We’ve been playing with Pong cases for a while now. We get to play with a lot of iPhone cases in this game so it’s hard to stand out, without gimmicks or gaudy design. Pong have opted for neither but still manage to pique our interest through some hard science, quality engineering and a tiny bit of marketing. Pong make two-way iPhone cases – they protect your iPhone from you but they also protect you from your iPhone.
The Pong iPhone 5 cases build on the design of the iPhone 4 cases we knew and liked with a similar tight forming, carefully crafted design. This time they’ve added three little symbols on the back to remind you what exactly you’re paying for (i) improved signal strength; (ii) increased battery life; and (iii) radiation shielding.
“The Pong iPhone 5 case features our patented technology that makes it the only case available today that both significantly reduces consumers’ exposure to radiation and improves their overall user experience,” said Todd DeYoung, CEO, Pong Research. “Other cases can increase users’ exposure to EMR by interfering with the iPhone’s cellular signal and forcing the device to use more power and consume more battery life to overcome that interference. The Pong case protects users without placing any restrictions on how they use their iPhones to make calls, check emails, surf the Web, take and share pictures and videos, play games and watch movies and TV shows.”
As a regular case Pong have created a understated yet stylish offering that is lightweight, comfortable and secure. The soft touch finish doesn’t leave one fearing scratches and the metallic purple of our test unit was pretty damn classy and easily up there with the stylish outings of favoured case makers such as be.ez or Speck.
But what about the special features? Well it’s pretty hard to test how much radiation there is or isn’t in our heads as a result of using the case for a couple of weeks, but they have extensive documentation if you’re curious. If this is a big deal to you then it’s clearly one of the best cases on the market.
Signal strength was a mixed bag. It’s important to remember that Pong’s case features a built-in antenna not a magic wand and if you live in an area of terrible reception (Mile End on Three) then nothing can save you. But in day to day use there was a slight improvement in signal strength. There was also an improvement in battery quality – but again it wasn’t drastic, just an nice added boost.
Would we recommend it? Well it’s a good looking and protective case and has enough carefully constructed features to warrant the premium. We don’t have enough of a science background to verify Pong’s radiation claims (indeed our inner sceptic can’t help but wonder if there’s a degree of FUD to their sales pitch) but there’s much more to Pong than the iPhone equivalent of a tin-foil hat.
Out now from Pong for £49.99