I like taking photos on scenic multi pitches and scrambles! There, I said it.
I've just purchased a newish iPhone 11 Pro mostly for work purposes but as mentioned I do like to take a snap now and then whilst out and about.
I often find that anecdotal reviews of such things are of greater value than trawling the internet (but feel free to prove me wrong), so I'm after recommendations on rugged phone cases. Don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting miracles and I'm not particularly 'droppy' myself, but I like to preserve the life of these things for as long as possible (or at least until Apple shafts me with a software update).
Something that can handle a few bashes and being unceremoniously stuffed into bags alongside hardware, leant on in pockets and being vaguely waterproof would also be a bonus.
Mous works for me.
My kids prefer Otterbox.
iPhone 11 is already waterproof.
For this sort of purpose, I prefer folding cases.
I used to use an older version of this one for my iPhone SE:
On my 11 Pro I currently just use a screen protector and an SP connect case to attach it to my phone, and I have already smashed through three screen protectors, something that just never happened with the flip case.
Otterbox Symmetry and a good quality glass screen protector is what i have, my phone still looks brand new when i do take it out of the case now and then
I'm using the new iPhone SE and haven't broken my MAUS yet (and I am very droppy) ... not sure how it would fare on something with a larger screen though as that feels more of a jeopardy zone.
I've just spent a day looking for something for my new iPhone 12. I already have a Mous case (which seem one of the best for corner impact protection) and was worried about getting the screen scratched so bought a Spigen tempered screen. I was also concerned about the camera lenses but after reading that they're made from sapphire glass I'm happy to take a little risk here (they are replaceable but I've heard of very few people getting them scratched).
The last worry is how to hold it safely and I decided to either have it in my pocket with a safety line to the Mous lanyard attachment point or use the magnetic back to attach it to my Peak Design packpack strap connector (via a customised adapter - not worked that one out yet).
The only final risk is getting muck into the power socket but that's waterproof and fairly easily cleanable so I'm happy with that risk (you can get silicone stoppers for it if you wanted).
I'm interested in what other people do though...
You can get toughened glass protectors for the cameras too, but they are extremely vulnerable and cause lens flaring. I broke two and gave up, and that wasn't by dropping or anything, just contact with stuff. The bare lenses on the other hand are entirely unscathed.
I've an iPhone 11 in a Griffin Survivor case, with a normal glass screen protector. It's withstood a few drops although a direct impact on the screen would probably be something of a problem.
Just to alleviate your concerns a little bit, my phone fell out of my old bike mount and smashed on rocks screen first. The screen protector broke but did precisely what it was meant to do, the screen is entirely unscathed.
I keep mine in a standard leather case but when doing outdoorsy stuff, I pop it into a neoprene sleeve. I have a few sleeves stashed in various bags and rucksacks. They cost around £10 from Amazon.
Thanks for that, Tim. Very thorough and helpful!
I tend to fashion some sort of leash or lanyard from gear cord and that is another consideration of course…
+1 for Otterbox. Mine has a clip on the cover so it gives you some securing options. Not cheap to buy, but it's the 5 star option in terms of protecting expensive gadgets.