Ok, so the OtterBox Impact Series cases are really good if you need serious protection for your iPhone. I think it would probably meet most users’ needs. However, the Pelican i1015 Micro Case takes things to another level completely. This thing is a tank. Read on for the review.
Accessory manufacturer Pelican distributes cases for a wide variety of devices, including laptops, smartphones and dozens of other gadgets. But, their offerings don’t stop there – they also sell a ton of other accessories like flashlights, locks, lighting systems, shipping cases, etc. I can’t even begin to list them all here, you’ll have to visit their website to truly grasp the breadth of their products. This review focuses on the Pelican i1015 Micro Case. While marketed for the iPhone, Pelican’s description says the case will accommodate many smartphones, including: Blackberry®: Bold/Curve/Storm/Pearl, T-Mobile® MyTouch 3G, T-Mobile® G1 Nokia®: 5800/5530/E63/E71/E71x/E75/N79 Mini/N79/N78, Motorola: Droid/Cliq. This review will only cover its usage with an iPhone.
The Pelican i1015 is a case in the truest sense of the word, not unlike a suitcase. With your phone in this case, you’re getting some heavy-duty protection. There’s no getting around that this thing is big, measuring 6.68″L x 3.88″W x 1.86″H and weighing just under 1/2lb. The outer casing is constructed of crush-proof, thick plastic – so crush-proof that Larry even had one of his kids stand on it with no damage to the case whatsoever. The metal hinges and latch (aka. the “active sport carabiner”) are stainless steel, and the interior rubber that holds the phone in place doubles as an o-ring seal (don’t worry, I didn’t know what this meant either: read this). A thick, plastic latch keeps the lid closed when in use.
Pelican has constructed this case to last, claiming it is “crush-proof, water-resistant and dust-proof”. They back-up this claim with a “Lifetime Guarantee of Excellence”. Should the case ever get damaged, they will replace it. It’s worth noting the case is water-resistant, not waterproof. It will protect your device from the elements, but it is not meant to be submerged in water.
Once inside, your iPhone sits atop a durable, rubber lining. The rubber include a large protruding rectangle that serves as a cable management system for attached headphones. This is optional and the case functions just fine if you don’t keep headphones plugged into your phone.
Speaking of headphones, one of the slickest features of this case is an external headphone jack. You can plug a small cable inside the case into your iPhone/iPod Touch’s headphone jack, and plug your own headphones into a 360 degree, rotating headphone jack on the outside of the case. This allows you to start up a playlist, snap the case shut and continue listening to your music.
With the exception of this headphone system, the i1015 case completely seals your device inside the case. No controls or ports are accessible while the iPhone is in the case, whether it’s open or closed.
The Pelican i1015 Micro Case is going to appeal to people for certain specific uses. I can see people using this case at the beach or camping, or as a mini-suitcase their iPhone when traveling. It’s not the kind of case you’d use on a day to day basis, but when you do, it offers unparalleled protection from dirt, dust, and moisture. The rubber interior also cushions your phone unlike any other case I’ve seen, so you’ll never have to worry about it getting scratched or jostled around if your case takes some drops along your journeys. If you’ve got the need for complete, sealed-in protection for your iPhone, look no further than this case from Pelican.
The Pelican i1015 Micro Case is available from the Pelican website.
MSRP: $36.96 (offered on Pelican’s site for $22.77)
PROS: super-protection, interior cable management, external headphone jack, inexpensive.
CONS: big, bulky, no access to iPhone controls while in the case.