Logitech-case-plus-3-Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 1.07.50 PM
We were eager to get our hands on Logitech’s iPhone transforming Case+ system immediately following its announcement. The idea is that this system is so versatile that it’s up to nearly any task you could ask of an iPhone case. It allows you to switch between rugged protection, wallet functionality, a windshield/dashboard mount, and a battery pack without having to remove anything.

Without the Case+, you would need to buy at least five different iPhone accessories to perform all of the same core functions that the Case+ offers: rugged protection, multi-angle stand, ID/credit card carrier, car dashboard/windshield mount, extended battery. It’s certainly a novel idea and an ambitious product from Logitech so head below to find out if we think the Case+ is worth investing in…


Logitech-case-plus-9-Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 1.16.12 PM

Case+
The most important part of the Case+ system is the basic case which acts as a foundation for all of the other included accessories. The review model we received featured a black matte, rubberized finish on the antenna band and the rear of the iPhone where the glass inlays sit. The middle of the case is brushed aluminum that serves as the magnetized area for other accessories to cling to.

I don’t typically use cases on my iPhones because I’ve found that many actually scratch iPhones during install/removal. For this reason, I was happy to see that Logitech included an ultra-soft liner on the inside of the case to avoid potential scratches from dust and debris.

There’s absolutely no ‘give’ between the case and the iPhone. It fits super snug but is still loose enough that it can be removed with little effort. All ports and buttons remain accessible while the case is installed. This case will protect your iPhone from minor bumps, but don’t expect it to provide extreme protection like a Lifeproof case.

+tilt
This accessory attaches to the Case+ through magnetization and has three panels that can be folded into a triangle to prop up your iPhone (just like a Smart Cover) or act as an earbud holder. It also allows the case to adhere to nearly any metal surface with a strong magnetized grip.

I was able to attach it to my refrigerator and metal desk without any problems. It did not feel like it was going to slide on the metal surface at all. In fact, when I pulled the case away from the refrigerator, the +tilt panel pulled away and remained on the fridge. I can see this feature being helpful for cooks reading a recipe or mechanics following a repair manual, but other than that I’m not sure there’s much value to this feature during day-to-day use.

Logitech-case-plus-8-Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 1.11.30 PM

+drive
Case+ attempts to simplify following turn-by-turn GPS directions while driving with the +drive windshield/dashboard car mount. It features a minimalist design, which is in stark contrast to similar products, because it attaches through magnetization rather than a clunky plastic locking mechanism. This makes it incredibly easy to attach your iPhone in the midst of driving.

My case+ equipped iPhone firmly connected to the mount once it got within an inch or so from its magnetized surface. It will connect to any part of the rear of your iPhone that has the metal plate.

Once attached, you can rotate your iPhone to change orientation. The mount is a tilt mechanism so you can position it at an optimal viewing angle. You’ll need to adjust this feature before attaching your iPhone since it requires a fair amount of force. It maintains a rock-solid connection so you shouldn’t have to worry about a pothole sending your iPhone flying across your dashboard.

The window suction cup is activated by a hefty dial and also maintains an extremely strong connection. The +drive is a standout feature of the Case+ that is better than almost all similar products.

Logitech-case-plus-5-Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 1.09.33 PM

+wallet
Affix the +wallet to add easy access to ID/credit card slots. This is perfect for times when you don’t have any pockets and need to carry at least your iPhone, and two credit card sized items. The exposed side is covered in a durable fabric while the rear is a soft, leather-like material.

The +wallet works as advertised, but I wish the magnetization was a bit stronger because the wallet portion can be easily moved, which makes it susceptible to blocking the rear camera during general use. I generally wear loose fitting clothing so I didn’t have a problem with this, but I could see tight jeans repositioning the wallet when being removed from pockets.

Logitech-case-plus-6-Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 1.10.21 PM

+energy
The final Case+ accessory is a 2300mAh MFi (Apple approved) Lightning battery pack that doubles the battery life of a stock iPhone. This is the only attachment that does not rely on magnetization. Instead, your iPhone is held into place by the the Lightning connector at the bottom and snap-in tab at the top.

Four LED lights on the back of the case display battery life and the adjacent button is used to start sending fuel to your iPhone. A Micro USB port on the left side of the case is used to charge it. The charging cable is included with the Case+. As you’d imagine, the battery adds a considerable amount of bulk to the iPhone, but thats a small price to pay for the extra juice it provides.

My only complaint with the +energy is the thick adapter that connects the iPhone to the battery. It protrudes nearly a quarter inch, and even though it feels extremely sturdy, I am still worried about hitting it in the wrong way and damaging the case. For this reason, I would probably only use it to recharge my iPhone instead of leaving it on throughout the day. My iPhone immediately recognized this power source and began charging and didn’t stop until the iPhone was at 100%.

Wrap Up
Logitech Case+ is an extremely versatile iPhone accessory that makes your iPhone more powerful than ever, but at $200 it doesn’t make sense for everybody.

iPhone users who just got into the iPhone 5/5s form factor will get the most value out of the Case+ as we are expecting the iPhone 6 to sport a larger screen that will not be compatible with the current Case+. There’s no doubt each of these accessories has a high build quality and ace materials, but some buyers will still find it hard to pay the same amount for a case as they likely paid for their (subsidized) iPhone. I recommend the Case+ to iPhone 5/5s users who don’t mind paying a little bit more for a top quality product.

Case+ is now available for order from Logitech for $199.99 with free shipping.

 

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12 Responses to “Review: Is Logitech’s iPhone Case+ system really ‘the only case you’ll ever need’?”

  1. Interesting concept, but unrealistic price; plus it gets very bulky once you add the attachments (to be expected).

  2. Tim Jr. says:

    I’d get this if I were not already planning on getting the iPhone 6. would be a waste of $200 for me.. Hopefully Logitech comes out with a variation for the iPhone 6..

  3. degraevesofie says:

    The magnetic attachment is an interesting and clean idea. I’d love for Apple to design its phones for it out of the box. I.e., I’d like some of the case+ functionality without actually wrapping a case around the phone.

  4. David Schwab says:

    “The middle of the case is brushed aluminum that serves as the magnetized area for other accessories to cling to.”

    Aluminum is NOT magnetic. It had to have been brushed steel.

  5. David Schwab says:

    I also wonder if the magnets would interfere with the built in magnetometer used for the compass.

  6. Having used many portables over the years and having bought into these kind of systems several times as a result, I think I can say definitively that this kind of thing is not a good idea.

    It looks good, and you buy it thinking you need each of those pieces, but in fact it usually turns out you don’t need half of them and switching the bits back and forth gets really, really old after like … a day.

    You always end up in a situation where it would be nice if you had “piece a” but “piece a” is back at the office or at home, so you get by without it. Alternatively, you drag all the pieces around with you all day, but never have to use them.

  7. Eli Matar says:

    “We don’t ship junk.”

  8. desdinova70 says:

    The +wallet section of this article is humorous. “[+wallet] is perfect for times when you don’t have any pockets and need to carry at least your iPhone and two credit card sized items.” Then later on: “I wish the magnetization was a bit stronger because the wallet portion can be easily moved…I generally wear loose fitting clothing so I didn’t have a problem with this, but I could see tight jeans repositioning the wallet when being removed from pockets.” So +wallet is made for when you don’t have any pockets, but it might suck when you try to remove it from your pocket. I guess in that scenario maybe you could have just kept those 2 credit cards in your pocket or actual wallet to begin with? ;-)

  9. Would the magnet in the +wallet interfere with your cards at all? We’re always being told to keep them away from magnets so to store them so close to a large one seems nuts!