One of the better tough iPhone cases out there. We’re impressed with the design!
Griffin Summit Review – The Summit is great except for one fatal flaw
Today we’re going to review the Griffin Summit. This is one of the Griffin’s newer iPhone 6/6 Plus cases and its a beast of a case as its able to withstand a 10 ft drop and is water resistant. The design of the case is very unique but like all extra-tough cases, there are issues with the usability of the iPhone inside of the case but if protection is what you’re looking for, this might be the case for you.
For our Griffin Summit Review, we gave this shockproof iPhone case a score of 4 Eh’s out of 5. This is the highest rated tough case that we’ve come across as it rates better than the Griffin Survivor All-Terrian, the Tech 21 Patriot and the Otterbox Defender. If you’re looking for other tough iPhone cases, check out our comparison tool as we’ve personally reviewed over a dozen tough iPhone cases.
| Compare With other |
|Griffin Survivor Summit|
(out of 5)
$49.99 USD (iPhone 6)
$59.99 USD (iPHone 6 Plus)
|Top Buy Buttons|
- Tough (high drop protection)
- Decent access to iPhone's buttons
- Higher than average water resistance
- Screen usability is poor
- Poor screen viewability
|Potential Problems||Potential Problems:|
(Griffin Survivor Summit)
- Fairly bulky
- Lighter than other tough cases
|Install||Ease of Installation (4.5/5):|
- Front panel install can get tough
|Build Quality||Build Quality (5/5):|
- Very "grippy"
- Fits incredibly well
- Feels solid
(Griffin Survivor Summit)
|Shock Protection||Shock Protection (2/5):|
- Drop-rated to 10 ft
|Water/Dust Protection||Water/Dust Protection (3/5):|
- Water resistant
- Whole iPhone is covered
|Screen Protection||Screen Protection (4/5):|
- Thick screen protector
(Griffin Survivor Summit)
|iPhone Functionality||iPhone Functionality (4.25/5):|
- Great hardware port access
- Great button access
- Sound is slightly muted (same with call quality)
- Touch ID works
|Screen Usability||Screen Usability (3.5/5):|
- Gaps in screen protector
- Screen protectors are very noticeable
- Sensitivity loss
|Screen Viewability||Screen View-ability (3/5):|
- Screen protector is "wobbly"
- Glare from screen protector is awful
- Diffusion of the iPhone's Retina HD screen
|Bottom Buy Buttons|
Design – Lighter than other tough cases
In terms of design, this is a pretty big case but that’s to be expected for something that you can drop from 10 ft. In terms of installation, this is the only case where we’ve had to slide the screen protector into the case and we love it.
Having the front portion of the case slide into the back results in cleaner lines, a better seal than a front piece that clips and you don’t have to deal with the possibility of an outer shell stretching over time. It just makes for a very solid feeling iPhone case.
The only downside of this setup is that the installation process maybe a bit tougher than other cases as we found ourselves having to try a few times to ensure the case installed properly.
The case is also quite light and the combination of rubber and hard plastic make the case extremely “grippy”.
Protection – How tough is it really?
In terms of protection, the iPhone floats in the case unlike the Griffin Survivor All-terrain where the iPhone sits in a solid block of plastic. This makes the case lighter and is probably one of the reasons why the Summit is drop rated to 10 ft instead of 6 ft. Anybody who works on roughs or has to on ladders should definitely check this case out.
The Summit is a rain proof case and because of its design, we feel pretty comfortable submerging the entire setup for a few seconds. This is one of the main reasons why this is one of our favourite tough cases as its so close to being an actual waterproof case.
In terms of screen protection, the screen protector is pretty thick and will protect from scratches from coins and keys and from our time with it, apart from it being incredibly annoying to use, holds up to general usage. The edges are a decent height so there’s lots of clearance between a flat surface and the screen protector.
Functionality – How much do you hate your iPhone screen?
Functionality of the iPhone inside the Griffin Summit which is almost as frustrating as trying to get one of Monty’s toys from under a cabinet, giving him the toy and having him, roll it back under the cabinet.
There is significant gap between the iPhone’s screen and screen protector which means that sensitivity is greatly reduced and it really takes away from the touchscreen. Screen viewability also gets reduced as you get a lot of light scattering and because the screen protector doesn’t sit flush on the screen, you get wobbly reflections. The cherry on top of this screen usability fiasco is the diffusion that the screen protector provides for the Retina HD screen.
Getting to the hardware buttons on your iPhone is a different story as the volume and power buttons are easy to use, the mute switch is awesome and the port cutouts are big enough for 3rd party cables and headphones. The membrane on the Touch ID works and sound is slightly muted which is also the case for call quality.