When you think about it, the best Apple iPhone 13 cases have a number of different jobs. A case should look good, keep your iPhone 13 in good condition, and protect it from the usual drops and spills. For the most part, that means a rubber or plastic case (or both) that wraps your phone in a protective layer and protects it. But is this the only design? Arc doesn’t think so.
I’ve been using the Arc Pulse case on my iPhone 13 Pro for three weeks, and there’s a lot to be said for it. One of the most important of these is the fact that there is not much to say. Confuses? That’s why we wanted to bring it to your attention.
less is more
The guiding principle of the Arc shell is to give you 90% of the protection with about 10% of the shell. The Arc comes in two metal pieces with a 100% recyclable rubberized/grippy SEBS layer inside. The type of metal depends on which one you buy: Titanium or Aluminum.
The top piece fits over the top corners of the phone and around the camera bump. The bottom piece fits over the back and bottom corners of the phone. The rubberized material on the inside gives the case some grip, so while you think these parts would fall off right away, they don’t. In fact, they’re actually quite difficult to remove, which is a good thing.
The theory here is that if you drop your phone, the parts will protect the corners, back, and front of the phone, including the camera module. For the most part, the theory is sound. You can lay your phone on its side, front or back, and no part of the phone touches the table. Meanwhile, you can still enjoy the design of the iPhone, such as its slimness or its color, even if Apple has not brought back Pacific Blue. One day I hope to stop being bitter about it.
Going back to the case, the front is raised, so even the face of the phone won’t impact if you drop your phone face down. The only parts of the phone that are unprotected (i.e. with a bumper) are the side rails and the back plate of the phone. In a situation where you drop your phone down a flight of stairs, I guess you might miss the full protection of a bumper case, but that’s about it when it comes to drops.
What about the remaining 10%?
Scratching, however, is another story. If you regularly carry two phones in the same pocket, or if you carry your keys in the same pocket as your phone, stop it. But also, this case will not protect the back or side of your phone from these objects. It’s also possible (although I haven’t tested it myself) that this case will scratch other phone screens. So the lesson I learned here is that pockets with phones are meant to be single phone pockets.
If you’re wondering how the case should fit in or out of your pocket, I can tell you it’s okay. In fact, the Arc Pulse gives you even more leverage to pull out the phone and hold it. No complaints there. Another added benefit is warmth. Most TPU cases trap the heat the phone generates when it’s being charged or charged, the Arc Pulse allows this to dissipate.
Speaking of charging, the Arc Pulse case also keeps MagSafe running smoothly. Some MagSafe compatible cases don’t have the magnetic strength of the phone, so in the case of a car mount, the phone may come loose. Of course, there are well-built cases – like the Brooklyn Snap case I use from Zagg – that are just as strong.
Not for me
After a few weeks with the Arc Pulse case, I switched back to the Zagg case. The main reason was trust. I can tell you all day that the Arc Pulse will prevent damage 90% of the time, and I even believe it, but my lizard brain doesn’t trust it. Also, as someone who resells my phone every year to fund my next one, I want the phone to be as pristine as possible and that includes the side rails and backplate.
All in all, it’s a nice deal. And minimalists, that could work very well. The design is certainly polarizing, however. It’s the kind of design you’ll love or hate, but either way, it’s a great conversation starter. It’s just not for me.