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UAG Rugged, Light Weight, Military Grade Drop-Tested Phone Case Review

Urban Armor Gear (UAG) is a renowned manufacturer of robust cases for smartphones and tablets. Even though their main specialty are Apple and Samsung devices, they also cover selected models from Microsoft, HTC, LG, and Motorola. What all of their cases have in common is a design inspired by a sense of adventure and demanding urban lifestyle.

Design

It’s immediately obvious that the inspiration for the design of the UAG cases came from military equipment. But unlike many other case manufacturers, UAG keeps things simple and avoids tacky design elements. Everything has one purpose: to keep your device safe and protected no matter how badly you treat it.

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All cases from UAG are available in several different colors, including black, orange, red, blue, silver, gray, alongside a clear version. Colors are all look vivid and, judging by the experience of countless happy customers online, remain looking as new for a very long time.

The reinforced rubber parts of UAG cases aren’t there for looks alone. They help you get a good grip on your smartphone or tablet, thus minimizing the chance of you accidentally dropping your device on the ground and possibly breaking the screen.

Build

UAG uses double-layer construction, which includes a hard outer shell and a soft inner core designed to dampen the impact from drops. Their marketing constantly stresses the fact that all of their cases are certified to the MIL-STD-810G 516.6military standard.

As described on their website, “To achieve this certification, a device must be dropped from a height of 48 inches, on each face, corner, and back. The device is dropped a total of 26 times and must function properly after the test, while not sustaining any damage to the touch screen.”

That definitely doesn’t sound like something that we would be keen on doing with any of our devices, so we are glad that UAG went the extra mile to test their cases for us. Keep in mind that the test doesn’t take into consideration the appearance of the case – looks are secondary when the life of your flagship device is at stake.

What surprised us the most about all UAG cases was their extraordinary light weight. Despite their apparent toughness, they felt almost hollow. That’s actually not too far away for the truth, as the inner cavity features an orthotropic honeycomb design. This web of hollow cells provides excellent rigidity and compression strength while simultaneously minimizing size and weight.

The plastic material used in the production of all UAG cases is slightly stretchy, allowing you to easily insert your smartphone or tablet. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the removal. It takes a lot of force to remove the case, which is the price that you have to pay for the guarantee that the case will stay on your device when you need it the most.

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Protection

In one of their promotional stunts, UAG used a weather balloon to lift a case into a height of 101,000 before popping the balloon and letting the case with a smartphone inside fall back to earth. The smartphone encountered temperatures as cold as -79 degrees F and winds as strong as 70 mph, but still remained undamaged and in perfect working order. Naysayers will say that the smartphone landed on a relatively soft surface, but we still think that it was a pretty impressive demonstration of the level of protection that you can expect to get from UAG cases.

The secret lies in the extended lip on the front side, which protect the screen from scratches when you place your device face-down on a table. It also creates a millimeter or two of space, giving the screen some room to flex in case of a sudden impact before it touches the surface. The back is completely covered, except for the protruding part that protects the camera lens. Rear skid pads add a lot of friction, ensuring that your smartphone or tablet won’t slide all over the place.

We like that all ports still remain accessible, allowing you to connect your headphones and USB cables without any problems. The power button and volume buttons are protected by rubber flaps, which provide a pleasant tactile response.

Pros

  • Lightweight and thin
  • Wide variety of colors
  • Easy to install
  • Excellent drop protection
  • Precise button and connector cutouts

Cons

  • Somewhat difficult to remove

Verdict

Cases from Urban Armor Gear strike a good balance between bulk and protection. The design screams drop-proof without being off-putting to people who don’t dig the whole military thing. The fact that UAG cases can be difficult to remove is easily overlooked because you will want to keep the case on for a very long time, enjoying the superior protection it offers.

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