Review: Apple iPhone 6/6 Plus Silicone Case
With every new generation of iPhone, most people have fun trying to find just the perfect case for their new gadget. Unfortunately, some manufacturers are playing catch-up and some won’t even be hitting the market until much later. Apple always tends to have an option available at the product launch, and there are two options this time. We took a look at the $35 Silicone Case for the iPhone 6, which is nearly identical to the larger version for the iPhone 6 Plus.
The case seems like most other thin, minimalist cases, as it fits around the iPhone, leaving a small lip on the edges of the screen. The bottom is exposed from just to the left of the headphone jack to just to the right of the speaker cutouts. It will give enough clearance for most audio cables and most Lightning cables. This is a bit of a change from Apple’s iPhone 5/5S Leather Case, which seemed to favor cables with the dimensions of Apple’s own. This case also shares color options similar to Apple’s current polyurethane iPad Smart Covers, including blue, green, pink, black, white, and red (for Product(RED) support).
Some may be turned off by the high price (the iPhone 6 Plus version adds $5 to the price), and Apple’s track record of overpriced and under-delivered first-party case options. For anyone who has gotten the cheap, sticky, ill-fitting generic silicone cases in the past, the naming is a bit of a turn-off, too. Mix those two together and it’s easy to overlook this product. That being said, it’s actually quite nice. The silicone feels more matte and grippy enough, but not to the point that every piece of lint will stick to it and it will be impossible to remove from a pocket. The best way to describe it is like an ever-so-slightly tackier version of the polyurethane iPad Smart Cover. It seems to be as easy to keep clean as that, too (well, at least after two weeks of use). The inside of the case is lined with microfiber, much like Apple’s prior iPhone case and iPad cases. These two aspects really give the case a premium, well-designed feel.
All the buttons are covered by the case and they have very good flexibility and tactile feedback. The silent switch has a reasonably-sized cutout, as does the camera. As with just about every other case, there is a black plastic ring around the camera to prevent the flash from reflecting off the edge of the case. Using the case also mitigates a big complaint about the iPhone 6—its protruding camera. Also on the back is a slightly embossed Apple logo exactly where you’d expect it to be on the back of the phone.
Although this case will not protect against the most severe drops, it should help prevent everyday scratches and dings, and may help with some drops, especially since all the corners are protected. It’s easy to install and remove, too. The easiest way to install the case is to wedge the top of the iPhone in first and the snap the lower corners around the bottom half of the phone. Removing it is much in the same way, but reversed. In daily use, the case shouldn’t fall off.
There were a few isolated reports of the silicone peeling and wearing off of some early versions of the case. Fortunately, Apple seems to have remedied this issue, and has a pretty good exchange/warranty policy.
Overall, Apple has made a fairly good early iPhone 6 case entry, without gouging users too badly for a first-party product. If you don’t need military-grade protection, the fit and finish seem excellent and the color options should fit most users’ tastes. If you regularly dock your phone, the exposed bottom should be a welcome change, but if you don’t, you may want to seek out an alternative, especially if you want the most complete protection.
The One-Sentence Verdict™
Apple’s first-party cases have gotten significantly better over time, and this is the first we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to anyone who doesn’t need extreme protection.
Pros: Feels better than a lot of silicone cases, great fit, minimal design
Cons: A tad pricey, collects some lint, exposed bottom may be a negative for some