When I opened up the Griffin Survivor Core, I couldn’t get over how thin and light the Survivor Core was…for a case that promises 6.6 ft drop protection, that is. The magic is in the corners, apparently. The TPE rubber that covers the sides of the case flares out at each corner to provide enhanced drop protection. There is also a reasonable amount of ‘lay on the table’ protection, even with a fairly thick screen protector, such as the Zagg Glass I have on my iPhone 6 Plus. The back of the case is a sheet of polycarbonate that is fused to the TPE sides of the case, so it is easy to get your iPhone in and out of the case. In fact, I found it to be one of the easier cases to take on and off that I have tried so far; certainly easier than the Thule Atmos X3 that I have been using regularly on my iPhone for the past few months.
As I had the Thule case sitting around, I decided to compare it to the Griffin Survivor Core given that they both promise a hefty drop protection of 6.6 ft. Additionally, I thought it would be interesting to compare it to the Griffin Identity: another clear iPhone 6+ case from Griffin that has many cosmetic similarities to the Survivor Core, but that only has a drop protection rating for 4 feet.
Comparing the three cases, it was amazing how much lighter the Survivor Core feels than the Thule Atmos X3. While both cases are supposed to be similarly protective, the Survivor Core makes your iPhone feel much slimmer. It is actually a little bit longer than the Atmos X3, but this doesn’t stand out that much because the additional length is only in the elongated corners, and at least in the black version of the Survivor Core than I have, the protruding corners aren’t that obvious. The Griffin Identity feels about the same weight as the Survivor Core…but it is giving you less protection for that weight. The main thing it had going for it in this comparison is that it was the shortest and smallest of the three, but the size reduction is not that pronounced. I have to say that unless you are looking for the smallest protective case you can find, or you are particularly entranced with the idea of being able to switch out the backplate of your phone case, I can’t see why you would choose the Griffin Identity over the Griffin Survivor Core.
Which do I like the best between the Thule Atmos X3 and the Survivor Core? It is hard to choose. The Thule Atmos X3 is built like a tank, and you can easily see it lasting the 25 years it is (amazingly) guaranteed for. I can’t see the Survivor Core lasting for 25 years, but it should hopefully last for as long as you have your iPhone…which is really all that matters. The polycarbonate back of the Survivor Core, like all polycarbonate, will probably scratch pretty easily. However, because the backplate is clear, the scratches shouldn’t be all that visible. The Thule case does not scratch easily at all (I see no signs of wear on my case after three months of use), but it is going to be a bit bulkier on your phone than the svelte Survivor Core. So realistically, I will probably switch back and forth between them, and have fun doing it.
The Griffin Identity and Griffin Survivor Core both retail for $29.99 and can be purchased from a variety of retailers as well as from Griffin directly. You can find the Thule Atmos X3 case at Best Buy, REI and directly from Thule. It retails for $39.95.
If you would like to see more about these three cases, check out my YouTube video: