UAG iPhone case reviews: Cream of the crop

Hardware Reviews / iOS / Mobile / Reviews / Top Picks
UAG

The cutouts are ample for third-party accessories and the buttons have the best tactile feedback I’ve ever used on any case.

OK, that headline is pretty bold, I know. But hear me out. I’ve done a lot of case reviews on Techaeris and a few other sites and I love a lot of the cases I review. I even rate them pretty high because, well, they’re really great cases. But this is the third year that I’ve used UAG cases on my iPhones and after all the case reviews I’ve done, I find that I always go back to my UAG. This year’s batch isn’t any different. UAG sent me their iPhone lineup for 2016 and not a lot has changed and it didn’t have to. Read on and find out why I think these cases are the best on the market and why they take a Techaeris Top Pick Award for 2016.

UAG Plasma

UAG

Design

Going into this review I understand that UAG’s designs aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Personally I love the aggressive and rugged look of the UAG cases and the Plasma offers that clear back so you can show off your iPhone’s color. The cutouts are ample for third-party accessories and the buttons have the best tactile feedback I’ve ever used on any case.

Installation

Like most any cases these days it’s a simple slip and snap into place. I usually slide the volume rocker side in first. Taking it off is as simple as pushing up on the sides and working the phone out with your fingers.

Protection

The Plasma offers up a great mid-level protection with three layers surrounding your phone. The raised lip on the front is higher than other cases I’ve used and therefore better at front screen protection. The Plasma has been drop tested by UAG and offers up a military grade MIL STD 810G-516.6 rating. Overall this case would be great for commuters who tend to travel on public transportation and may get bumped and jostled around a bit.

Price/Value

The list price is already a great deal for this case but the Amazon price makes it that much better.

UAG Plasma
4.9 Out of 5
Nailed it
Clear design showcase your iPhone's color. Great tactile feedback from buttons. Great protection but still slim.
Needs Work
UAG design is probably not for everyone.
Bottom Line
A very light and slim case with great protection.
Design5.00
Installation5.00
Protection4.75
Price/Value5.00
  Purchase from Amazon

UAG Pathfinder

UAG

Design

Once again, this design isn’t for everyone and that is perfectly fine, but it’s a design I’ve come to enjoy since first using UAG cases. The cutouts are ample for third-party accessories and the buttons have the best tactile feedback I’ve ever used on any case.

Installation

Like most any cases these days it’s a simple slip and snap into place. I usually slide the volume rocker side in first. Taking it off is as simple as pushing up on the sides and working the phone out with your fingers.

Protection

The Pathfinder offers up dual layer protection and a very rigid shell that can take a licking. While it’s one layer less than the Plasma, I feel like the Pathfinder can hold up right alongside the Plasma and has about equal protection. The raised lip on the front is higher than other cases I’ve used and therefore better at front screen protection. The Pathfinder has been drop tested by UAG and offers up a military grade MIL STD 810G-516.6 rating. Overall this case would also be great for commuters who tend to travel on public transportation and may get bumped and jostled around a bit.

Price/Value

The list price is already a great deal for this case but the Amazon price makes it that much better.

UAG Pathfinder
4.9 Out of 5
Nailed it
Great grip. Rugged looking design. Great protection. Tactile feedback from buttons is spot on.
Needs Work
UAG design may not be for everyone.
Bottom Line
Another super light case with great protection.
Design5.00
Installation5.00
Protection4.75
Price/Value5.00
  Purchase from Amazon

UAG Monarch

UAG

Design

The design language is the same across UAG’s lineup but the Monarch is a bit beefier and sturdier than the others. The honeycomb pattern along the sides gives it extra grip and the leather insets on the back give it a nice classy look. Again, this design isn’t going to appeal to everyone but that’s OK. The cutouts are ample for third-party accessories and the buttons have the best tactile feedback I’ve ever used on any case.

Installation

Like most any cases these days it’s a simple slip and snap into place. I usually slide the volume rocker side in first. Taking it off is as simple as pushing up on the sides and working the phone out with your fingers.

Protection

The Monarch is the beefiest protection of the lot here. It offers up an armor frame, leather insets, poly-carbonate shear plate, alloy metal hardware and impact resistant rubber. There’s also a whopping 10 year limited warranty on this beast. The raised lip on the front is higher than other cases I’ve used and therefore better at front screen protection. The Monarch has been drop tested by UAG and offers up a TWO times the military grade MIL STD 810G-516.6 rating. Overall this case would also be great for users who are heavy users and might damage or drop their phones more often. It offers up a higher level of protection than the Pathfinder or Plasma and you should feel confident with this case on your phone.

Price/Value

Pricing goes up to nearly $60USD for the Monarch and there’s no lesser price on Amazon but this case is worth all of that indeed.

Wrap Up

All three of these cases are extremely durable, resilient, protective, well designed and worth the price of admission. While I’m pretty passionate about these cases and how great they are, I know their design, price, and looks aren’t for everyone. I do like many other cases and if you keep reading I’ll have more case reviews here in the near future. While I score and admire those other great cases and manufacturers, on a personal level, UAG makes the finest cases you’ll ever buy, period.

UAG Monarch
5 Out of 5
Nailed it
Heavy duty protection. Beautiful design and colors. Great button feedback.
Needs Work
UAG design may not be for everyone, price is a bit higher than other UAG cases.
Bottom Line
An excellent case for more rugged applications.
Design5.00
Installation5.00
Protection5.00
Price/Value5.00
  Purchase from Amazon
*We were sent review samples of these UAG cases for the purposes of this review.
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