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Review: Anker ToughShell for iPhone 6s Plus

iPhone in ToughShell - Front and Back

Disclosure

Anker provided their ToughShell for iPhone 6s Plus without cost in return for an unbiased review, and I promise that is what follows here.

Packaging

Anker’s product packaging continues to be as thoughtful as anything Apple can design. Opening the ToughShell package was pleasant and looked classy.

Anker ToughShell Packaging - Closed and Open

Look

The case looks rich and professional. The design appeals to my own preference of solid, well-built understatement. Even the Anker emblem is embossed in a classy-yet-inconspicuous way.

Build quality

The materials used are of very good quality. It looks good and feels just as good. No mushy feeling air gaps under the shell. I don’t think this aspect of the case could be any better.

Feel

Lightweight and smooth, which is good for easily gliding in and out of pockets and purses. It’s easy enough to hold while using, but some might prefer a less slippery feel. This is a subjective preference, of course, but buyers might want to be aware of this.

Protection

The back and sides are well protected. The corners feature built-in shock absorbing bumpers that should offer adequate protection from a usual drop. The front offers a raised edge that will most likely protect your phone from a drop onto a flat surface. The barely there design for the front bezel helps the iPhone maintain its aesthetics. Some people (like me) might want that front protection to be a tad deeper, but it probably protects the phone just fine. This design makes it easier to swipe in from the edges to take advantage of iOS features. Deeper bezels can get in the way.

Fit

The ToughShell fits the iPhone 6s Plus like a glove, and installing it on the phone was a breeze. The case holds the phone just about perfectly and with confidence. A drop will not dislodge the phone from this case.

Use: Access to buttons

The volume and sleep/power buttons are covered by the case, but pressing any of them is simply effortless. The button covers are designed to be flush with the case. This is great for aesthetics, but it’s not so easy to locate the buttons by feel. I imagine this would become easier over time as you get used to the case.

Use: Access to ports/mute toggle

Accessing the mute toggle, headphones jack, and lightning port are very easy. While they are not covered by the case, they are recessed for protection.

Here is the only real criticism I can find for the ToughShell case: Anker’s own lightning cables will not fit into the opening for the lightning port. I tried Anker’s 3ft, 6ft, and 3ft braided lightning cables, and none will fit. If you pull firmly up on the front lower lip of the case, you can manage to connect Anker’s cable. But this is an awkward chore that requires one more hand than most people have. Meanwhile, Apple’s OEM lightning cables fit perfectly. Go figure.

Anker-brand Lightning Cables Do Not Fit in the Case, but Apple Cables Work Fine.

Conclusion

I can easily recommend this case to any iPhone 6s Plus owner. If you’re looking for this level of protection, Anker’s ToughShell appears to offer great protection and professional looks for a terrific price point for an excellent overall value.

Buy Smart: Certified Lightning Cables Can Be Affordable

Lightning CablesWhen Apple started its “Made for i” (MFi) certification for Lightning cables, many thought it was an insidious way to get more money and raise costs for USB charge/sync cables for their iDevices. While that might be true, there are benefits to having high-quality cables for your high-cost mobile devices.

I’ve seen more than one friend ruin their iPhone and iPad with knock-off, low-cost Lighting cables. These experiences finally convinced me to toss out my cheapie cables. And thus started my pursuit of maximizing value when purchasing authentic or certified Lightning cables. And here is my advice to you:

Authentic Lightning Cables: You can find authentic Apple OEM Lightning cables on eBay. These generally come in a bag and not a retail box, but the item will be the same quality as the cable that came in your iDevice’s box. Be sure to look for a clear statement that the item is manufactured by Apple. Also be sure to buy from either a Top-Rated Seller or a seller with 98% or higher positive feedback.

Lately, I’ve been finding these authentic Apple OEM cables for less than US$10. Some are closer to $8 with free shipping.

Certified Lightning Cable: My favorite certified Lightning cable from a third party is Anker’s Lightning cable. I’ll even argue that Anker builds a better cable than Apple. They’re really that good.

I’ve found that Anker cables [Associate Link] sell for a relatively fair price on Amazon between $10 and $14 with free Prime shipping. If you’re shopping at Amazon for these, be certain to check the “Special Offers and Product Promotions” section. You might be able to save 10% or more on Anker products using codes right on the product page.

Amazon (as AmazonBasics) and Monoprice both offer their own branded certified Lightning cables, and I have every confidence these are fine products. These also come in varying lengths from 4 inches to 10 feet. I haven’t found anything but 1 meter cables from Apple and Anker.

On a Side Note

Back to Anker products, I recently replaced a cheap car charger for my iPhone. I chose an Anker 24W 2-port car charger [Associate Link], and I absolutely love this product. It was $10 with free Prime shipping from Amazon. I travel using Waze to get around Atlanta’s traffic, and the Anker charger charges my iPhone quickly without overheating it. It’s truly a terrific gadget.