Review: STM Harbour iPhone 6 case is simple, a bit too simple

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There comes a time in every iPhone fan’s life where they have to decide between form and function, and style and necessity when it comes to protecting their phone. Why buy a case when you’ve paid this much money for the design of the phone itself? When will that moment come when we can have both the sleek style with the iPhones we carry, and some piece of mind that when we drop the phone, it’ll be fine?

That moment isn’t now.

STM (or Standard Technical Merchandise, as their legal name is) is known to produce some quality products for the techie road warrior and jet setter. And this Harbour iPhone 6 case is all quality–but that’s about it.

The product touts a dual density thermo polyurethane (TPU) material for drop and scratch protection. That means while there’s a hard shell exterior, the interior is softer to cushion the phone’s impact if it were to ever drop and hit a surface. Of course, I don’t have a plethora of iPhones to test this out on, so we just kind of have to go with it.

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A feature that is most welcomed in STM’s line of cases is the fact that it also covers the power and volume control buttons, while still giving the user access to them. Yes, you do have to press just a little harder, but it’s hardly a nuisance considering the fact that you can protect the buttons from dust and liquids.

The hinged design is interesting. The bottom of the phone can be bent backwards (maybe this is the #Bendgate that we’ve all been confused about?) so you can either stand the phone up on a flat surface or access the port for easy docking on a speaker device.

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While it sounds like a nice feature, I’m not completely sold on its utility. If I ever needed to prop my phone up, it should be on its side, because I’m watching a video. The hinged back doesn’t bend back far enough to support the phone on its side. Aside from simply propping my phone up to let me know it’s still there, I haven’t found any real good use for it.

As for its docking utility, most devices you’d connect to these days do so via Bluetooth and not by any physical connection. If anything, the idea of docking your phone to a device seems to be dying off. Good evidence of that lies in the fact that most hotels still have a clock/speaker that docks an iPhone 4, and they have not been upgraded. (Which, if you’re a hotel owner reading this, I just want to ask, why haven’t we included Bluetooth-enabled speakers in your rooms yet?)

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Here’s my beef with the design: while the case comes in at a tolerable $25, covering up the beautiful aesthetics of your iPhone with a matted case just seems too contrary to Apple’s design appeal. The color choices are nice, but the retro feel of color-blocking does not match the design of the iPhone 6. It feels like we’ve gone back to the 5.

My one favorite aspect of the case is that the rim is squared off, so you can stand the phone on its side. Not everyone loved the iPhone 6’s move to rounded edges (though it does look better).

As a case, the Harbour does its job by protecting the phone while giving you easy access to the button controls and ports. The hinged feature is a nice touch, but not practical, and the matte finish and structural design of the case feels a bit outdated.

Overall rating: 3/5 atoms

NR 3 Atoms - C

 

 

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Rocky Vy
Rocky Vy 101 posts

<a href="http://www.artofonline.com">Digital marketing consultant</a> by trade, a freelance writer by passion. Also, anything that involves innovative tech, fashion, entrepreneurialism, Pantone 021C and pandas are cool, too. Follow him <a href="http://www.twitter.com/rockyvy">@rockyvy</a>.