I must admit, I really haven’t done an iPhone case review in a while. Normally I hold out until I uncover one that does something innovative or truly makes it worth having. I look at things like cases with batteries, solar-powered battery cases, waterproof cases or cases offering wireless charging (like Qi-enabled ones). And honestly, I was a bit reluctant to review the Pitaka Aramid iPhone 7 Plus case simply because it appeared to be “just another case.” It isn’t.
I tested the Pitaka Aramid case for a few weeks. And it passed most of my requirements for a good case, namely:
- Must provide decent protection to back and sides
- Must have my “sliding across concrete” protection
- Must look good
Pretty strict requirements, right?
The Pitaka Aramid case, however, is a bit different than others I have seen or learned about (and trust me, my girls and wife REALLY like getting cases for their iPhones – some of which fail my general criteria – but they are learning!).
General Observations of the Pitaka Aramid case
First, the case is pretty good looking. It has a variety of patterns and colors to choose from. I chose the Black and Red Twill color scheme (to match the HighTechDad colors). While subtle from a distance, the pattern definitely jumps out up close.
What really stood out, however, was not only how light-weight this case is, but also how thin it is. It weighs less than 10 grams (that’s really light), and it is only 0.65mm thin so you pretty much only have a slightly larger size as compared with a naked iPhone 7.
It slips onto the iPhone 7 Plus (or 7) quite easily and snuggly and curves to the edges of the iPhone 7.
One of my big tests – the “sliding across concrete face down” test – I think would just barely pass. This is a common scenario that people should look for, I feel. The idea is, if you put your iPhone face down and slid it along the ground, would the glass face get scratched or damaged in any way. I would say this might be a bit questionable with the Pitaka Aramid case because it is so thin. The bezel only comes up ever so slightly. This may raise red flags if it were not for the fact that Pitaka includes a glass-like screen protector to completely cover the screen. So, for my slide test, the screen protector would get the bulk of the damage.
Another thing that I liked was that the Pitaka case is not slippery. I have the stock Apple leather case which I found to be quite slippery, at least, initially. The Pitaka case has some “grippiness” to it which is important. You don’t want your precious iPhone to slip from your hands, do you?
The Aramid Material
But what if you do drop your iPhone, will the Pitaka Aramid case protect it? Honestly, I don’t do drop-tests. I value my iPhone too much. In fact (knock on wood), I haven’t really dropped an iPhone ever (perhaps a couple of times). But here is where I have to rely on what I have been told about this case (from the manufacturer) and the material it is made of: aramid.
First, their website claims that it is “5 times stronger than Steel at the same weight” which makes sense since the case is ultra-lightweight which means that a steel wrapping would be pretty darn thin.
But I wanted to learn more about this material: aramid. According to Wikipedia, Aramid fibers are “a class of heat-resistant and strong synthetic fibers. They are used in aerospace and military applications, for ballistic-rated body armor fabric and ballistic composites, in bicycle tires, and as an asbestos substitute.” So that sounds strong, although I’m not going to try to stop bullets or anything with this case.
Pitaka is quick to point out that Aramid fibers are quite different than Carbon fibers. Carbon fiber cases are extremely popular. But, according to Pitaka, you should be careful when choosing a Carbon fiber case.
While Carbon fiber is used for ballistics composites like bullet-proof vests and body armor, it is potentially not as well suited for smartphone cases as Aramid is. You probably have heard of Kevlar…Kevlar is a type of Aramid. Aramid fibers can be dyed and woven (thus making it good for phone cases among other things). Pitaka has a fairly comprehensive article comparing Carbon with Aramid/Kevlar fibers.
But importantly, there are some schools of thought that say Carbon fiber smartphone cases can actually reduce cell phone signal strength by 40 to 60%. I have seen some discussions on some drone forums about the Carbon fiber bodies of some drones and the possibility of that construction interfering with signal strength (just search Google for “does carbon fiber block radio signals”).
I haven’t done any scientific studies to agree with or dispute this claim so I will leave it to the experts to weigh in. Personally, I haven’t noticed any difference in signal reception, good or bad.
A Decent iPhone 7 Case
Overall, I don’t have any complaints about this case by Pitaka. It’s thin, it isn’t slippery, it looks good, it provides good protection, it comes with a screen protector, and supposedly it doesn’t block WiFi or cellular signals. I do wish that the edges were a bit higher to protect a bit better against the concrete slide test (but the screen protector definitely helps).
Given the material choice, the colors as woven into the case, and the manufacturing process, the price of the case ($49.99 for the iPhone 7 Plus and $47.99 for the iPhone 7) seems somewhat reasonable although I feel it is a bit on the higher side. But if you want a thin, lightweight case with good protection made out of a “high-tech” strong material, it might be a good option for you. And Pitaka offers free shipping worldwide.
Disclosure Text : I have a material connection because I received a sample of a product for consideration in preparing to review the product and write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. All opinions within this article are my own and are typically not subject to the editorial review from any 3rd party. Also, some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate” or “advertising” links. These may be automatically created or placed by me manually. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item (sometimes but not necessarily the product or service being reviewed), I will receive a small affiliate or advertising commission. More information can be found on my About page.
HTD says: While the Pitaka Aramid iPhone 7 case is not bullet-proof, it does offer a nice look and feel and has good protection against bumps, drops and scratches.