Tuesday, May 23, 2017

LG G6 case round-up/review

Mobile Fun kindly sent over a bunch of LG G6 cases to review and, on the whole, I was impressed. Here are my assessments:

Zizo Bolt Cover


I picture this case being used while hiking up the mountains - the belt clip included is super-tough and heavy duty in grippy black neoprene-covered polycarbonate, while the case itself is a two piece design, in super-textured red plastic outside of a slightly softer (impact-absorbing) black inner shell.

A kick stand is included in the back, giving this case an extra string to its bow.

My only complaint here, other than the obvious increase to the phone's thickness, is that the volume buttons are hard to press through all the plastic. Maybe you'd get used to this, plus if you're manly (or womanly) enough to be out in all weathers in the first place then your fingers would have more strength than mine!

The G6 slips in easily and isn't too bad to take out, even without separating the two parts of the case, i.e. it can be treated as one.

Score: 9/10

VRS Design High Pro Shield

Another two part design, but this time more style-focussed,  with much softer outer and inner plastic.

In fact, the VRS Design here has produced something that simply isn't grippy enough, since the outer gold ring is super-smooth and has no texture, making the case almost as easy to drop as the bare G6, which partly foils the point. True, the phone is protected when it hits the tarmac, but shouldn't a case at least partly make dropping the phone harder in the first place?

The galling bit is that the central panel on the case's back is beautifully textured, with a brushed metal effect - on plastic! Why wasn't this used for the thin gold outer ring?

More grip needed all round.

Score: 7/10

Olixar leather-style Wallet Stand


Creating a good folio case is tough. Put in material too thick and the overall phone, when it's all folded over, is too thick. Make it too thin and there's not enough protection. I think Olixar has got this one about right in terms of materials, with lovely feel and smell, and with decent opened-out 'stand' for watching media, even if you do have to tuck the magnetic closure underneath the front of the case, which looks a bit untidy.

There are some Achilles heels here though, and they're to do with the G6's layout. For starters, the power/fingerprint button/sensor ends up so recessed that (cased) it's hard to turn the phone on. I do think that larger openings on the case's back would have allowed easier finger access to the sensor.

Secondly, with the folio merely opened, the volume buttons are hard to operate, requiring the use of a second hand, which isn't always convenient. So you end up tucking the front around behind the phone, which never feels 'right'.

It's all a compromise too far at the moment - all for the benefit of the 'stand' and that folio protection.

Score: 6/10

Ringke Fusion


At first you see a clear plastic case and think that we're going cheap and bottom end, but looks are deceptive here. There inner and outer protective films that have to be peeled off before use - this is to make sure that the clear TPU is pristine and shows the pretty back of your LG G6 off to good advantage. That there are films at all is a sign of quality.

The 'Fusion' bit in the name refers to the use of rubber for the case sides, 'fused' to plastic. This works pretty well, though is perhaps a touch of overkill.

Then there's the feel in the hand, the easy access to the fingerprint sensor (not too small, this time!), and the little flaps over the 3.5mm headphone socket and the USB Type C port. The flaps don't add anything to the G6's waterproofing, they're more to stop dust and other foreign objects getting in and impeding actual functioning. I guess they could be snipped off with scissors if you really didn't like them.

If I had a complaint it would be that the TPU is a little too soft, it always felt like it was about to break away or tear - I doubt it would have, but there's just a bit too much give for my liking.

I'm not convinced that this is worth £15, but snap it up for under a tenner or on offer and it's certainly one of the more premium clear TPU efforts out there.

Score: 8/10

Spigen Thin Fit


Spigen don't mess around - their cases always fit immaculately and this is no exception. Although I wouldn't choose the white version personally (it looks a little odd on my black G6), the feel in the hand is first class.

Perhaps a little too slippy - I'd have liked to have seen a more textured finish and I wonder whether the black version offers this?

Regardless, the grip on the G6 itself is amazing and, once in place, it feels like the Spigen case is never going to let go again. Not when the phone hits the concrete, not when I want to stop reviewing it and move on to the next case(!)

Score: 8/10

Olixar Flexishield


There's a reason that TPU cases are popular - they offer the maximum grip and protection with the minimum of extra bulk. And the Flexishield is no different - really well made in terms of fit and finish, providing outstanding grip in the hand.

Your grip on the G6 is absolute and you essentially forget that you've bought a £600 metal phone - all you feel is shiny and grippy black plastic. Which is another rant for another day, of course.

My one complaint would be that the TPU is 'gloss' rather than 'matt', meaning that it does show fingerprints - maybe Olixar could add some texture to break up the shiny back?

This is also by far the cheapest case in the review bunch, as you might expect, but it's also the most generally applicable.

Score: 9/10

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Heelys are making a comeback!

I thought these were too cool to stay down forever - Heelys - the trainer with skate shoes in the soles - are making a comeback, at least according to the kids I'm seeing out and about in Spring 2017.

So I went back to my 10 years old (All About) Heelys web site and had a revamping pass over it. Wow. The videos I embedded predated YouTube itself and were 'WMV' downloads. Sign of the times, eh?

So I fixed those. And enlarged the 800 pixel wide layout to 1000 pixels because screens are a lot larger these days!

And fixed some broken links. Loads still to do of course, but hey.... Heelys in 2017! Who'd have thought it?