The latest versions of the Kraken A.M.S. and Cyclops iPhone cases from Trident Case get a strong recommendation from us for a lot of reasons. While we tested them for an iPhone 5S, but Trident is one of the few manufacturers committed to making cases for a variety of Android, Blackberry and Windows phones as well.
First and foremost are the snaps that hold the top and bottom pieces together. Once you've assembled the case, it's not going to pop open. If you're the kind of person who likes to use a case only part of the time, it's not hard to take the case apart. This is a bigger advantage over other cases than it may sound like here. Second are the bumpers inside the case the offer an extra level of shock protection.
The Cyclops offers medium-grade protection (see the green case above) and the Kraken AMS is the heavy-duty option that comes with a kickstand on the case itself and includes a belt clip.
These are the newest models that debuted this year. There are earlier versions that feature a round cutout that lets you see the Apple logo on the back of your phone. While you can't really trust a lot of the complainers on the Internet, those versions may have had issues with how well they fit the phones. Those fit issues don't exist with the newer versions.
Those round-window versions show up at the top of the sales page on the Trident website and they're the ones that pop up first when you search for the cases on Amazon. Those older versions are available at heavily discounted prices from some vendors.
The screen protector fits close to the screen. There's not a lot of give when you use your fingers on your phone. That's not always the situation with this kind of case. Both cases are going to be effective for all but the most severe conditions. They offer awesome drop protection and the Cyclops does it without the bulk you get with something like an Otterbox.
There are plugs to protect power and audio ports from the elements and they seem sturdy enough that they won't fall apart after just a few months (something that's a recurring issue with protective cases). Both cases are now made from recyclable polycarbonate and TPE.
That leaves us with the MIL-STD-810F military standard. Even thought the Army, Air Force and Navy jointly develop and maintain the specifications, there's no formal certification and a lot of manufacturers "design to standard" and slap a logo on their packages. Trident claims their products are independently tested and claims the cases meet the following standards:
- Drop (Mil-STD-810F, Method 516.5) - 26 drops onto concrete from 4ft.
- Vibration (Mil-STD-810F, Method 514.5) from 20-2000Hz across 3 different axes for a total of 18 hours.
- Dust (Mil-STD-810F, Method 510.4) - blow dust for 3 hours at 29 ft / sec.
- Sand (Mil-STD-810F, Method 510.4) - blow sand for 3 hours at 59 ft / sec.
- Rain (Mil-STD-810F, Method 506.4) - 7.9 inches per hour of rain at 40 mph wind velocity for 1 hour.
U.F.C. fans might want to keep their eyes open for upcoming Quentin "Rampage" Jackson special-edition Rampage series which will also include Rampage's signature belt chain.
The Kraken lists for $49.95 and the Cyclops lists for $39.95. Both seem to be available online for discounts around 25%. I've been using the Cyclops a lot. It offers the best protection I've found for something that doesn't turn your phone into a giant brick in your pocket.