Melissa L Jones Photography | Cases keep coming, but some are better than others

Cases keep coming, but some are better than others

October 24, 2016

Last week, I started a review of the mass of cases I received with the release of the new iPhone. I focused on a couple of folio options and a couple of the tough cases. This week, I’m finishing the long list, and it has a wide variety on it. 

The cases left range from little protection to more than I expected. They come from X-Doria, Ballistic, Mujjo and CM4. They were all tested with an iPhone 7 Plus.

Let’s start with the leather options. Mujjo ( provides the Full Grain Leather Case ($41.93 retail). The case pops onto the back of the phone and provides a suede interior to protect the phone from scratches, molded corners and vegetable-tanned leather for the back that’s soft to the touch but sits on a rigid skeleton. The case has wide cutouts for the buttons, speakers and charging port. It has an upscale, executive look and feels nice in the hand. However, it offers very little protection for the phone. If you’re super careful with your phone all the time, this case will work. However, the rest of us may need more protection than what this one offers.


The next leather case I tried was the CM4 ( Q Card Case ($39.99). It has a silicone base with a leather pocket on the back to hold up to three credit cards. Though similar to the Mujjo case, this one offers more protection. The silicone encircles the phone, leaving holes for the speakers, port and mute button, rather than large cutouts. The leather pocket on the back holds three cards very tightly, but a single card has more space than I like. The Q Card Case has a clever design feature above the leather pocket — a slit that can hold the edge of a credit card, allowing it to serve as a kickstand to prop the case up for horizontal viewing. I think it’s fine for the iPhone 7, but the Plus has a bit more weight. I’d be concerned about the card bending after a while. Still, it’s a nice feature, and the case feels nice in the hand. 


The next case is from Ballistic ( and is called the Jewel Case for iPhone 7 Plus ($19.99 retail, currently on sale for $14.99). The Jewel case is all clear silicone, but it has some features that offer more protection than it first appears to have. It encloses the phone, offering holes for the speakers, port and mute button. The corners are raised and thicker, providing extra protection for corner drops. Tiny raised dots inside not only provide the outside with that jewel look, but they also cushion the phone from back impacts. The buttons are covered, and the edges are raised to protect the screen from front drops. The case shows off the phone well and is slim. The only problem is the case has an almost sticky feel. While it’s great for gripping the phone, it was a bit difficult to slip into a jeans pocket sometimes. Still, it’s worth the extra shove for something that provides great protection while showing off enough of the phone to make your friends a little jealous.


The last two offer great protection for slim cases. I had a hard time deciding which one I liked most. 


The first, once again, is from CM4, this time from its Silk Innovation line ( The Silk Armor Tough Case ($39.99) comes in smoke, crimson and clear (that’s grey, red and clear). It has a hard polycarbonate back that resembles a reflector. Textured rubber grips on the sides make it easy to hold the phone. It has holes for the speakers, port and mute switch, but the buttons are covered. Raised stripes of polycarbonate protect the corners, and the raised edges surrounding the screen offer protection from front-face drops. The amazing bonus to this case is the screen protector. It isn’t one of those annoying plastic things. This case comes with a tempered glass protection shield. It seems to work well against the touchscreen. An included kit provides instructions and materials needed to properly clean the screen and attach the screen protector. The package even includes a spare one, just in case. The protectors made for a great bonus and added to the impressiveness of this case.


Finally, I tried out the Defense Gear Case ($34.99) from X-Doria ( I admit, this one just looks cool, but those cool features also serve to protect the phone. The back of the case includes a molded metal plate that absorbs shocks. Clear cutouts provide a peak of the phone’s color as well as strips of color built into the case. Those strips curl into the sides of the case to provide extra shock absorption. The corners have raised pieces to protect against shocks, and the edges curl over the phone’s screen for protection from face drops. Though there is a hole for the Lightning port, the speakers are protected by channels that curve upward to project sound forward. The case is slim, but it offers a ton of protection. The textured sides provide a firm grip, yet with all this, the case remains slim. The only things it’s lacking is a cover for the screen. It’s definitely one of the best offerings, and the one I’m still using. 


Thought they cover a broad spectrum, most of these cases offer good protection. It’s hard to go wrong with any of them, though if I had a choice, the Silk or X-Doria would be the best choices for protective cases. 


That’s enough cases for a while. Wait until you see what I have next time. Get ready to step back in time! 

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