Okay, so we all want to keep our fragile and costly devices protected. But have we gone a little too far in making crazy brick-like carrying cases to keep them safe? mentalKase, a new line of protective iPhone cases on Kickstarter, has led us to conclude yes and no.
At first glance, we completely pshawed the mentalKase. Branded as a sort of ultimate outdoorsman's carrying case, It looks like a really big silicone skin with a handle, wrapped around a slightly smaller silicone skin. Combined, the two layers practically double the size of your iPhone – talk about bulky!
But the case (which is compatible with iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S with an iPhone 5 model in the works) isn't actually silicone. Its inner layer is made of TPU, while the large outer layer is made of micro-cell rubberized foam (MCRF), which mentalKase says "protects sensitive electronics from shock and impact" like nothing else.
And while their video shows someone dropping their iPhone, clad in a mentalKase, from a two-story rooftop, and another person chucking theirs into the air like a juggler, one wonders if any normal person would ever need protection for such activities? Nonetheless, the the iPhones survive, so at least we know the mentalKase does what it's supposed to.
Another little drawback to the mental case is that, while the outer layer allows access to the headphone jack, no mention is made of any of the other iPhone ports, so we're not really sure how you're supposed to charge with it on. Nevermind that it's not particularly attractive, though you can remove the outside and use just the inner layer.
It's also behind some other heavy-duty iPhone accessories, like the Lifeproof, and OtterBox's upcoming Armor case, in that it's not waterproof. But it will float to the surface, for whatever good that does you.
There are some nice features to the mentalKase, however. You can use it with your phone's screen out or flipped in, for extra protection. And the outer layer can be removed and converted into an iPhone desktop stand.
Also, the MCRF material used for the outer is anti-microbial. But, just as we feel it's a bit of an exaggeration to try and protect your phone lest it fall off a roof, we also think it's a little phobic to need a sterile case. Really, has your phone case ever given you a cold?
Over all, the mentalKase looks like a pretty decent product, and seems to deliver on what it promises. So, in that sense, it's not really going overboard if you happen to need a massive, germ-resistant iPhone case that can survive a game of "toss that phone" and can float like a fishing bobber.
But if you're looking for everyday use, we'd probably recommend a more streamlined case with a slightly lower level of shock absorption, something that'll actually fit in your pocket.
Still, it just goes to show that, for every person and every lifestyle, there's an iPhone accessory out that's just right.