The good old days of the Nokia brick phone are no more. Modern smartphones are blazing fast and take brilliant pictures, but they’re more vulnerable than ever. Glass builds and tiny bezels mean that a single drop can spell doom for your expensive device. However, a good case is often all you need for some peace of mind, and some brands really know how to protect a phone. Urban Armor Gear, or UAG, is one such brand, and its options are built like tanks. Here’s what you need to know about UAG cases.
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Why choose UAG cases?
Urban Armor Gear has only been around since 2013. Since then, it’s built a name as one of the toughest case makers around. UAG’s models offer a perfect balance of protection, bulk, and thickness, though they’re not the cheapest. Some of their most popular cases sport featherweight designs with MIL-STD 810G certification to stand up to repeated drops.
While it’s easy enough to pump out tough plastic cases that’ll never break down, UAG goes a step further and thinks about the planet. Its new Outback line is made of 100% biodegradable materials without sacrificing the signature toughness. Don’t worry, it won’t break down in your pocket, but the proprietary blend of bioplastics is far better for the environment than traditional cases.
However, UAG isn’t as large as some other case makers. That means fewer options. You’ll fare best if you have a flagship device, and iPhone users make out best of all. UAG averages between three and four cases for most main Android devices, yet the iPhone 11 has nearly a dozen to choose from. That being said, UAG sometimes has midrange options for devices like the LG Stylo 6 and Moto G Power.
We’ve mentioned it already, but UAG cases tend to fall on the expensive side. You’re probably looking at between $30 and $60 for most options, but the protection is well worth the money.
What kind of UAG case do I need?
UAG’s durable cases with thick bumpers and honeycomb reinforcement are its bread and butter. However, the case maker has expanded its range in recent times. Even its newest options keep an eye on protection, but it’s now a better choice than ever if you want the style to match the security. You may want to consider a few key points when you decide which case you want:
- Thin vs rugged: No surprise, but rugged cases typically offer better protection than thin ones. Thin cases will feel better in your pocket, but they may not pack quite the same protective punch.
- Designs and colorways: Not all phones have the same case options, and not all case options come in the same colorways. You’ll find the most options on the Plasma and Monarch lines, and iPhone cases offer more color options than Android cases.
- Thickness and bulk: In a similar vein to the thin vs rugged debate, you have to consider how much bulk you want to tote around. Most of UAG’s options manage to keep the weight off, though the thicker cases are bound to weigh a bit more.
- Level of protection: Truly, the level of protection is one of the most important things to consider while case shopping. If you’re planning some grand adventures, you’ll want more protection. If you just want basic coverage then you can save a bit of money and grab a less durable — and probably slimmer — alternative.
Best UAG case: Plasma
If you want a true UAG flagship case, the Plasma is your best bet. It’s one of the few models that seem to be available across the board, and it packs the best UAG has to offer. Thick TPU bumpers on the top and bottom offer superior protection if your phone takes a tumble. UAG also added a transparent three-layer polycarbonate back panel for protection against scrapes and scratches. Thick bezels protect the display and camera housing, and you can see the reinforced honeycomb pattern thanks to the clear finish.
While the Plasma line doesn’t come with a built-in screen protector, it does keep adventure in mind. The case is MIL-STD 810G certified, yet it’s thin enough to support wireless charging and payments. You probably won’t even need a belt holster thanks to the small overall footprint.
If you have your heart set on a UAG case, Plasma should have you covered. It’s available for all of the following devices:
Other UAG cases to consider
UAG Monarch — Rugged protection
The UAG Monarch cranks the protection up to 11. At first glance, the Monarch looks similar to the Plasma, but it’s made with five layers of material rather than three. It makes for a slightly denser case, and the transparent back panel is gone in favor of a matte black version. The textured finish should help you to keep a solid grip on your phone. The UAG Monarch is one of the most widely available options from the case maker.
Get the UAG Monarch for:
UAG Plyo — Clear protection
Although the Plasma features a transparent back panel, the UAG Plyo is the only way to go if you want to show off your entire device. It’s completely clear from the camera housing to the charging ports. However, it provides the same MIL-STD 810G protection you expect from UAG. The Plyo is tested for medical environments, which is an important factor for the current pandemic. Air Soft cushioned corners also offer solid security against drops.
Get the UAG Plyo for:
UAG Scout — Midrange and entry-level protection
Most of UAG’s cases so far have been on the flagship side, offering protection for devices like the Galaxy Note and iPhone 11. However, the Scout line comes in with slightly more affordable midrange phones in mind. It’s a lighter and thinner option, but the Scout line is treated with an antimicrobial coating that’s ideal for medical environments. UAG opted for a basic TPU construction on the Scout, so it should be easy to apply and remove in seconds.
Get the UAG Scout for:
UAG Civilian — Slimmed-down protection
UAG likes to stick with a pseudo-military theme for its case names, at least until it gets to the Civilian. The name gives it away as one of the lightest, thinnest cases in the range. The Civilian is meant for your everyday life. Despite the thin profile, the Civilian case is still MIL-STD 810G certified and it packs reliable honeycomb reinforcement throughout. It’s also the only UAG case to pick if you have a folding phone like the Galaxy Z Fold2.
Get the UAG Civilian for:
Frequently asked questions
Q: Are UAG cases waterproof?
A: While UAG cases are designed with some water resistance in mind, they are not waterproof.
Q: Can you ship cases internationally?
A: Yes, you can ship cases internationally from the UAG website. You can also find most options on Amazon with international shipping.
Q: What does MIL-STD 810G mean?
A: MIL-STD 810G is a US Military designation for technology. It certifies that the product has gone through a series of 29 tests against heat, shock, cold, and more. You can learn even more right here in our helpful guide.
Q: How do you keep UAG cases clean?
A: Special wipes and microfiber cloths are often the best ways to keep your case clean. You can often find options on Amazon, and you can learn more in our guide to properly cleaning your phone.
Q: How do you remove yellowing from UAG cases?
A: Yellowing can happen over time in some clear cases, but luckily the issue is not permanent. Mix warm water and a drop or two of dish soap and then scrub the mixture over your case with a toothbrush. Allow it to air dry for a few hours, and you should be good to go.