The ability to easily add a battery pack to double battery time, plus a foldable top that can be made into a stand, plus the little magnetic wallet to hold a few cards with your phone makes for an interesting combination.
Troy Media columnist Murray Hill reviews products weekly. You can follow Murray on Twitter at @MurrayDHill.
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