Under the Radar

PureMove Sports Armband for iPhone

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With the PureMove, PureGear has made an iPhone sports armband for people who hate their current sports armband. It's pricey, with a $39.99 list price (down from $49.99), but it addresses all of the issues I've had with the others I've owned.

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The PureMove has a removable armband that's washable, lightweight, odor-free and moisture-wicking. It's both more comfortable and higher quality than the straps most other brands and, because it's so easy to clean, you won't get to the point where you feel like you're going to catch something from it. The Velcro is the good stuff that will last. There are reflectors on the strap for safety.

The PureMove comes in two sizes. The Small/Medium has a 9-12.4 inch strap and the Medium/Large has a 10.23-15.15 inch strap. You don't get a color choice: the small is pink & gray and the large is black & green. There's a cord management clip that allows you to take up any slack between the strap and your ears. Another nice touch are the wings on the case: they're just flexible enough to conform to your actual arm size, giving a more comfortable fit.

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Best of all, your phone clips right into the case. There's no sleeve with one of those plastic windows that makes your phone almost impossible to use. I guess the argument against the PureMove is that your screen is now exposed every time you take a fall, yet I'm not sure those plastic windows actually offer any protection, either. This is perfect for the gym and running on good roads. If you're cycling or running cross country and need your phone, you should probably consider a hardcore protective case anyway.

After a few weeks of use, this case seems like it's going to hold up. Having direct access to the screen is a huge selling point. This is a great choice.

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PureGear also makes the DualTek iPhone Case (list price $49.99 but widely available for less online). The case is IP65 rated and offers a substantial amount of dust and splash protection in a 2-piece case. You set your phone into the front piece and then wrap the back silicon piece around for a good seal. It's not hard to remove the case. If you don't always need a protective case, this is a good option.

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The front screen protector doesn't feel cheap and doesn't show a gap between case and phone screen. iPhone 5s users will be glad to know that Touch ID works with the case, something that's still not a standard feature almost a year after the release of the 5s. There's an included lanyard with a detachable clip if you're looking for a wrist strap.

The protection and flexibility are great and this is definitely a top choice if you don't need a protective case every day. There are a couple of tradeoffs here, though. You can't use headphones with the bottom flap closed and the sound is very muffled unless the flap is open. Also, you're going to lose touch feedback from the home button while the phone's in the case; you won't get the sense that you pushed down even though everything works as normal.

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PureGear isn't really in the audio business but also offers PureBoom sound buds. They retail for $39.99 but they're easy to find for $10-$20 from various online retailers. They come with three sizes of tips and a zip-up carrying case. They sound pretty good at $40, but they're a fantastic deal at $10. There's an in-line controller so you can pause and answer calls. Actually, they're still a great deal at $20. You can't control the volume, but otherwise they can be a nice sound upgrade from the standard-issue Apple earbuds.

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Finally, PureGear offers the PureTek roll-on screen protector kit, a product designed to appeal to anyone who's given up on screen protectors because they can't get rid of the air bubbles. They come in AntiGlare, Anti-Fingerprint and Impact protection versions and retail for $24.99 for the iPhone 5. They're also available for iPad Air, iPad Mini and a variety of current Android phones.

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It's a tray with protector screen pre-attached. Drop the phone or tablet in the tray and use the roller to attach the screen to your phone. I've tried many screen protectors with bad results but this worked flawlessly the first time. I had to use the roller for a couple of bubbles at the top of the phone (which is the end where you start the process), but they came right out with a second pass of the roller.

If you read the online reviews, there are some people who can't make this work but I've got to believe they didn't follow the simple instructions. It's a nice roller, worth keeping after you recycle the tray.  If you want a screen protector and haven't had any luck with installing them before, this should solve your application issues.

The PureMove is an excellent sports armband, maybe the best one on the market if you want direct access to the screen. None of this is bargain priced (except the earphones when they're on sale), but the rest of the PureGear product line offers good value for what it's trying to do.

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