Tech 21 Patriot SMASH!!!! This is one big iPhone case
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Today we’re going to review the Tech 21 Patriot for the iPhone 6/6 Plus. This is an extremely tough iPhone case that theoretically protects your iPhone from 13 ft drops. Yes, 13 ft drops. We actually took the time to drop an iPhone inside the Tech 21 Patriot from 13 ft in our review video and we’ll let you decide if it passed or not.
The Patriot is not a small case but does feel really well built. The texture of the case is nice and it offers great access to all the hardware features of the iPhone except the screen which we’ve found to be as sensitive as somebody who is emotionally dead on the inside on Tuesdays and Thursday.
Based on our time with the case, we gave it a score of 3.4 Eh’s out of 5. Despite being a tough case, the Patriot is one of our lower rated cases sitting alone the Pelican Voyager, Otterbox Defender and ZeroLemon Protector. If you’re wondering how this case fares against other cases, check out our comparison tool!
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|Tech 21 Patriot|
(out of 5)
|Top Buy Buttons|
- Very tough (iPhone did survive a 13 ft drop_
- Easy access to buttons & ports
- Screen sensitivity is reduced by this case
- Viewability of your iPhone is extremely poor
|Potential Problems||Potential Problems:|
- None that we noticed
(Tech 21 Patriot)
- One of the biggest cases that we've reviewed
- Adds quite a bit of weight to your iPhone 6/6 Plus
|Install||Ease of Installation (4/5):|
- Installing the Tech 21 Patriot is easy
- Taking the case off is much harder
|Build Quality||Build Quality (5/5):|
- Great texture on the case
- Good blend of materials
- Feels "grippy"
- Belt-holster is quite useful
- Holds up to abuse well
(Tech 21 Patriot)
|Shock Protection||Shock Protection (5/5):|
- 13 ft drop protection (check out the review video to see us drop an iPhone 6 Plus from 13 ft)
|Water/Dust Protection||Water/Dust Protection (1.5/5):|
- This tough iPhone 6/6 Plus case isn't waterproof
- Headphone jack/lightning port are well protected
- Most of the speakers/mics are covered with a membrane
- Touch ID area is covered
|Screen Protection||Screen Protection (4/5):|
- Thick screen protector
- Edges keep the iPhone's touch screen off a flat surface
(Tech 21 Patriot)
|iPhone Functionality||iPhone Functionality (5/5):|
- Power and volume buttons are easy to get to
- Mute switch access is really nice
- Touch ID membrane works
- Able to use larger than average cables and headphones
|Screen Usability||Screen Usability (2/5):|
- Screen protector feels "rubbery". Fingers don't glide on the iPhone's touchscreen
- Noticeable gap between screen protector and screen
- Sensitivity loss due to gap
|Screen Viewability||Screen View-ability (2/5):|
- Increase glare and reflection due to the gap in the screen protector
- Diffuses the iPhone's touchscreen
- Fingerprinting is very noticeable
|Bottom Buy Buttons|
Design – The Godzilla of iPhone cases?
In terms of design, the Tech 21 Patriot is a massive case. People with average sized pants are going to have a hard time putting this iPhone case into their pockets. The only case that we’ve seen that is larger is the Ballistic Hardcore but even that case can be slimmed down as the outer layer of protection is removable.
Installation of the case is quite simple as you fit the iPhone into the cradle and then wrap the back around the iPhone. The back of the case is where most of the weight comes from. Taking the case out of the Patriot is a different story as it’s incredibly difficult to pry the back of the case off but for most people, that’s going to be a good thing.
We’re quite impressed with the build quality of the Tech 21 Patriot. The entire case feels very solid and there is an excellent blend of different textures which makes the iPhone quite easy to handle. Everything fits together really well and the materials hold up fairly well after a couple rounds of torture.
Protection – Seriously, who wants to drop their iPhone from 13 ft?
When it comes to protection, the Tech 21 Patriot is suppose to be a tough case. According to Tech 21, there are 2 things that are unique to this case and they are BulletShield which is a polymer used in bulletproof glass and FlexShock was is Tech 21’s proprietary blend of shock absorbing material.
Now BulletShield and FlexShock make the Tech 21 Patriot sound like the toughest case in the world but we tested a Tech 21 Impact Shield that had the BulletShield polymer and provided protection that was just a notch above a naked iPhone. For FlexShock, as you saw in our Tech 21 Patriot review video, the 13 ft drop wasn’t kind to your iPhone 6 Plus as the device did bend but was still functional after the drop. So really, if you’re ok with a bit of damage to your iPhone from a very high drop, then it passed!
Tech 21 coins this case as being Dust and Splash Proof and we generally do have to agree. All the speakers and mics except 1, are covered with a type of membrane that keeps dust and debris out and the ports are all sealed quite well but anything to do with the iPhone’s camera and light sensors are exposed.
Leaving certain parts exposed seems odd to us since it seems like Tech 21 went to great lengths to cover up most of the iPHone but not all of it.
Functionality – So tough that you’re going to have trouble using your iPhone inside the case
In terms of accessing your iPhone inside the case, all the hardware ports and buttons are really easy to access which we really like. From our point of view, there are two things that suck the joy out of using your iPhone and the first one is not being able to easily access the buttons on your device. That is not the case with the Patriot.
The port cutouts are large enough to handle larger than average cables such as the Awesome Cable and Amazon Basics cable. The mute switch is especially nice to access as very few companies go with a button that you access through the front of the case rather than trying to shove your finger into a tiny cutout. The membrane over the TouchID sensor works decently as well.
The second thing that will suck the joy out of using your iPhone is the having the screen protector reduce the sensitivity of the touchscreen which is what really drags the Patriot down. There is a very noticeable gap between the screen protector and the touchscreen which results in a sensitivity loss on the iPhone as well as requiring occasional multiple swipes to get to whatever you need to get to. The edges of the case don’t get in the way which doesn’t mean much when you consider everything else we just mentioned in terms of the screen protector.
To add insult to injury, viewing the iPhone through the screen protector that doesn’t come close to maintaining the clarity of the iPhones Retina HD screen. The screen protector on the Patriot is quite prone to grease, diffuses the iPhone’s screen, increases the glare and reflections coming off the iPhone’s touchscreen but because of that large gap, doesn’t suffer from any sort of rainbowing. Any sort of permanent damage to the screen protector will result in added diffusion which just adds to the aggravation of using your iPhone inside of this case.
The last thing we will mention is that the belt holster on the Tech 21 Patriot is fairly nice as the belt clip doubles as a viewing platform that allows you to view your iPhone handsfree on a flat surface which was a nice find (in our opinion) during our test period for our Tech 21 Patriot Review.
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