There are case makers, and then there is Urban Armor Gear, or UAG. UAG makes outstanding products that look cool and provide all the protection required for most device use cases.
We evaluated the UAG Monarch series on an iPhone 8 Plus and that is now the standard case for most situations. The very light case incorporates 5 layers of protection, which includes the armored frame (the silver part in the image, a layer of leather, a polycarbonate shear plate, allow meta hardware all wrapped around impact-resistant rubber. The case rates 2X the drop test specified in the military standard known as MIL-STD 810G 516.6.
The UAG Monarch series delivers a honeycomb grip that not only gives the phone a great hand feel, but it also looks like it arrived from the future. The button covers fully encase the buttons, but the large button surfaces on the case make it easy to power off the device or manage volume (if you even do that by button anymore).
If you use wireless charging or Apple Pay, both blast through the Monarch’s elegant physical protections with ease.
While the case doesn’t offer screen protection (its edges do lift the screen off a surface when placed face down), UAG does sell a 9H hardness tempered glass screen protector (or “shield”) that integrates oleophobic anti-fingerprint coating in its 3D touch compatible ultra-thin (0.2mm) design. It would be great if UAG offered a discount on a screen protector and case bundle.
UAG also includes a 10-Year Limited Warranty with the case. Consumers are hard pressed these days to find a 10-year warranty on anything. And UAG is good to their word. The fabric cover on my Metropolis for an iPhone 6 started fraying. The iPhone 6 I use on the home iPhone 6s now sports a new improved model of the Metropolis case.
The packaging is attractive and highlights the product well, but it does include some plastic that isn’t marked for recycling.
The UAG Monarch is one of the best medium protection cases on the market. It isn’t cheap, but the above average price reflects the quality of design, workmanship and materials.
Pros: A well-constructed case made of premium materials. Plenty of protection, especially when paired with a UAG tempered glass shield. Doesn’t obstruct Apple Pay or wireless charging.
Cons: Backplate and edge protection only. Would love to see a discounted bundle that includes their Tempered Glass Shield screen protector. Need to embrace all recyclable packaging.
Serious Insights Purchase Recommendation: If you don’t have one, get one.
Daniel W. Rasmus, Founder and Principal Analyst of Serious Insights, is an internationally recognized speaker on the future of work and education. He is the author of several books, including Listening to the Future and Management by Design.