9 iPhone cases that do more than protect your iPhone (pictures)
With these multifunction holsters, you can ditch your wallet, snap better photos, tase attackers, and more.
For anyone serious about music (or podcasts, or audiobooks), there's nothing funny about a case with built-in retractable earbuds. The TurtleCell case saves you from having to keep track of earphones, and it keeps them from getting tangled when not in use. It's available now for iPhone 5/5S ($40) and late June for iPhone 6 (price TBD).
Most battery-pack cases just sit there and supply extra power to your phone. The iStand 6 ($50) not only supplies a supplmental 3,500mAh battery, it also unfolds to become a stand/dock. Plus, it sports a tiny drawer for stowing a spare SIM card, great for global travelers.
Why bother carrying an entire wallet when you can slip a credit card and some cash into your iPhone case? That's the idea behind Felix's HandHold and HoldTight products, which hug your valuables close to the rear of your phone while keeping bulk to a bare minimum. They're available in a variety of two-tone color combinations, with prices starting at $20.
A smartphone deserves a smart case, right? The Findables FlexWrap case emblazons a unique QR code on each hard-plastic shell, one that can share information about yourself or help recover your lost phone. In other words, your case can now take the place of your business card, while at the same time offering good Samaritans a means of contacting you (that doesn't involve poring through your address book).
When paired with the LoopPay Card ($50), the LoopPay Case for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus ($16) gives you a way to pay for stuff via just about any credit-card reader. That gives it a leg up on Apple Pay, which works only with compatible terminals.
Talk about double duty: the $99 Yellow Jacket protects your iPhone from gravity and your body from attackers. That's because this case doubles as a stun gun, able to deliver 650,000 volts on demand. Worried about accidentally Tasering your ear while on a call? As CNET's Amanda Kooser notes, there's both "a safety switch and a safety cover to prevent that, but you'll want to handle this case a lot more carefully than you would, say, an OtterBox. It could be the most unpleasant butt-dial you've ever experienced."
After the bummer that was the ReadyCase, you might feel skeptical about a product that promises a whopping 22 tools (the ReadyCase had just 7). But here comes the TaskOne all the same, offering a 2.5-inch removable serrated knife, a 1.8-inch sawblade, small and large flathead screwdrivers, a medium Phillips screwdriver, a wire cutter and stripper, pliers, a bottle opener, a kickstand, and more -- all of them secured via spring-loaded assemblies. Who needs a Leatherman? Originally for iPhone 4 and 5, an iPhone 6 version is coming soon.
A successor to Loop Attachment's popular Mummy case, the Straitjacket modifies the design with a hard plastic bumper for better protection while retaining the silicone bands that criss-cross the back of the phone. Within those bands you can slip your cash, credit card, or whatever else you need to pocket. It's available in a variety of colors for iPhone 5/5S and 6, and priced at $35.
An iPhone case with a built-in extended battery is nothing new, but how about one that recharges just by plugging into a wall outlet? That's the idea behind the Prong PWR, which has fold-out wall prongs for cable-free charging.