1. metllicamilitia's Avatar
    If you’ve never heard the phrase marketing fluff, or anything similar, you’re about to know what it is. The Urban Armor Gear Monarch is the embodiment of that phrase. So what is marketing fluff? It’s when a company says a lot of fancy things about their product in order to sell it, bonus points if it’s marked up like the Monarch is. The Urban Armor Gear Monarch is marketed as having five “layers” of protection. What this actually means though is that the case is made from four different materials and has a few tiny screws in it. Yes, the screws are counted as a “layer” of protection. The other four layers being the frame, the leather, the polycarbonate plate, and the rubber. All of these materials are part of a single body which means they aren’t layers. If these were actually all layers the drop protection would probably be much better.

    Speaking of the drop protection…2x Military Standard. Amazing right? Wrong, sort of. It is still technically 2x Military Standard, depending on how you view that. To understand this you need to understand the Military Standard, 810G is what you’ll usually see and this encompasses many many different tests. Urban Armor Gear on the other hand tells you specifically which test, 516.6 in fact, which has to do with shock. So what is Military Standard 810G-516.6? Basically the requirements are that you can drop your phone from between four and half feet and 6 feet onto a piece of plywood on top of concrete for a total of 26 times. Standards are loose as well, multiple devices can be dropped to meet the requirement. 2x Military Standard though, that means nine foot to twelve foot drops right? Wrong. Urban Armor Gear’s definition of 2x Military Standard is that you can drop your phone in the Monarch from four and half feet to six feet onto a piece of plywood on top of concrete for not 26 drops, but 52 drops. You get twice as many drops at the same height.

    So does the Monarch really have five “layers” of protection? Not really. Does it really have 2x Military Standard ratings? Technically, if you consider double the amount of drops the case can handle to be 2x the standard, then yes. Otherwise no, this is still just an average every day case to handle every day drops. It can just handle them longer than the competitors.

    With all the marketing fluff addressed, let’s get to the case itself. The first thing you will find is that the Monarch is much lighter than you would expect it to be. It’s really not much heavier than Apple’s own cases. You will also notice the striking industrial design of the Monarch, which is more sporty than other models. The top and bottom of the case are the polycarbonate shell, the sides are the rubber portion, in the middle you have the armor frame, inset in the armor frame are the portions of leather, and there are three screws in the corners. Of course in Urban Armor Gear fashion, right in the center of the back of the case is the UAG branding.

    The cutouts are slightly different and very well done. The camera cutout is rather large to allow room for the camera of the 6 Plus, 6S Plus, or 7 Plus, as Urban Armor Gear only wanted to make one case for all three models. Which brings us to the speaker and lightning port cutouts. The lightning port cutout is definitely wide enough and shallow enough to allow for third party cables and has no issue using a charging dock. The speaker cutout is great, and where there is a 3.5mm jack on the iPhone’s 6/6S Plus, there is a cutout on the Monarch. This cutout looks out of place of the 7 Plus and asymmetrical, however it’s not a deal breaker or noticeable unless you’re staring at it. The mute switch cutout is wider than most and makes accessing the mute switch flawless. Definitely one of the absolute best mute switch cutouts I’ve used. The best part are the buttons, they are absolute dream to use. Highly tactile and easy to find, you wont’ have any issues with them at all, this is something Urban Armor Gear has always gotten right.

    What you can expect from the Monarch is a very comfortable case. The rubber sides add enough grip with minimal bulk that the Monarch is one of the most comfortable cases I’ve ever used. You’re also going to get a great deal of lay on the table protection from the Monarch, much more than most other cases. The leather portions of the case are really only to come in play when you’re handling your phone one handed, more specifically for me when taking photos. The Monarch offers a snug fit on your phone, with a unique design, great tactility and accessibility, protection no matter how you lay your phone down, average drop protection for a longer length of time, and all for $60.

    Urban Armor Gear Monarch Review (Plus)-dsc_0170.jpg

    The Good
    • Feather light
    • Great soft grip
    • Amazing button tactility

    The Bad
    • Not as protective as you would believe
    • Headphone cutout sticks out on iPhone’s 7 models
    • Expensive for what it is

    Urban Armor Gear Monarch Review (Plus)-dsc_0171.jpg
    Urban Armor Gear Monarch Review (Plus)-dsc_0169.jpg

    The Monarch is a solid case that I couldn’t possibly recommend spending $60 on. If you can find it for a discounted price, go for it, 50% or more off is best. It’s really not that much more protective than any other standard case except you can drop your phone twice as much from the same height. You’re really just paying for some fancy marketing and a warranty that no one will ever need. If you do purchase the Monarch though, you won’t be disappointed, it really is a nice case even if over priced. The photos I posted are of my own limited edition Midnight coloring, I’m not sure how easy they will be to find in the future.

    You can purchase the Urban Armor Gear Monarch from Amazon, Best Buy, or directly from Urban Armor Gear.
    03-04-2017 08:52 PM
  2. felloffthetruck's Avatar
    Another fantastic review, Thank You.
    blaine07 and Danny8200 like this.
    03-04-2017 09:04 PM
  3. Not Quite Right's Avatar
    Headphone cutout sticks out on iPhone’s 7 models
    It has a headphone cutout for what?
    03-06-2017 08:35 AM
  4. metllicamilitia's Avatar
    It has a headphone cutout for what?
    as Urban Armor Gear only wanted to make one case for all three models.
    Not Quite Right and njlx2016 like this.
    03-06-2017 08:46 AM
  5. Not Quite Right's Avatar
    Sorry TL;DR ...
    robertk328 likes this.
    03-06-2017 08:48 AM
  6. njlx2016's Avatar
    I really hate this. I understand it is more economical to manufacture the cases this way, but it's so ugly no matter what iPhone you have.

    6/6s: Camera cutout too large.
    7: Cutout for a port that the phone doesn't have.
    03-06-2017 01:09 PM
  7. metllicamilitia's Avatar
    I really hate this. I understand it is more economical to manufacture the cases this way, but it's so ugly no matter what iPhone you have.

    6/6s: Camera cutout too large.
    7: Cutout for a port that the phone doesn't have.
    It can be done better and still accomplish the same thing. I believe the Mous Limitless does it well, teardrop shapes for the speaker cutouts which allows for headphones on the 6's. My Mous won't be in until nearly April though.
    03-06-2017 01:12 PM
  8. robertk328's Avatar
    Nice review, though the images don't show up for me. I've seen them in other threads tho
    03-06-2017 06:36 PM
  9. Spencerdl's Avatar
    Very good review. Thanks for your time and effort.
    03-07-2017 06:46 AM
  10. wilber1's Avatar
    Excellent review for someone that might be considering this case .Good Job
    blaine07 likes this.
    03-07-2017 01:43 PM

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