A week ago, I published a review round-up of ‘transformer’ cases for the Nexus 6, turning this 6″-screened phone into a tablet suitable for media consumption or hooking up to a Bluetooth keyboard. One downside of such cases was a little extra thickness, of course – which is why I wanted to balance the piece with a little round-up of case options if you want protection but don’t need kick stands and the like.
In this case (no pun intended!), the three options were provided by PDair at my request. I’ve sworn by PDair cases for years, across four different smartphone platforms and form factors, so I was expecting top quality here again.
Pouch Case with Belt Clip
This design is battle-proven in my life. Yes, belt pouches aren’t ‘cool’, but they do mean that you can’t ‘forget’ your phone and they do mean that your pockets are free for other things. Plus, who’s got a pocket big enough for a Nexus 6, both standing and sitting, in the first place? The PDair design, as usual, has a really strong, really slimline clip, meaning that the case hugs your hip and doesn’t protrude in ungainly fashion.
It’s true that the case is also slightly fiddly to put on your belt in the first place, needing strong fingers, but you shouldn’t have to do this more often that you physically change your trousers, and it also means that the case is unlikely to ever fall off or catch on something.
Unlike previous PDair pouches, this one includes an extra feature – a magnet that interacts with the Nexus 6’s case detection and tells the phone to switch its display off when inserted – and vice versa – it’s a nice touch and alleviates worries about the side buttons being pressed while the phone is in situ.
As usual, the leather, the stitching, the elasticated edge and the leather-clad metal clip are all impeccable, with a tasteful ‘PDair’ logo embedded in the rear of the case. This accessory is expensive, retailing at over $40, but I cannot emphasise enough the sheer longevity of these PDair leather belt cases – I now have a total of 10, amassed over a decade, and all of them still look good (in black, of course!) and haven’t fallen to bits.
Soft Case (Black S Shape)
TPU cases for phones are plentiful, of course, but I was interested to see PDair’s take on the genre. Classy as always, there’s all round protection including the front glass, by way of a raised silicone lip, while the back is matt effect apart from a classy shiny gloss arc.
The highlight here though is the ribbed texture on the sides of the case, for maximum grip. In the hand, the Nexus 6 is pretty hard to drop, which is something of a huge difference from the ‘naked’ phone. The side button covers do make it harder to press the buttons underneath, but the level of ruggedisation for, e.g. putting the Nexus 6 into a rucksack for going hiking, is just about perfect, with no chance of an unwanted button press.
Overall, good value at only $10.
Rubberized Hard Cover (Black)
Oddly, despite going up in quality of materials over the TPU design, the price is still only $10 for this tough rubberized plastic design. There’s not quite so much protection, with the top and bottom of the phone exposed and with not so much ‘give’ in the material, but the overall feel is much better suited to a professional lifestyle. This is the case the Nexus 6 would perhaps sit in, while in meetings at work.
The rubber coating is top notch and pretty grippy, as you’d expect, while the right hand side is managed with cutouts for the Nexus 6 buttons, for maximum ‘feel’ and responsiveness.
A case for every occasion?
Take the four Nexus 6 cases I originally reviewed and then add in these three – is there an overall winner?
Resolutely not – I hand-picked each of the seven as having unique or interesting ‘pros’ and which case is right for you will depend on your level of activity, any degree of style needed(!), whether you need an integrated way of propping the phablet up, and so on. Seven terrific cases and (ahem) I’d recommend them all!