Speck MightyVault Case for iPhone 4S Review
Speck has never let us down when it comes to producing durable and protective cases, but now they’ve taken it to an extreme, literally. With the Speck MightyVault, your iPhone is as safe as it can get. You would have to try hard to figure out a way to harm iPhone when it’s inside MightyVault (hint: it’s not easy).
The Speck MightyVault is not the first ultra-durable survivor-type case out there, but it may be the best. Not too long ago we reviewed Griffin’s Armored Survivor Case, which is very similar, but it lacks some of the design elements that makes the Speck MightyVault the winning contender.
Unlike the Griffin Armored Survivor Case, the Speck MightyVault is just one piece (plus a holster). It still features the three-layer protection, but it doesn’t split into separate pieces. The design is actually quite smart, around the sides of the phone is a silicone bumper that is connected on one side and locked into place on the other three sides. With the rubber bumper removed from the three sides, the MightyVault opens like a book. The inside of this “book” is soft and rubberized while the exterior is a hard plastic. There’s a built in plastic screen protector, so you don’t have to bother with those pesky stickers.
The iPhone is easily inserted into the rubberized inner enclosure, then the “book” is closed and snapped shut, then lastly the rubber bumper is stretched around the case and snapped into place. With the bumper properly placed, the MightyVault case feels like one piece; very solid. There are easy-to-press rubber button overlays for the lock/unlock, home, and volume buttons. Then there are cutouts and rubberized port covers for the headphone jack, vibrate toggle, and charging/syncing port. These ports are all a bit deep, which makes the toggle switch tricky to hit. There is also a cutout for the front-facing camera and earphone as well as an individual cutout for iPhone’s lower speaker and microphone.
Unlike Griffin’s case, the camera and flash are exposed, there’s no port cover. This is definitely preferable, though it does make it more susceptible to damage from water. The real reason that the Speck MightyVault beats out Griffin’s case is that the border around the screen is larger on MightyVault. This means you can easily use your iPhone screen edge-to-edge. Typing is not an issue, and it’s also very easy to still access your notification menu; this was tough with Griffin’s case. Griffins case also happened to be largely rubberized, where Speck’s case has rubberized sides and a hard plastic back and
front. This makes the Speck MightyVault easier to insert and remove from your pocket.
The MightyVault will undoubtedly make your iPhone bigger and bulkier, though it wasn’t actually as heavy as we expected; it’s quite manageable. We’re not trying to knock the Griffin Armored Survivor Case, but we found Specks MightyVault to be a much more practical and usable case that can be used every day, rather than on-occasion. The MightyVault includes a holster that features a rotating belt clip that doubles as a kickstand to prop iPhone in portrait and landscape mode. The only thing that MightyVault won’t protect iPhone from is water damage, though we’d consider it pretty water-resistant, just not water-proof. The case had no effect on our phone calls or speakerphone quality. We found the built-in screen protector to be barely noticeable; it feels smooth and does not degrade iPhone’s crystal clear retina display.
The MightyVault is in a league of it’s own for iPhone protection. While it’s on the bulkier side of iPhone cases, it’s still very usable and practical enough for every day use. Also, as a Speck case you can be sure that it looks totally awesome. Our White/Cobalt model reminds us of R2D2. It’s also available in White/Aubergine and Black/Dark Grey. If you work (or play) in dangerous environments, the Speck MightyVault is a good call to protect your expensive device. The built-in screen protector and included holster with beltclip/kickstand is a nice bonus. The Speck MightyVault is compatible with iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S on all carriers and is currently available from Speck.com for $49.95 or for as little as $30 from Amazon.com. Considering the
MightyVault is so much more than a regular iPhone case, and $30 is the standard case price, the MightyVault is a good buy.
Good: Very protective; very usable; good button overlays; no cover on camera; included holster/kickstand; available at standard iPhone case
price; feels nice in-hand; easy to pocket; one piece; easy to insert and remove; built-in screen protector works perfectly
Bad: Toggle switch is tricky to access; bulky; wide (can be difficult to type with one hand); silicone bumper loosens from track