When I first locked my phone into the Ballistic HC, I instantly felt the protection it had to offer. The icing on the cake came when I strapped the optional silicon case over it, that’s when I knew it was going to last. This case was “Designed to Survive Life!™”, and so far, it has lived up to that claim. I have dropped the case with the phone in it many times, some accidental and some on purpose, just to see if it could handle it. Heck, I have even chucked the case at a wall with decent force, with the phone in it, and the case didn’t show a sign of damage. There are only a couple of downsides to the case such as being bulky, however it’s important to remember, nothing is perfect and these things can be overlooked when realizing how much you’re actually getting.
The case comes in three major parts: the back covering, the front covering, and the optional silicon cover. The case is made of soft plastic covering the screen and a harder plastic covering the shell of the phone. The Ballistic logo is embossed on the back in a circular pattern. There are cutouts for the proximity sensor, camera, speakers, etc. The case is available in 3 colors: black, grey, and red. The three secondary colors are black, gray, and red. These colors are displayed on the front piece where the cutouts are, on the side where the finger grips are, and on the back where the kickstand and speaker/camera/flash spots are. The silicon cover is plain as well. It is all black and branded with the same Ballistic logo as the case.
The shows the overall design of the Ballistic, showing the cutouts, material, and grips on the sides.
There are only a couple of design flaws with the Ballistic. The first one is obvious: bulkiness. I am not sure there is a case out there that protects as much as the Ballistic with any less bulk. The thickness is about the same as two Evos stacked on top of eachother. Although it is bulky, I found essentially no problems when slipping it in and out of my pocket with or without the silicon cover. The second flaw I found was that the front cover could be a little wider around the screen. This is because sometimes it is hard to pull down the notification bar or select smaller things that might be near one of the edges. This may also be because I have large fingers, as I suspect people with smaller fingers may find this less of a problem. Personally, I love the case. I find the design of the case appealing, yet not too overly done. It isn’t tacky or flashy, but isn’t too simplistic, just a nice, rugged look. When I pick it up, I know I am holding a Ballistic, and nothing else.
As you can see, with full protection on (case with silicon cover), it is about two Evos in width.
If you couldn’t tell by the motto, designed to survive life, the Ballistic HC was made to protect your phone. If that wasn’t a dead giveaway, HC stands for hard core.
Ballistic has used their “Five Layer” technology to pack the utmost protection in their cases. This ensures that the case will survive most drops. They also reinforce the corners of the case with more protection to keep your phone safe. And finally, it places water resistant mesh over the speakers to help protect them from minimal water damage. If that wasn’t enough for you, they also give you an optional silicon covering for even more protection. The silicon case also offers covers for all ports and holes in the device.
As you can see, the corners have extra protection to endure falls. You can also see that the silicon case has covers for the ports/holes in the device.
Now, there are also two extras here: the screen protector and holster. The screen protector is just a standard screen protector. You place it over and smooth out the air bubbles. Nothing special but can be useful if you don’t trust the screen protector on the Ballistic already. The holster is a belt holster that is also made out of strong hard plastic. It will also endure most falls.
While using the case, I couldn’t find anything that is wrong with protection. It offers just about the best protection you can get for your phone. Like I said earlier, I have dropped this thing multiple times, thrown it up in the air and let it drop on tile, and even chucked it at a wall, all to test it for you. And no matter what I did, it never showed any sign of wear or tear.
The price of the Ballistic HC ($49.99) isn’t much considering what you’re getting. It is about the same price as its more popular counterpart, the OtterBox Defender Series Case, which costs $49.95. That just goes to show that the best protection can’t always be the cheapest. In my opinion, $50 is a small fee for something that can last you a long time. In the unlikely case that it breaks, the limited one year warranty won’t cover you. It only covers manufacturer defects. So if it does break beyond use, you might regret spending your $50. The only thing I could see breaking, or rather tearing, would be the screen protector on the front plate of the case. From my experience with using the case (I haven’t broken it), the screen protector would only break if you dropped it from a high point onto a straight edge such as a hard corner. I don’t think I have seen any product that could survive that without some damage; so you shouldn’t worry.
I believe that this is one of the best cases on the market. Ballistic claims the case will last you for life, and I am sure that anyone who picks it up will see why. You can just about do anything to your phone, and the Ballistic, and your phone will come out as good as new. The only drawbacks are the bulkiness and some irritation with the edges and using your phone. But these are small and can be overlooked when using it. From day one of snapping the case over my Evo, I have not encountered any problems, and I knew this case was going to last.
† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Overall scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
Thanks Ballistic for the product sample.