As expected, dozens of cases and bands are showing up for Apple’s most personal mobile device, the Apple Watch. But how do the cases look, and are they really necessary?
I’ve had my Sports Edition Apple Watch for about two weeks now, and though I thought wouldn’t need another band, I forked over the $150 for the Leather Loop, because it’s way more stylish than the rubber fluoroelastomer band. But when it comes to rugged case, no matter how stylish, I can’t see a need for one.
On the other hand, a durable case could be the kind of protective accessory for construction workers, fire fighters, nurses, cooks, and other users who need to guard their watch from heavy bumps and scratches.
Let’s see a few of the watch cases already in the market and what they have to offer.
To get a hands-on look at a few Apple Watch cases, I headed over my local BestBuy, and tried a few out. The CandyShell ($29.95), developed by Speck, makers of other iPad and iPhone case, was the only one I could actually take out of the box and fit on my watch.
I’m not sure if the raised bezel protection (available for both the 38 and 42 mm) is rugged enough to protect against extremely hard bumps and knocks, but it is easy to slip on, and it comes in four different colors — meant to complement the Sports edition bands. The crown, speakers and mic are left exposed, and in my brief test, the case’s protective home button activated the watch’s button.
It seems as if these cases might also appeal to younger teen watch wearers, or worn as a fun fashion statement — but the enclosure does make the watch more bulky.
Lunatik – Epik
The Lanatik Epik polycarbonate case and silicone band ($69.99) was also on display. It’s both a case and a band for the 42 mm size watch. Because the case requires removing four screws and fitting the watch in the case, I was not able to test how well the case’s buttons enabled the watch’s digital crown and home button to function.
I did test out the fitness of the band, and on my arm it fit snugly. If you really need watch protection, this case and band may do the trick, because it feels durable, and it encloses every part of the watch, except the underside sensors, and the speaker and mic. This case might come in handy for swimming or while doing heavy construction work.
The cheaper Spigen Rugged Armor case is similar to the Lunatik, but it doesn’t require taking out screws to fit the watch in the flexible enclosure.
However, the armor doesn’t include a matching band, which means it too is best suited for use with Apple’s fluoroelastomer bands. The crown is also exposed, and the “metalized” button provides access to contacts.
Spigen also sells a clear Liquid Crystal case for both watch sizes, as well as a screen protector. With the durable sapphire crystal and Ion-X glass watch covers, I’m not sure a clear screen protector is needed, unless users encounter lots of bumps or splashes of liquid.
ActionProof has raised over $16,000 for its “rubber shock absorption” Bumper case that leaves the back sensors, speakers, mic, and digital crown fully exposed. On its Indiegogo page, it shows only a black cover, made for the 42mm Apple Watch. But a white Bumper with an orange dot at the top will also be sold.
This case too is also most appropriate for the Sports edition, and though it may add some bulk to the watch, it could be useful for protection in harsh working conditions.
Luvvitt Clarity Case
If you need watch protection without sacrificing the suave design of the Apple Watch, Luvvit’s Clarity Case ($19.99) may be what you’re looking for. Its “scratch resistance coating” and enclosure leaves the digital crown, home button, mic and speakers fully accessible, and it adds hardly any weight to the watch.
I’ve used a similar case for older iPod Classic, and it worked great. Luvvit also sells clear screen protectors, but most people are reporting that the Apple Watch screens are nearly impossible to scratch.
Do You Need a Case?
There’s clearly a market for Apple Watch cases, and like the device itself, there are varying opinions about their usefulness.
I personally don’t need a case or screen protector for my black Apple Sports edition, mainly because I think a case obscures the pleasing design of the watch, and secondly I don’t see the Ion-X glass ever getting scratched while working at my desk or moving things around. I’ve yet to get any scratches on my aluminum watch, and specks of dirt rub right off. The same goes for my phone. I use a small iPhone case, but it’s mainly for carrying two bank cards, not protecting the phone itself.
On the other hand, a writer for Wired.com wrote about how all stainless steel watches, including the Apple Watch versions, are susceptible to scratches and scuffs, and even a company called Phone Surgeons, offers to buff out scratches on Apple Watches and restore them like new.
So if you’re concerned about your stainless steel watch scratching, or you know you’ll be using your watch in an environment where it will likely be damaged, a case might be a good idea.
So tell us, how is your Apple Watch holding up? We’re interested in your views about cases: are you using one one, and if so why?