“What’s that?” I sidle up to my editor holding a posh velvet box. Without so much as a second glance, he hands it off to me, “You can have it.”
If I had even the slightest ounce of confusion as to why my editor was so disinterested, it was sparkling clear when I opened the box and saw what was lying there on the cushy velvet lining of the box - a crystal-encrusted Otterbox case (scientific name: Symmetry Series Crystal Edition Case for iPhone 6s / 6)
A gilded plaque signed by the managing director of OtterBox Hong Kong informed me that I was holding on to “one of 7500 OtterBox Crystal Edition cases produced globally”, number 2435 to be specific.
And that’s generally the reaction I’ve gotten from men and women: the girls can’t help but be drawn to the power of the sparkle, while the boys can’t wait to be rid of it.
I’ve been using this for more than a week and while I sometimes forget I have this on, everyone around me never lets me forget.
“What’s with your iPhone case?” asks one curious individual (female) who knows my taste tends towards the muted.
“I can’t let myself be seen with your phone in public,” says another judgemental Joe as he pointedly sets my phone on the table to scroll through the story I was showing him.
I’ve used many phones and many cases, but none has gotten as much unasked-for attention as this glitter critter (although the Apple Watch comes a close second).
It was only when I went to the pool one sunny Sunday that I realised how flashy this is - literally. Like traffic-stopping, rescue-guaranteed-if-ever-shipwrecked shiny in sunlight.
While you can’t really feel the added thickness of the case, the rubber bumper does add quite a bit of bulk to the width of the phone, but that’s because of OtterBox’s Certified Drop+ Protection rubber, basically a torture routine they put their cases through that will ensure no harm ever comes to your phone while it’s in such a case. But the rubber bumper covers the volume and power buttons so you do need a little more pressure than normal because of the stiffness of the material.
The biggest standout of this phone case is that it is incredibly durable. I love the way the official leather iPhone covers look, but they tend to get badly scratched up in my bag while this gem-encrusted one doesn’t. There was one recent incident when it flew out of my grasp, bounced a few times on the escalator steps, and was none the worse for wear with no crystals coming loose either.
In case you were wondering, you can feel the individual crystals, but they won't shred your palms into meat ribbons, instead providing good textured grip on a phone that's a little beefed up by the addition of the case.
So as far as cases go, this is as functional as it is asthetically captivating. I do wish that OtterBox would have gone one step further and included some of that solar-powered tech that Swarvoski has been working on with Misfit in the form of the Swarovski Shine when I saw how the crystals caught the sun rays.
Solar-powered phone prototypes exist, and what would make more sense than incorporating that sparkle and making it a useful element of a battery charging case? Imagine never having to charge the case as it uses the crystals on it to harness solar energy and convert it into reserves for your phone whenever it approaches that dreaded 20% dip.
Somebody, Kickstart it already. Until then, if you've taken a shine to this OtterBox case, you can get it here for US$140 (S$190). Be prepared for the attention because you're definitely going to get some.