Dog and Bone Backbone Wireless Charging Case and Pad
Our test case looks good with its funky red and black styling. The ruggedized rubber is sturdy and protective (certified to 1.2m drops) without making buttons too hard to push. It adds an extra centimetre to the length of the phone and a few millimetres of thickness but our tester wasn’t phased by this. The hole at the bottom easily allows the extra battery to slot in and it starts charging the iPhone immediately. A screen protector is also included.
There are two ways to charge this battery via the (short included) USB cable or wirelessly via the supplied induction base. This base is the size of the phone and a bit plastic. It also needs to be attached via USB and the supplied, short cable became a problem again – in the end we got it charging via a USB port in our office monitor – ugly but works. The jacket is “Qi” compatible so it will work with most wireless charging pads you find when out and about.
All in all, however, it breathed new life into the fading battery of an iPhone 5 – it also works with 5S and iPhone SE.
It’s not cheap, however, at $149 for the case and base. The case on its own is $122. Both are available in a variety of colours.
Dog and Bone Backbone Battery
Also available is the Extended Battery for use with the case. It comes with a short USB cable and slots into the jacket (sold separately). Annoyingly, it’s not wirelessly chargeable but it does add an extra 900mAh to the battery. It doesn’t fit flush with the back though which spoils the smooth effect somewhat. At $67 it’s also quite expensive although it does mean you don’t have to carry a separate battery around.
Dog and Bone Wetsuit for iPhone 6 and 6S
This “Topless waterproof slim rugged case” looks great with its black and orange styling. It screams warnings about testing the case first before dropping it in water although this is odd because there is no housing on the front – the waterproofing protection is just for the sides and base.
Our unit was designed for the 6 and 6S although you need to add an included insert into the bottom to account for the marginally thinner 6. The sides need to be completely secure and when they’re together your iPhone *SHOULD* be able to withstand submersion “Up to 30 minutes or 1.5 meters under [water].” The phone also becomes drop resistant up to 2m. A short cable is included to allow any thick headphone connectors to operate – the existing jack (and Lightening connector) are hidden behind and recessed into the case. However, we didn’t need to use it with the standard iPhone headphones.
All the while there’s no annoying screen protector on the front. So all good, right?
We made ten attempts to fix our phone into the case but then had to give up. The fit is snug alright but nothing we could do would let all of the upper buttons work – either the power button was jammed in or one of the volume buttons was. It sounds ridiculous but we couldn’t do it. And we kept having to remove the jacket with a coin (which we’re advised to do as few times as possible to maintain integrity), but to no avail.
If you order this online you could end up infuriated and stuck in an annoying returns cycle. If you get it fitted in a shop, be sure to check that everything is working first. For now though, this is a design flaw however we look at it – which is a crying shame as everything else about this case seemed really good. But at $109 we don’t need the hassle.
Rating Unrateable / 5
Olloclip Studio Case for iPhone 6 and 6S Plus
The Studio is a different beast altogether. Recognising that the iPhone 6S Plus is a decent camcorder with its low-light performance and optical image stabilisation, Olloclip designed a rail system to make it easier to hold and attach accessories.
The main polycarbonate case is very tough and rigid – not the sort of thing most people would want to use day to day, but there’s a reason for this. The rear of the case has grooves cut out which allow you to slide on various different attachments – along the “rails.” The main one of these is a finger grip which lets you hold the phone far more securely without hanging on to the sides. Next up are two different tripod mount screws – one for portrait and one for landscape orientation. There’s also a kickstand which simply props up the phone at an angle to for watching a movie while on your desk (for example). There’s also a “Cold Shoe” mount for a small LED lighting system.
We found it worked well, but it would be nice to have had a proper carry case for the attachments. We lost a key one quite quickly and with all of our test pieces being black, finding them in the bottom of your bag is a pain . However, if you’re careful with them (and buy lighter-coloured variants), they can be a great and simple way to turn your iPhone into a mobile video camera system. At $90 it’s reasonably priced too. We still prefer the Feiyu G4 gimbal system for filming but it’s much more expensive. This is a great, down-and-dirty, alternative.
It’s available in a few colours and also compatible with Olloclip’s other add-ons like lens enhancer and microphone.