My mobile phone is a workhorse. It is my method of contacting others, my camera, my mapping system, my entertainment, and a whole load of other things besides. It comes with me walking, scrambling, camping, cycling, motorcycling, and everything else. Because I am (reasonably) normal, my phone is very precious to me because it is very expensive and I cannot afford to replace it. So having a decent case that will protect it from knocks and scrapes and mud and whatever else is hugely important. In this post I take a look at the Griffin Survivor Extreme, said to be one of the best rugged phone cases on the market at the moment.
Here’s the problem when a blogger like me receives something like a rugged phone case to review. I have one phone. And as I mentioned above, I can’t risk needing to replace it. So while the description states quite clearly that this case has been designed and tested to withstand drops of up to 10 feet (3 metres) onto concrete, I am not about to climb onto the roof of my garage and chuck my phone on the floor (as much as I would love to climb onto my garage roof…). You know, because I’m not stupid.
But I can tell you about the features I have used, and how the case functions as a, well, case. I’ll start with the obvious important things. Putting your phone in the Griffin Survivor Extreme is easy when you know how. The top of the case slides on and clips in place – it has a very close fit so you do need to make sure it’s in properly and get the guides lined up properly, but it does go on just fine when you get the angle right. I have a glass screen protector on mine and it fits even with that on. The easy installation means I am much more likely to use it – and take it off again.
Once inside, the touch ID fingerprint scanner works just fine when the phone is in the case, a bonus over other cases of this type I’ve tried before now.
There is a belt clip provided, which can be attached to the case or left off depending on your preference. The clip is very handy to attach the phone to your belt or bag shoulder strap when hiking, but to be honest I don’t use that part of it that much and just have the case in my hand or loose in my bag.
Expecting muffled sound, I made and received phone calls with the case installed, and I was pleasantly surprised. What is a bit of a pain, though, is writing texts and tweets – potentially caused by effectively having two screen protectors on my phone when I’m using this case (one stuck on the screen, one attached to the case), making the screen less sensitive, I really have to make positive “taps” for it to register letters – you can’t type quickly, that’s for sure. It’s not unusable, you can easily dial a number or send a simple message, but I did end up not bothering to tweet or text much, preferring to take the case off when I got back to the car or home and sending my updates then. Probably no bad thing!
What I have most definitely tested is the cases’ ability to protect my phone from water, lots of water, and mud. And snow. I know the iPhone 8 is water-resistant on its own, but the Griffin Survivor Extreme takes it up to IP 55 against mud, rain, snow, sand and other messes. The sealed design prevents screen and body damage from whatever the elements may throw at you – very handy when you’re just a teeny bit clumsy with your tech like I am. I find the iPhone itself a very slippery character, but this case is very easy to hold well, and isn’t going to slip out of your hand in a hurry.
Generally a case such as the Griffin Survivor Extreme, despite being reasonably thin when it comes to rugged cases, is too bulky for me for everyday use. But when I’m out and about doing fun and probably very slightly dangerous things, I am very happy to up-size my phone and put up with the extra volume in the name of protection. And while I certainly haven’t been throwing my phone around in the name of reviewing this completely properly, having used it in the ways I have so far, I do trust it and would be confident should an accident happen.
I received the Griffin Survivor Extreme for my iPhone 8 for free in return for a review here on Splodz Blogz. As always, my reviews only contain honest words based on my own experience of trying out the product in question.
PS. The mapping app I’m using is the Ordnance Survey maps app… and it’s fab!