Ballistic Hardcore Review – iPhone 6


Is this Ballistic iPhone 6 really that Hardcore? Find out in our Ballistic Hardcore Review

Ballistic markets this as a tough iPhone 6 and we totally agree. What’s the most surprising to us is how well built this case feels. We’ve reviewed other Ballistic cases and we’re weren’t too happy with the build quality. On the Every1, the plastic was peeling and with the Hydra, the screen protector scratch so easily. We didn’t find any issues like that on the Hardcore case for the iPhone 6.

The best part of this cases is how you can access and interact with your iPhone inside of the case and the worst part is that it’s a bit finicky to take apart and you’ll want to do that because of a small issue with dust.

Based on our time with the case, we gave the Ballistic Hardcore a score of 4.06 Eh’s out of 5. This case fare much better than the Otterbox Defender and Griffin Survivor.

At Mobile Reviews Eh!, we based everything we rate on real usage which means we use the case on a day-to-day basis and if the case says it can do something, we actually go and do it. With the Ballisitc being marketed as a tough case, we dropped it from 12 ft which is crazy and did drop tests in a fairly dusty floor. For the score, we graded the case against our Eh! rating system and similar cases like the Otterbox Defender and Griffin Survivor.

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Design – Big but modular. The Hardcore just works.

Meta Slider - HTML Overlay - Ballistic Hardcore  Review - Modular DesignDuring our test period for this Ballistic Hardcore Review, we discovered that the case is exceptionally well designed. It feels tight and well built but it offers two different modes for usage. The outer rubber shell is removable so you’re able to keep a slimmer profile on your iPhone 6 when your situation requires a slimmer phone or if you’re planning on doing something crazy, you can keep the rubber shell on.

The belt holster works either way which is a great feature for the Ballistic Hardcore. Speaking of the belt holster, the Ballistic Hardcore for the iPhone 6 is so large that the holster might be only way to carry the case on you as its massive size makes it difficult to keep in pant pockets.

Installation of the case is a little finicky as you have to deal with the ports of the case getting in the way of installation. This slight annoyance, coupled with the dust issue may put some people off from this case.

Protection – If you dropped your iPhone 6 from 12 ft, would it survive?

Meta Slider - HTML Overlay - Ballistic Hardcore - 12 ft Drop RatedIn order to gauge how tough this iPhone 6 cases for the Ballistic Hardcore Review, we dropped our iPhone 6 in the case from a height of 12 ft. We will say that it’s difficult to bring anything up to height of 12 ft (especially for non-handy people like us) and realistically, most people aren’t going to drop their iPhones from 6 ft, let alone dropping it from 12. We’re happy to report that after dropping the iPhone 6 from 12ft that the Ballistic Hardcore definitely works.

In terms of dust protection, the Hardcore suffers a little bit. We did several drop tests in dusty areas and found that dust did get between the touchscreen and screen protector. Depending on the type of dust/debris, your iPhone 6 may suffer from a bit of damage over time if you don’t clean it regularly which is a bit of a hassle since the case is a little difficult to install.

The Ballistic Hardcore has some serious edges and will definitely keep your iPhone’s screen off a flat surface. The screen protector is fairly thick and extends past the touchable area of the iPhone but doesn’t cover the sensors at the top.


Functionality – The screen protector is a joy to use

Ballistic Hardcore ReviewHaving reviewed several tough iPhone 6 cases, we were pleasantly to find a case that doesn’t get in the way of accessing the touchscreen of the iPhone. The screen protector on the Ballistic Hardcore sits fairly flush against the iPhone 6 so you don’t lose any sensitivity on the touchscreen and the amount of glare and reflections is reduced a bit.

Getting to your buttons on the Ballistic Hardcore is quite easy and they are not hard to use unlike the Otterbox Defender for the iPhone 6. You are able to use slightly larger earphone jacks and non-Apple lightning connectors as the cutouts for the case are quite large.


Have questions about our Ballistic Hardcore Review? Please ask them on our Google+ page or on our Facebook page.



  1. Ryan liew

    October 19, 2014 at 2:55 am

    can you do a review on the catalyst waterproof case

  2. Bryan

    November 12, 2014 at 5:50 am

    Thanks for the review Aaron. The Ballistic Hard Core I received I sent back, due to the fact that the port openings are too small. The headphone jack opening was the worst, none of my non Apple stuff would plug into it. The case also had enough of a screen gap to make the touch screen less sensitive.

    • Aaron Ho

      November 12, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      Thanks for the comment. What sort of headphones where you using?

  3. Kay

    November 29, 2014 at 3:02 am

    Hi Aaron, you are so awesome! Your videos are so helpful!!! What do you think of Ballistic Explorer? Thanks!

    • Aaron Ho

      November 29, 2014 at 5:03 pm

      I’m not sure about the Explorer (we haven’t reviewed it yet) but it looks similar to the Every1 for the iPhone 5/5s and we didn’t like it much. Our biggest concern with the case was how easy the screen protector scratched.

  4. Jay

    December 18, 2014 at 3:36 am


    Is this the best super tough case you’ve found for the Iphone 6? How about for the 6+?


    • Aaron Ho

      December 19, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      Yep. For the 6+, its going to be the Griffin Survivor All-Terrain for now. Not a lot of tough cases for the 6 Plus just yet.

  5. Peter

    December 26, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Hi Aron, i have a question… can we use a screen protecter like temper glass and use with this case or the griffin surviver?
    Does the screen feel more resistant ?


    • Aaron Ho

      December 28, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      Which survivor? The All-terrain?

      • Peter

        May 11, 2015 at 3:53 pm

        Yes if we use a temper glass with the ballistic hardcore or with the griffin surviver all terrain and even the giffin core , do u think that is better screen protection or not?

      • Peter

        May 12, 2015 at 2:53 pm

        Yes the all terrain…

        And if we put a temper glads with anyone case with plastic screm does it protect or not?

        Like with the ballistic hard core.

  6. kyle

    March 10, 2015 at 12:56 am

    Just got my Hardcore today. Very nice case- on large side but nice. The biggest issue I see found as soon as I installed my phone is that Ringer switch to turn on/off the ringer can’t be used without opening the flap every time. Not the easiest to get to. I have to use this function a lot so not real happy about that. We will see over the next few days how it work out. The belt clip is also fairly large and bulky so will not be using this feature much either.

    • Aaron Ho

      March 11, 2015 at 2:16 pm

      Thanks for the comment. Are you still going to keep it?

  7. John

    May 13, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    I have a ballistic hard core but im afraid that the screen protector doesnt work the way i want because i live in a place where u can only see rocks and im always dropping my phone … so do u think that a temper glass can help? and does it fit the case and keeps the phone safe?


    • Aaron Ho

      May 14, 2015 at 2:38 am

      If there’s lots of rocks, I’d stay away from the glass ones. Once they crack/shatter, they tend to fall apart really quickly. A PET screen protector would be better which is what the Hardcore has.

      • John

        May 14, 2015 at 3:27 pm

        But do i need to put another screen protector ? or may i just trust with the ballistic hard core. can u do a video with a face drop test?


  8. John

    May 20, 2015 at 2:44 am

    Got the case a few days ago and your video swayed me over to getting the case, I love it so far, I am a hardscaper so I deal with a lot of dust and debris and the case is fantastic. I’ve tried the tech 21 patriot, otter box defender, griffin survivor and this case by far is the best to get out of all. Thanks for the great reviews Aaron!!

  9. Darlene

    May 21, 2015 at 1:45 am

    Hi! I just received the Ballistic Hard Core case in the mail. I didn’t understand the instruction about opening the case with a coin, but I found a way that I feel is fairly easy to open the case (and also reassemble). First, open up the covers on the bottom for the charger and earphones and the one on the side for the mute switch. They seem to get in the way if you don’t open them up first. Then, pry up the ‘clips’ that are located on the sides of the phone. (There is a little indentation under each clip, and I just use my finger or fingernail to unlatch the peg on the back from the hole on the cover.). After that, gently go around the case and pry up the ‘clips’ from the corners. I started at the bottom corners then opened the top ones. (Keep checking that the charger/headphones/mute covers aren’t hindering the opening of the case.) After the corners are opened, you should be able to then separate the cover from the back.

    To get the case back on, line up the two halves, and first attach the ‘clips’ on the sides. Then gently work your way around the phone attaching the ‘clips’ on the corners, while keeping the charger/headphones/mute covers open. (Again, they really do get in the way if they’re not open.). You may need to press the corners down to make sure the pegs are in the holes. Once all of the clips are secured, you should be able to close the charger/headphones/mute covers without any issues.

    I hope this post will help others. There may be an easier way, but I found that this way was easier than the only instruction of “Insert coin into slot and twist.” (I never even saw a slot.)

  10. Maaz

    July 15, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    Hey Aaron! Greet videos, me and bunch of my friends and family buy our cases on the base of your review, here in the UK. So my question… I’m going on holiday, I want a case that would indefinitely allow me to take photos underwater, mainly in the pool. What do you recommend??

    Look to hear from you soon

    • Aaron Ho

      July 15, 2015 at 10:38 pm

      I’d go with anything that allows you to attach a wrist strap so the Obex and Catalyst. I’ve left out the LifeProof cases (can’t attach wrist strap) and the Wetsuit because of the exposed screen (I’m not sure how well salt/chorine works with the oleophobic coating on the iPhone screen). Here’s the comparison tool for the waterproof cases. http://www.mobilereviews-eh.ca/waterproof-iphone-6-case-review-comparisons/

  11. Maaz

    July 15, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    I’m going on holiday, I want a case that would indefinitely allow me to take photos underwater, mainly in the pool. What do you recommend??

  12. Phil

    August 8, 2015 at 8:16 pm


    What is the difference between the Hard Core and the Hard Core Tactical? Is the Tactical better?

    Thanks for the reviews! They are very helpful!

    • Aaron Ho

      August 10, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      I’m not sure…I haven’t reviewed the Tactical yet.

      • Smokechaser61

        June 23, 2016 at 1:51 am

        Time to review the Hardcore Tactical???

  13. idan

    December 23, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    does the ballistic hardcore fit well if i have on my iphone glassy spigen screen protector?thank you!

  14. Smokechaser 61

    December 24, 2015 at 3:00 am

    Everyone needs to check out the New Ballistic Hardcore Tactical model. I think you will be impressed with the overall improvement! Just got mine and I’m really digging it so far and I’ve tried several other of the major Tuff cases and this one is really worth a look and try if you need a good tuff case!
    Retired Firefighter/ EMT

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