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.
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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.
Again, we gave this case a score of 4 Eh’s out of 5. Have questions about our Griffin Summit Review? Please ask them on our Google+ page or on our Facebook page or through our About Us page.
October 3, 2015 at 5:15 pm
Would u recommend this over Thule?
Is the protection around the screen without screen protector (for face down drops) still pretty decent if we opted not to use the screen protector?
October 5, 2015 at 1:39 pm
The case needs to screen protector to keep the iPhone inside the case. I’d go with the Thule if you’re not working at heights of 10 ft.
October 3, 2015 at 7:01 pm
I noticed that you destroyed the case during your drop test. Despite the iPhone being protected, this is disappointing. After all, the case is useless and sacrificed by the drop. And you are out the money you spent on the case.
I’ve settled on the Nuguard KX case for my iPhone 6 Plus – with tempered glass screen protector. The reasons include:
1. 4 times Military Spec drop rating – meaning 16-20 feet drop protection. Simply best drop protection in the industry.
2. Slim case.
3. LIFETIME WARRANTY. If it breaks, Nuguard (owned by OW Computing) will replace it. Period. No other company does this.
I did sand the grip using 1500 grit sandpaper to smooth it a little. And now it is the perfect lifetime case. Until I get the iPhone 7 and another Nuguard KX case.
October 5, 2015 at 1:35 pm
Thx for the comment. Case only came apart, its still fully functional.
October 5, 2015 at 11:11 pm
Cant u just cut out the built in screen protector and just slide it on over your nice glass screen protector.
October 16, 2015 at 1:31 pm
I’m looking to compare the journey, all terrain and summit. The first question is does 3D touch with all three cases? Secondly, you believe that the summit is better than the all terrain, but you mention the screen protector issues. I accept that the summit will protect the phone better, but if the protection of the all terrain is good enough, then is that a good choice bearing in mind the annoyance of usage in terms of the screen. This is to protect a new iPhone 6S plus which replaces an iPhone 5 which has the all terrain and was very happy with (ie don’t care about the flappies etc)
October 16, 2015 at 3:57 pm
The screen protector All-Terrain is a tad better (smaller gap) when compared to the Summit but the Summit is an all-around tougher case. Protection aside, the Summit is a better case in terms of handling. The All-Terrain is really boxy whereas the Summit follows the design of the iPhone a bit better. 3D touch is going to be a little tougher with the 3D touch is you’ll end up having to press much harder on the screen.
For the Journey, the question you have to ask is how often does your iPhone get wet? The All-Terrain and Summit provide better water protection but with the 6s’s being quite water resistant this might not be a big deal. The Journey offers much better access to the iPhone than either the Summit and All-Terrain.
October 20, 2015 at 10:08 pm
How does the Summit screen issues compare to the Survivor All-terrain? I is there more space between the Summit screen and the iPhone?
October 21, 2015 at 5:27 pm
October 22, 2015 at 11:35 pm
Just wondering if there is a tough case out there that doesn’t have a built in screen protector and will keep dust out of the phone…. I really enjoyed the unicorn beetle supcase
October 23, 2015 at 2:07 pm
The only two cases that come to mind are: http://www.mobilereviews-eh.ca/compare/2/49,29/lifeproof-nuud-vs-dog–bone-wetsuit/
October 27, 2015 at 6:30 am
Can you pop the plastic screen protector off and install a glass screen protector? Also, any idea if you will review the Trident Kraken?
October 27, 2015 at 2:27 pm
I don’t think that would be a good idea since the front panel wouldn’t be very rigid for installation purposes. The Kraken is up next: http://www.mobilereviews-eh.ca/in-the-pipe/
October 28, 2015 at 5:09 am
October 28, 2015 at 4:19 am
Thank you for reviewing the case 🙂
If I use temperd glass on my phone,
Can I reduce the gap between phone and screen protector?
I am using the protect film right now.
October 29, 2015 at 11:58 pm
You could but it might reduce the sensitivity of the touchscreen.
November 1, 2015 at 2:37 pm
But what if you use the summit with a Tempered glass & cut off the plastic sheet kinda screen protector that is fixed to the front frame which snaps in and locks the device this would reduce the glare significantly as well as the touch would be 100 times better right ?
November 1, 2015 at 8:05 pm
Maybe but it would be tough to install the frame without the screen protector. You also lose the dust protection if you cut out the screen protector.
November 17, 2015 at 3:11 pm
Well I did that to my survivor slim for the iPad Air 2…it was real easy but as you say the only thing I gotta be careful is about dust protection …very little creeps into it in 2 weeks I remove the shield & clean it entirely & place it back ! Nothing else I could find to reduce glare …just waiting for my Griifin survivor summit to be delivered its been a week & griffin doesn’t provide tracking for international economy shipping though they charge$8 for it …! Just hope to get it soon ! But I saw a review of it on Griffins webpage about this particular model & one reviewer wrote that the case wiggles inside the assembly & the fit of the case & screen doesn’t align well ? Is that true in your case ? I hope not …thanks means a lot for the earlier reply ..hope to get a reply for this too ASAP
November 7, 2015 at 8:34 pm
would a tempered glass screen protector work under the Summit screen….filling in some of the space? I was wondering if you tried that with you review, but didn’t enter that info.
November 22, 2015 at 10:36 pm
I noticed that this case works with both the iPhone 6 and 6S, in terms of the fitting, is the 6S going to work well in this case, or is it going to be too tight?
November 23, 2015 at 9:00 pm
It should be fine. Griffin said it should fit both.
November 25, 2015 at 1:30 pm
Well the survivor journey fits in too tight …still waiting for my summit to be delivered …but yup it’s a nice tight snug fit for the 6s atleast with the journey im using
November 27, 2015 at 3:02 pm
What’s the issue with the snugness?
December 16, 2015 at 10:16 pm
Just got my summit today. They must of updated the screen since your review, haven’t noticed the screen issue you had. Retina seems to be unaffected now and no double reflection… One issue I had was the volume button at first, pressed volume button once and it jammed causing it to shoot the volume high. But was fixed when I pressed phone into case a bit more firmly. Thanks for the review that helped me lean towards this case. Think I found my new day to day case for the time being. Lot lighter than my otterbox defender and feels slim.
January 3, 2016 at 1:11 am
I noticed that in the review of the Summit that “it comes with a spare battery”. I ordered mine from the Griffin site and I don’t think a spare battery comes with it. Just thought I would point that out.
January 19, 2016 at 3:40 am
Does it offer better protection for drops that the Rhinoshield Playproof?
January 20, 2016 at 3:22 pm
About the same.
February 22, 2016 at 4:19 pm
griffin survivor summit can we put tempered glass for space between iphone screen and glass protector Which will be modified according to the screen, can anyone advise on this?
February 23, 2016 at 4:04 pm
You could but I wouldn’t
March 5, 2016 at 9:48 pm
In a size comparison which case is larger Summit or Otterbox Defender?
In the video the Summit looks huge in comparison.
March 6, 2016 at 8:00 pm
The Summit is bigger but doesn’t feel thicker because the sides taper in a bit
September 12, 2016 at 2:57 am
I bought this case and although protection seems solid, the rubber flap that covers the headphone/lightning connectors came of after exactly 6 months. I only opened the flap once daily (before going to sleep, to charge the phone). So this is a weak point. It’s still usable with detached flap, though.
It seems the plastic screen cover gets scratched easily. I take care of my phone, but after 6 months it has some scratches.