Tough Tech: Ballistic cases for smartphones

While many of us don’t want to admit it, we’ve all feared dropping our phones. A new product has been released to help alleviate those fears if the phone should ever fall to the ground, and we’ve decided to test it by throwing a phone around.

Designed by Ballistic, the cases feature both soft and hard plastics designed to deal with drops in a way that doesn’t mean the death of your phone.

Two types of cases are available, with the Ballistic’s “Hardcore” case useful for drops, scratch, dust, and more, and made up of five layers of protection. This model is the big one, even featuring a screen protector built in.

The slimmer “Shell Gel” is what we’ve been testing this week, a case that features three layers of protection for drops and falls.

Our test gadget for this was a Samsung Galaxy S2, and one that was an actual phone in use by a staff member – this staff member – so the repercussions of this test were fairly real: if the case didn’t survive, the phone would probably break.

Good thing then that the test was a success.

Encased in the Ballistic Shell Gel case, we were able to drop our Galaxy S2 on the carpeted floor of the office, the tiled floor in the kitchen, and even the hard black asphalt outside the GadgetGuy building, and it survived every time.

While the video above demonstrates just how we tested, what it doesn’t show you is how many takes we did, dropping it on each surface between three and five times. Every time we picked it up, the phone was fine, as if we’d never dropped it in the first place.

The thickness of the case is fairly noticeable, however, increasing almost two-fold. There’s also an issue of the grip, making it harder to put in and pull out of your pocket, thanks to the type of materials used in construction.

That said, if you can live with that, the protection on offer from the Ballistic cases is excellent and well worth taking a look at.