The new Trident range of smartphone and iPad cases turn the typical, delicate handset into a builder’s dream, with durability unseen since the Nokia 5100.
The range is made of an impact resistant polycarbonate, featuring a shock absorbing silicone ring underneath a thick, rubber outer layer. All that is just a fancy way of saying it’s a big lump of plastic that insulates your phone really well at the expense of your new smartphone’s attractiveness. Coming in a range of colours that all look tackier than your already glamorous smartphone, these cases aren’t quite built to be sexy, but instead functional.
Trident boasts its ‘no-slip hold design,’ but while that is true it also means that the bulky, rubbery exterior makes it hard (or even impossible) to carry around in your pocket. The thick exterior does come in handy for pressing the exterior buttons on some of the phone models, oddly enough, with large, firm buttons that act as extensions on the phone’s outer interface.
The cases really do mean ‘shield’ when they claim it, with phones and iPads going unscathed when dropped from heights of up to around six feet onto a flat surface. The iPad cases go so far as to be waterproof when doused in a bucket of water.
PET screen protectors make for seamless covers that will keep messy fingerprints off touchscreens at the expense of some functionality. Bubble-free was a pretty accurate description after flattening out an initial bubble when first using the case, with the case maintaining the tight fit from then on. The screen was barely noticeable throughout the use of the phone. What was noticeable though was how quickly dust would collect on the plastic film.
The downside of the screen doesn’t come from the plastic coating though, but from the rest of the case. Where tablets’ and smartphones’ flat faces allow for seamless integration of the touchscreen and its border, the Trident cases encroach on this border, making it hard to reach buttons and menus on the outer limits of the screen. While testing the Samsung Galaxy case, trying to reach the pull-down menu for messages and missed calls was a constant hassle, even for users with smaller fingers.
The Trident cases come in two varieties: Kraken and Cyclops. Kraken cases are the upgraded versions of the Cyclops cases, sporting extra padded corners for those extra-accident-prone individuals and a detachable belt clip that doubles as a stand for the housed phone. There is also an Aegis variety for iPod Touch 4, though we did not test that model.
If you use a Trident case, you’ll most likely never damage your phone – and with the sizes of them, you’ll probably never lose it either. If you’re a tradie who still wants a function-filled phone but don’t want it breaking the instant you take it to work, these cases are a dream come true. If you’re just clumsy as hell, these cases will also save you. For everyone else, there’s no satisfaction to be found from these cases that effectively limit the use of phones and take a lot of mobility out of the ‘mobile phone.’
Trident cases are available through their Australian distributor, iWorld Australia, through a range of consumer electronics stores. The iPad cases sell for an RRP of $69.95, while the phone cases which come in two varieties sell at $59.95 for ‘Kraken’ cases that come with more features and $39.95 for the smaller ‘Cyclops’ cases.