Tech21 Evo Xplorer

A rugged case for rugged people. Who have an iPhone 6.

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Tech21 Evo Xplorer
  • Tech21 Evo Xplorer
  • Tech21 Evo Xplorer
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Keeps out water and dust
  • Good impact protection
  • Small size

Cons

  • Muffled mic
  • Parts can go missing
  • Expensive
  • Only available for iPhone 6 and 6S

Bottom Line

Useful for those who need their iPhone to be rugged all the time. But not casual users.

Would you buy this?

If you exist in an environment that contains dust, water or a higher-than-usual chance of impact damage then you’ll either need a special rugged phone or a rugged case to put your phone in.

Tech21’s Evo Xplorer is a two piece case that seals your iPhone (6 or 6S) inside and protects it against impact to 2m (IP68 rating). Note that while the raised bezel will protect the screen when dropping on a flat floor, the thin screen protector is unlikely to help much if it lands screen-first on a pointy rock or similar.

The screen protector is nonetheless responsive to touch (unlike others we've tested) so it’s not frustrating when swiping around screens and selecting icons.

There’s naturally a snug fit to the phone and putting the case on and taking it off is quite a chore, so don’t expect to be doing this regularly.

The buttons on the side are still operable – the 'silence switch' becomes a dial while the volume and power buttons are the same but are now quite hard to press.

At the bottom there’s a screw cap cover the headphones port. This can be removed and a separate adapter can be inserted to allow you to connect your headphones. Both the cover and adapter went missing very quickly for us unfortunately. While we know they’re buried in an office somewhere, it does go to show that if you’re using this in the field and misplace these small and fiddly items, much of the protection afforded by this case is suddenly rendered useless.

There’s a sturdy cover over the Lightening connector port too. It’s very solid and hard work to open and close though it should loosen up over time. This might also rule it out for kids who will struggle to open it at all without help.

However, this was the main issue. The cover really needs to be open to make a phone call otherwise the microphone is muffled. Our tester found that even with this slot open she was having to shout to make herself heard on regular phone calls and that this got annoying quickly.

Ultimately the case does what it says it does and will be boon for the certain demographics who need the protection, can live with regular, fiddly port openings, don’t mind shouting and who don't mind paying the massive price. For the regular consumer, the protection won't be worth the muffled microphone, fiddly port openings or the money.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: Tech21, iPhone/iPad Accessories, Phone cases, iPhone
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?