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I’m incredibly picky when it comes to finding the “right” iPhone case.
I want one that looks good, but isn’t too flashy; doesn’t add bulk, but is still protective; isn’t super expensive, but will still last an entire year. For the past week I’ve been using Incipio’s new Octane Pure case on my iPhone XS Max, and I think I’ve found “the one.”
What I love most about the Octane Pure is its simplicity. The case is clear, which lets me see my iPhone’s Space Gray color easily, and won’t draw people’s eyes if my phone is face-down on a table. Its raised buttons have a rougher texture that makes them easy to find and grip, which allows me to easily adjust my phone’s volume, summon Siri, or turn it off.
Simple cases usually have the trade off of being less protective, but Incipio has struck the right balance here. The Octane Pure has a polycarbonate back that protects the phone from scratches and a shock-absorbing bumper made out of “Flex2O” — a custom, Incipio material that keeps the sides and corners of the phone from being damaged if it’s dropped.
I’ve only been using it for a week, and the back of the case is already full of micro scratches from keys, tables, and a couple of accidental drops on the floor. These scratches would only cause cosmetic damage to my iPhone XS Max, but I’m glad they’re on the case rather than my device.
And while it primarily keeps the back and sides of my phone from getting damaged, its design also protects its most vulnerable areas: the lightning port, camera, and screen.
Because of its thick bumper, the cutouts for the iPhone’s lightning port and speakers on this case are deeper than the ones found on many other slim cases, which can help keep them free of dust and sand. The cutout around the camera has a similarly large lip, which keeps it from coming from contact with the ground or a table if you have your iPhone screen-side up.
Finally, the front rim of the Octane Pure is raised, so it’ll hit the ground first if your iPhone falls screen-side down. This rim is thicker than the one on previous slim cases I’ve used, although it still won’t protect your screen as well as a screen protector.
My final test for any phone case is how it feels in my hands and pocket, and Incipio’s Octane Pure passed perfectly. Its materials are smooth to the touch but aren’t slippery. In fact, the case has a surprising amount of grip. Despite being slightly thicker than the slimmed-down cases I’m used to, this case never felt bulky in my pocket.
Crucially, it’s still thin enough that my phone can charge using a wireless charging pad.
If you’re looking for an iPhone case that looks simple, isn’t too big, but will protect your phone from scratches, dents, and cracks, Incipio’s Octane Pure is great choice. I don’t change my iPhone case too often these days, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the one I use until my next upgrade.
Incipio Octane Pure iPhone XS Case, $29.99, available at Amazon
Incipio Octane Pure iPhone XS Max Case, $29.99, available at Amazon