I have just returned from a weeklong cruise along Costa Rica and Panama, and of course my trusty iPhone came with me. It was safely swaddled in a Case-Mate Phantom Case, which I’ve had for a few weeks. My intention was to write-up the full review when I returned, but as the trip played out this review took on a bit of a different turn, so read on for more!
First, if you didn’t see my first impressions, head over here and get some background. Now that you’re back, I’ll cover the basics of the case quickly. I still like the case a great deal, and its style grew on me even more after I had the chance to compare it to a friend’s Otterbox. Yes, both cases are designed for somewhat rugged protection, but the Phantom looks sleeker, like it can transition from a nice evening out to a hike…which is exactly how I used it.
I could spend this entire review describing the case, how it has flaps to cover the headphone jack and dock connector, how the integration of the plastic internal frame and thick silicon and plastic outer shell keeps out sand, and how the overall feel of protection let me take my iPhone without fear into situations where it would normally be locked away like a delicate flower…but instead I think I’ll show, not tell.
So, in answer to the question in the title, here are all the places the iPhone in a Case-Mate Phantom traveled:
On the beach and hiking through Corcovado National Preserve, Bahia Drake, Costa Rica
Wharf on Golfito, Costa Rica
Ziplining near Golfito, Costa Rica (the iPhone rode along in my pocket during the actual ziplining)
Sunning itself and enjoying a coconut on Isla Coiba
Passing through the Panama Canal
Enjoying a cool and refreshing adult beverage
As you can see, the Phantom looked good and protected my phone through hikes, sandy beaches, and while flying on a cable 150ft over the rain forest. In fact, the only place my iPhone didn’t go during this trip was during adventures like this one:
The Phantom is not waterproof, so obviously I didn’t take it on any water adventures. However, for everyday activities, and just about everything on dry land, the Phantom was a smashing success. It was stylish, it was rugged, and I could use my iPhone without fear just about everywhere. If you’re looking for a tough case that doesn’t scream “I moonlight in construction” but can still roll with the punches, the Phantom should be on the top of your list.
MSRP: $50 from Case-Mate
What I liked: Tough case with a great deal of style; Flaps covered vulnerable areas like the headphones and dock connector; Tight fit keeps out sand and grit; Looks good in the rainforest or at a wine tasting
What Needs Improvement: Integrated screen protector would offer a touch more protection.