Pitaka Magcase Pro first look

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by crazee928, May 31, 2018.

  1. crazee928, May 31, 2018
    Last edited: May 31, 2018

    crazee928 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    #1
    Pitaka was kind enough to send me their new iPhone X Magcase Pro case for an early look. As a disclaimer, I’ll start off by saying I love minimalistic cases and prefer not to add bulk to my phones – the Spigen Thin Fit matte black case has been my go-to case for the past few generations of iPhones because of the following:
    • it offers enough added grip
    • slightly raised edges (enough to keep the screen from touching when laid upside down but won’t obstruct left-edge swipes)
    • no raised bottom edge to obstruct swiping from the bottom
    • relatively cheap at $11 (mine cracked at the rear camera cutout after 8 months but I won’t feel guilty buying another one)
    • recessed area to insert a metal plate for magnetic car mounts (but does not support wireless charging because of this)
    I love the look of carbon fiber, so I was super excited when I came across the Pitaka minimalist aramid case months ago. I was also impressed with the integrated metal plates for magnetic mounting and wireless charging capabilities, but $50 was pretty tough for me to swallow. I was able to get my hands on one from a friend to try out for a few days – I LOVED the case and it’s precise fit, but the price, slightly reduced grip compared to the Spigen Thin Fit case (but still way better than the iPhone alone), and lack of any raised edges to protect the screen were enough reasons for me to keep my Spigen even though I’m still regularly tempted to purchase the Pitaka case. Anyhow, hope that frames my current preferences – I’ll try to be unbiased when it comes to thicker cases. Onto the Magcase Pro…

    Their packaging is immaculate and comparable to their existing minimalist case. Googling the new ‘Magcase Pro’ led me to their new teaser page: https://www.ipitaka.com/collections/magcase-pro-for-iphone-x

    IMG_4121.JPG
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    I always thought Pitaka was synonymous with “minimalistic” so when I first opened up the packaging I was a little surprised at the added bulk relative to their current case. It’s still roughly the size of a standard case so it’ll most likely feel normal to those of you that are used to the extra protection. There’s an aramid backplate that seems to be well integrated into the firm rubbery case (isn’t cheaply glued onto the surface), and the inside has a soft felt lining that feels like it has about 1mm of cushioning and is also precisely set (doesn’t have floppy edges from being glued on cheaply like the other 3rdparty cases).

    IMG_4122.JPG IMG_4123.JPG IMG_4126.JPG IMG_4134.JPG
     
  2. crazee928 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    #2
    Speaking of the case, it’s made of a firm but pliable rubber composite that’s easy to slip the phone into, but rigid enough so that the raised edges won’t sag or move when swiping your thumb across them, no compaints here. The raised bezels are about 2mm taller than the screen all around the 4 sides and definitely took some getting used to when swiping compared to my minimalist cases, but it’s not too bad once I got used to it. It also feels beefier than, say, Apple’s silicon case’s raised edges, and I’m still aware of the raised edges every time I swipe, but it’s definitely usable and some may welcome the added screen protection over the risk of scratching the screen.

    IMG_4125.JPG

    The corners are reinforced with additional bumpers for added protection, and the inside has hollowed out ‘airbags’ which is spacing to give the device corners some buffer when dropped. The interior sides also have hollowed pockets to provide a buffer from side impacts so I have no doubt that their drop test video has some validity to it, but I’m not going to throw my phone down the stairs to test it, sorry!

    IMG_4127.JPG IMG_4124.JPG

    The volume and power button keys are molded seamlessly into the case, and are really responsive and easy to press. I didn’t feel like it needed additional force to engage, which is really nice because I’ve used cases where button covers feel really rigid and takes additional effort to engage. There is a small cutout for the mute switch which is recessed quite a bit within the cutout, and this is where I feel like they could’ve done a better job. I don’t have large fingers and find it impossible to toggle the switch with one hand. My thumb also doesn’t fit into the cutout, and I needed to use my index finger along with my fingernail to flip the switch. There are ~3mm deep cutouts for the lightning port and speakers.

    IMG_4128.JPG IMG_4129.JPG IMG_4130.JPG

    From the back, the rear camera lens is REALLY protected – it’s surrounded by a ~3mm raised perimeter so you won’t need to worry about getting the lens scratched. There are also 1mm raised corners to help prevent the aramid from scratching when laid down, but I find it a little unnecessary since the aramid is slightly indented within rubber case so the raised corners could’ve been smoothened out and the lens perimeter reduced to be flush with the rubber case, in my opinion.

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  3. crazee928 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    #3
    Lastly, the sides have raised ridges to help with the grip. But I found the rear side edges to be overly sharp, and you can definitely feel it when holding in your hand. I’m not sure if this was intentional or not to help with the grip, but I found it a little uncomfortable and unnecessary since there’re already the raised ridges to help with the grip.

    IMG_4136.JPG

    Here is a quick size comparison with the iPhone X and the Spigen Thin Fit case. Even though the Magcase Pro seems bulkier compared to the minimalist case, it’s still within the size of regular cases while probably having way more protection.

    IMG_4143.JPG IMG_4144.JPG IMG_4142.JPG

    I don’t have a wireless charger due to Spigen case’s incompatibility, but I’m sure it works as well as Pitaka’s current case, as will their magnetic mount.

    To sum it up, the fit and finish are impeccable as expected from Pitaka. This is a great rugged case for those of you that are used to the additional protection and size (again, I want to emphasize that this is relative to minimalist cases, but normal compared to regular cases). The raised bezels are a little beefy for me, and the rear sides have pretty sharp edges which may be uncomfortable to some. But those are my only gripes, honestly, because I think the ruggedness and fit/finish, along with the wireless charging and integrated magnetic mount, are really compelling. I'm going to continue using this case for another week or two in hopes that I get used to the added size, bezels, and sharp edges, but just putting my old minimalist case back on momentarily for comparison just feels so much better for my hands. If you’re familiar with the Evutec Karbon case (found at Target), I would say that case fits right between Pitaka’s minimalist case and their new Magcase Pro in terms of design, but Magcase Pro’s rubber composite definitely feels more sturdy.

    Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll try my best to answer them! Sorry for the edit and 3 separate posts, I realized after submitting the original post that this forum limits 10 photos per post, so I had to break them up.
     
  4. PhoneMe1, May 31, 2018
    Last edited: May 31, 2018

    PhoneMe1 Suspended

    PhoneMe1

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2018
    #4
    First impression, those corners are ugly, would turn me off buying it. Just imo.

    Also the lip!! wholy mother of large lips, would be a swipers nightmare?

    Edit 3, its bordering on a UAG copy. corners anyway but bigger, would be no good in a brodit holder i use.

    Not trying to rain on anyone party but just calling it as i see it, i have had/tried 10 plus X cases.
     
  5. TNThomas macrumors 6502a

    TNThomas

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    #5
    I got extremely excited when I saw that they released a more protective case, but I hoped for something like the SolidSuit or Mous. This is just a bit too much for me...
     
  6. Sarah-PITAKA macrumors member

    Sarah-PITAKA

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2018
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #6
    Thank you so much for sharing!
    You must spend some time to have all details included in this review. Thanks a bunch!

    The 1mm raised corners are for shock absorption. These tinny corners are capable of reducing the impact when your phone drops down and the back is hit.
     
  7. AE14 macrumors 68000

    AE14

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    Location:
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    #7
    Any indication when this will release? If you want another review, let me know
     
  8. bigjnyc macrumors 603

    bigjnyc

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #8
    I also received my test case on Monday and much like crazee928 I prefer minimalist cases the likes of TOZO or Totallee. But I have to say that after using this Pitaka case for a couple of days I find myself not minding the extra bulk at all, its hard to explain unless you are holding it but it feels sleek. the sides have ridges that feel great when gripping the phone.

    I love the look and feel of carbon fiber print on the back. the bumpers in the corners are not intrusive at all and add great protection in the corners. with this case on I feel like I could slam my phone down on the ground and it will be perfectly fine, it just gives that sense of protection.

    The packaging is very nicely done and you get the impression that you purchased a high quality product right off the bat. I would highly recommend this case for anyone looking for something protective and have absolutely zero worries about drops.
     
  9. Ta0jin, May 31, 2018
    Last edited: May 31, 2018

    Ta0jin macrumors 6502a

    Ta0jin

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    Location:
    Maryland
    #9
    I was hoping for Pitaka to come out with something that protected the top and bottom of the phone but did it in a slimmer form factor and didn't look like something out of Otterbox's playbook. Too bulky and kind of ugly for my taste, I'll pass... https://www.evutec.com/products/iphone/iphone-8/karbon-si-osprey-for-iphone-7.html Maybe something with this form factor? I'd buy this from Evutec but they don't make it for iPhone X. Just the AER series which I'm not a fan of.
     
  10. Kisey macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    #10
    Eh, I'll pass as well. It's a Magcase Otterbox.
     
  11. crazee928 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    #11
    so, i've had this case on all week to see how i'd grow into the case. gotta say, i'm actually starting to like the added protection - i don't worry as much about potentially dropping it because of it's sturdy construction, whereas with my Spigen thin case and the original Pitaka minimalist case i borrowed for a few days, i was more conscious of making sure i didn't drop it in fear of feeling it probably won't survive the fall. i got used to the thicker bezels around the screen, and when i mentioned this to pitaka i was told the thicker bezels were intentional to provide the necessary front drop protection. the magcase pro, while looking bulky at first, is actually pretty slim in hand considering its claimed drop protection rating, and i've seen a lot of thicker cases in stores that don't look as attractive nor offer the same drop ratings. i still find the cutout for the mute switch too small, and the left rear edge too sharp which digs into my palm during one handed usage, but i've brought this up to pitaka and i hope they'll make the necessary changes to make it more comfortable. the only time where i needed to swap out the magcase pro for my minimalist case was when i went for a run and wanted the smallest form factor to slip into my flipbelt, but otherwise i had the new case on and didn't have any issues. i found my left hand also getting a little tired faster when using it with a single hand due to the slightly increased width, but i'll have the same issue with any non-minimalistic case.

    i was curious about the UAG cases after you mentioned it, but when i looked them up for comparison i think the only thing similar between them is the look of the beefed up corners. when i was reading more on both companies' products, it seems like UAG just added extra rubber to all 4 corners, but instead of directly copying this, pitaka is trying to take that concept one step further with what they call 'airbag' so that it provides some spacial buffer from physical impact against the device's actual corners when dropped. it also seems like UAG's design is more bulky/rugged while pitaka is trying to maintain some minimalistic look (corners stick out more, but the back is simply a sheet of aramid). while both brands support wireless charging, the most important distinction i saw is that pitaka supports magnetic mounting, which is really pretty important to me, and uag doesn't have this capability.

    magcase-pro-airbag.png

    i also tried on a bunch of otterbox cases from the store when i got my iPhone x and was looking for the right case, and they were all really cheap looking/feeling, not to mention thick and bubbly looking. they also didn't have a magnetic mount, and i absolutely did not want to stick a metal plate on the outside of my case to support this. their cases just weren't for me, and i don't think those are comparable to pitaka or uag cases.

    after using pitaka's magcase pro, i actually am going to finally purchase their minimalist case and wireless charging mount, and switch between the two cases depending on the day. the spigen case is a really cheap case that has the exact form factor that i like, but having used it for my past 3-4 iPhones and having every one of those cases eventually developing a crack, i'm ready to try something different and seeing how that goes. hope this followup helps - as always, let me know if there're any questions you want answered and i'll try to help!
     
  12. PhoneMe1 Suspended

    PhoneMe1

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    Mar 23, 2018
    #12
    Ok, if they want to send me one I will give it a go and compare against the UAG plasma I am using now.
     
  13. AE14 macrumors 68000

    AE14

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    Jul 9, 2013
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    #13
    I ordered one with their recent discount code. Hopefully should be here this week. I will see how i like it
     
  14. H3LL5P4WN macrumors 68000

    H3LL5P4WN

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    #14
    I also received an early Magcase Pro (thanks Sarah!).

    I was actually rather surprised when I opened mine, "This is the same company that makes a case you really can't tell is there?" I normally go for cases on the thinner, sleaker end of the spectrum. I'm a big fan of Spigen's tough without the bulk philosophy.

    But as I handled it, it hit me. This case, while larger than I'm used to, actually is really pleasant to hold and offers a ton of textures and surfaces to fidget with. The buttons are perfectly clicky. The feet on the back are a nice touch, as is the raised camera ring (which doubles as that corner's foot).

    Would I have preferred something more along the lines of a Spigen Ultra Hybrid? Sure. But Magcase Pro is unique in a good way.

    Their drop testing videos is on the level that Mobile Reviews, Eh does. I've never seen a manufacturer abuse a phone like that, lol.

    I don't see anything UAG-like in this design.
     
  15. PhoneMe1 Suspended

    PhoneMe1

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2018
    #15
    the corners?
     
  16. H3LL5P4WN macrumors 68000

    H3LL5P4WN

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    #16
    [​IMG]

    The protrusions aren't at all alike. If you wanted to say it was like the Spigen Crystal Shell, then your claim would have maybe some merit.

    And if you really want to go that route, the Element Vapor series for the 4/4S had protrusions on the corners before everyone.
     
  17. solodogg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Location:
    Orlando
    #17
    I too was fortunate enough to receive a MagCase Pro early to review, and decided to spend a week with it to compare vs. my daily driver Speck Presidio.


    Pitaka has definitely spent some time on the packaging, almost feeling Apple-esque. Most of the time when buying cases online, they show up in a plastic pouch or a paper sleeve, but this actually comes in a cardboard box with tons of protection to make sure it doesn't show up damaged. Well done!
    IMG_0003.jpg IMG_0004.jpg

    The first thing I noticed after pulling it out of the package was the corners of the case. First instinct was "well that's different for sure", but now after using the case for the past week, I totally see the attraction to this design. While it does make it a bit tougher to get in and out of the pockets of my work jeans, it also provides impact resistance to the corners, which is a HUGE PLUS in my industry. While my Presidio has done its job up to this point, I truly feel like this one would survive a much higher drop than the Speck would without adding much to the exterior dimensions.
    IMG_0005.jpg IMG_0008.jpg

    The inside liner is definitely nice, especially for a protective case. The Speck case has some nice grooves that lift the corners up, and provide a slight bit of cushion to the sides, but the MagCase Pro also has a nice soft liner to help the glass back as well. Hopefully over time this will help keep Florida sand from sitting between a layer of hard plastic and glass scratching the hell out of the back.
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    Overall, I see this as a great option for those of us that work outdoors with devices that are exposed to rough conditions, without being too hefty for daily use. I definitely prefer a slimmer case, but unfortunately my job dictates otherwise, and this is a great option. I use a slim fit Evutec for the weekends, and the carbon design on the back of this case is definitely more appealing to me similar to the weekend case vs. the Speck.

    If you're looking for the slimmest case out there, this is clearly not for you. If you want some added protection, but not the most boring case out there, give this one a look. After using this one for a week now, I can say i'm thoroughly impressed at a case I would have likely passed up just based on the initial looks alone.
     
  18. AE14 macrumors 68000

    AE14

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    #18
    Awesome comparison. I am awaiting this case for delivery friday, with my current daily driver my Presidio Grip. Thank you for the review
     
  19. crazee928 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    #19
    to echo what the others mentioned with the corner - i really don’t even think much of them anymore, it’s gotten to be an aesthetic i’ve quickly gotten used to, and it’s nice to know that if i dropped my phone i won’t be worried as much about the potential damage as with a minimalist case.

    the sharp rear left edge is also starting to wear down a bit, maybe because i’ve been running a credit card edge over it to round it out, but it’s now a nonissue.

    i actually ordered their original pitaka minimalist case thinking i’d miss the smaller form factor, but at this point in time i really don’t know if i’ll use that case much because i’ve gotten so used to this one.
     
  20. AE14, Jun 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018

    AE14 macrumors 68000

    AE14

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    #20
    Mine came in today. Nice case, very grippy and most definitely seems protective. A little finger print prone.

    The rubber is ok, not necessarily as firm as I would like.

    Also, on the positive side, it’s lighter than expected.
     
  21. Truefan31 macrumors 68040

    Truefan31

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    #21
    I'm liking that front lip, nice and high to protect the screen, even with a screen protector.
     
  22. Sarah-PITAKA macrumors member

    Sarah-PITAKA

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2018
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #22
    Hi guys,
    Thank you for sharing MagCase Pro on this thread!!
    We are now looking for some "influencers".

    If you have 500+ friends/followers on Facebook or Instagram, please send me a direct message.
    We'd like to work with you for a special collaboration and you will be rewarded with a big discount or a free product.
    Can't miss this chance if you're about to get PITAKA gadgets. :D
     
  23. Guitarfreak macrumors newbie

    Guitarfreak

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    Jan 13, 2011
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #23
    Looking at Ordering the Pitaka soon. Currently using an Apple Official Leather and an Otterbox Statement but I reckon this looks better!
     

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