Gear Review :: Otterbox uniVERSE Case System

Otterbox, iPhone case

iPhone cases ~ a necessary accessory most people have a love/hate relationship with. What you gain in protection, you often times loose in style as our slim, colorful phones become encased in bulky polymers. Otterbox has a solution offering both protection and style with a simple, flexible, attractive case through it’s uniVERSE case system. 

IMG_0003Prior to trying this product, I was using a bike mount that attached to my frame making my phone more vulnerable to damage, like this, as a result of my latest bike crash. Fortunately, FoCo’s own The Phone Recyclist was able to fix this disaster within a 1/2 hour.

What do I have to loose now? If Otterbox’s case system could help prevent needing another phone repair, I’m sold! I agreed to give the uniVERSE case and it’s bike mount companion, The PolarPro VICE a test ride. This is how they fared on my 150+ mile per week bike commuting adventures:

uniVERSE Case

What I love

  • Simple design – not bulky, slightly grippy, and comfortable in my hand.
  • Easy to attach/detach to bike mount – this feature is really important to me. I am on and off my bike frequently throughout the day and needed a solution that let’s me easily remove my iPhone from my bike.
  • Ability to add add on’s – had I not tried this case, I would not have been aware of the many different devices I can attach to this case. It expands the use of my iPhone with products I would love to use!

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  • Price – for what this case can offer, the price is extremely competitive and very fair.

What I would change 

  • Grippy polymer – The only improvement to this case for me is if it were a little bit more grippy than it is so it stays put in my hand a little better without sliding around.

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  • Surface marks – After only having this case on my phone for three days, the back of the case had marks that I could not remove so I initially perceived these to be an indentation into the case. Otterbox customer support verified that a quick wipe with alcohol should take care of this ~ and it did. IF the back of your phone looks like this after using the uniVERSE case, give it a rub down with alcohol and markings should disappear.

 

PolarPro Vice Mount aka: The VICE

This company partnered with Otterbox to custom design a bike mount for the uniVERSE case. As a result, it fits and it functions in a specific way.
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What I love

  • Flexible – Unlike other phone mounts I’ve tried, the VICE allows me to rotate my phone and position it to maximize visibility. This feature is really important to me as a bike commuter because I want to be able to see my screen easily without having to move my head down; reducing my peripheral vision from what’s going on around me on the road.

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  • Secure and stable – The mount snaps into the uniVERSE case tightly and creates a very stable connection to the mount. What this has allowed me to do is turn my iPhone into a go-pro of sorts. I’ve been able to take video of my rides! This has been an unexpected benefit of this product that’s made my commuting more enjoyable and fun as I can document my rides! LOVE IT!

What I would change

  • Does not fit all handle bars – The mount did not fit on my handlebar where I preferred to locate it ~ right in the center. I have a Jones Bar whose handle bars are different widths throughout. The only place this mount would fit is to the far side of my bar. Luckily, this is a good place for it, but not ideal.

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  • Shims – It would be a good addition if the mount came with shims to help reduce friction directly between the mount and my handlebar. A little padding would also help it from wiggling around because this mount is coming loose over time after hard riding over hard surfaces.

Product Recommendations

I highly recommend both products with the contingency that PolarPro includes some shims with the product.


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