When you think about it, the best Apple iPhone 13 cases do a lot of different jobs. The case needs to look good to keep your iPhone 13 looking good and protected against the usual drops and spills. For most, this means a rubber or plastic case (or both) that wraps the phone in a protective layer and keeps it safe. But is this the only project? Arc doesn’t think so.
I have been using the Arc Pulse case on my iPhone 13 Pro for three weeks and there is something to talk about. One of the biggest of these is the fact that there’s nothing to talk about. Confused? That’s why we wanted to draw your attention to it.
Less means more
The guiding principle of the Arc casing is to provide 90% protection from approximately 10% of the casing. Arc comes in two metal pieces with a 100% recyclable, rubberized / adhesive SEBS layer inside. The type of metal depends on which one you are buying: titanium or aluminum.
The top part fits the top corners of the phone and around the protrusion of the camera. The lower part fits the back and bottom corners of the phone. The rubberized material on the inside gives the case some grip, so while you might think these pieces would just fall off, they are not. In fact, they’re pretty hard to remove, which is a good thing.
The theory is that if you drop your phone, components will protect the corners, back and front of your phone, including the camera module. Mostly the theory is correct. You can put the phone on its side, front or back and no part of the phone is touching the table. Meanwhile, you can still enjoy the design of the iPhone, such as its thinness or its color, even if Apple didn’t bring back Pacific Blue. Hopefully one day I will stop feeling angry about it.
Coming back to the case, the front is raised so even the face of the phone won’t be affected if you drop the phone face down. The only parts of the phone that are not protected (i.e. the bumper) are the side rails and the back plate of the phone. In the event that you drop your phone on the stairs, I suppose you might lack the full protection of the bumper case, but that’s about it for falls.
What about the remaining 10%?
Scratching, however, is a different story. If you regularly carry two phones in the same pocket, or if you carry your keys in the same pocket as your phone, keep it. But also this case will not protect the back or side of the phone from these objects. It is also possible (although I have not tested it myself) that this case may scratch the screens of other phones. So the lesson I learned here is that phone pockets are meant to be pockets for one phone only.
If you’re wondering how the case is going to hold up or take it out of your pocket, I can tell you it’s okay. In fact, Arc Pulse gives you even more power to pull your phone out and hold it. No complaints there. Another added benefit is warmth. Most TPU cases keep the heat generated by your phone while charging or paying taxes, and Arc Pulse allows you to dissipate that.
Speaking of charging, the Arc Pulse case also allows you to hassle-free MagSafe charging. Some MagSafe compatible cases do not have the same magnetic force as a phone, so in the case of a car holder, the phone may fall out. Of course, there are some well-built cases – like the Brooklyn Snap case I use from Zagg – that are just as durable.
Not for me
After a few weeks with the Arc Pulse box, I went back to the Zagg box. 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. Additionally, as someone who resells my phone every year to finance the next one, I want the phone to be as pristine as possible, including the side rails and backplate.
Overall, this is a cool case. And minimalists can work great. The design, however, is certainly polarizing. It’s the kind of design you’ll either love or hate, but either way it’s a great conversation starter. It’s just not for me.