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  1. metllicamilitia's Avatar
    Overview
    Forget about the stone right now. There is something even better to talk about right now. The grip on the Cover-Up Stone Explorer is phenomenal, out of this world. So many cases fail to implement decent grip, and Cover-Up far surpasses decent and goes right into exemplary. The grip is quite the basic design, a design that hasn't really been implemented in recent years, and Cover-Up improved upon it. It's simply incredible. With the exception of buttons and the mute switch cutout, the entirety of the sides of the case are covered in this grip. The grip is a masterful array of tiny bumps that are neither too large nor too small. They are also expertly distanced not being too close or too far from each other. What this accomplishes is a beautifully solid feel to the sides and you will only notice the bumps of the grip if you are sliding your hands or fingers against it. If you are only holding your phone, it feels like one solid piece of the case. It really is a simplistically intrinsic, masterful execution of grip. Other case manufacturers need to take note. If all I talked about was the grip on the Stone Explorer it would be enough to sell it, however, there is real stone on the back of the case.



    There are a number of options for the stone in the Stone Explorer case, I chose Burnt Copper myself. The Burnt Copper looked nice online in photos, and in person, it's even better than expected. It really is a beautiful stone full of color and texture. Now there is something to bear in mind with the Stone Explorer case; it has real stone in it. I know that seem silly to say but bear with me. It is not smooth, not at first. What will happen over the course of the first couple days with the Stone Explorer, and the more you use it, is the small jagged edges of the stone will break away. This will make your phone dusty and dirty. This is not a deal breaker by any many means, if anything, it's a selling point and here's why. As these jagged edges break away, the stone gradually becomes smoother and more of the stone's character will show. While the stone is a weird texture to feel at first, as it smooths itself out it starts to feel like the stone was naturally meant to be there. It's definitely a natural wear to the stone. I find this to be another great execution in design by Cover-Up. Most case manufacturers will give you either fake stone, or fake wood, and it will be lacquered and smooth or covered up by plastic. Not Cover-Up, nope, they give you the real wood in the Woodback Explorer and real stone in the Stone Explorer. So rather than having a fake smoothness added to a case, the more you use the Stone Explorer the smoother it becomes which inevitably makes that more attractive and easy to hold.



    And you have pockets right? What about pockets? Don't worry about it. In the first couple days, the Stone Explorer will grip and snag, but this will go away as again, the stone smooths itself out. I already really liked the case out of the box and what I didn't expect to find was that I would like it more with time. Don't underestimate the attractiveness of this case. You will only grow to like it more and more as it becomes more of a single entity rather than a case with stone on the back. So what about the buttons and cutouts you ask? The buttons are flush with the case. I've only seen one other case manufacturer do the same thing, and once again, Cover-Up has done it better. How that is done is simply by adding a little strip of essentially grip tape where the buttons are. You will know your finger is on a button and which button it is by feel alone. Although the buttons are flush with the case, you will feel the buttons as you press them and it feels so natural. It's incredible how great these details are in the Stone Explorer case, and kudos to Cover-Up for implementing them in such a beautiful way.

    Another place most case manufacturers seem to have issues with is the mute switch cutout. Not so with Cover-Up. Once again, this is another amazing feature of this case. The mute switch cutout is a little wider than most, and fairly shallow, so no matter what size fingers you have the mute switch is easily accessible. It's so well done that you can nearly forget you have a case on your phone because it is smooth to access. Now if you're thinking the speaker cutouts and lightning port cutout are just as well done, you would be correct. The speaker cutouts are flawless, the lightning port cutout, on the other hand, has my only issue with this case. If there is anything you can fault Cover-Up for on the Stone Explorer case, it would be the lightning port cutout and you can't fault them for the cutout itself. Rather you can fault them for the size of the cutout. If you use third party chargers, you might have an issue. My Native Union cable barely fits, and a Belkin car charger I have with a permanent lightning cable has to be put in with a little force. If you have a dock though, shouldn't be a problem. I have no issues with the Stone Explorer and my Apple charging dock. Just be careful if you only have third party lightning cables as the lightning ends might be a little thick to fit the cutout.



    The camera cutout will give you no issues as it is a pretty generic single cutout. This means there is absolutely nothing that could obstruct the camera view or flash. I have to give Cover-Up credit again with this cutout because the camera is dead center in the cutout. This is something that bothers me a little; when case manufacturers don't center the camera and flash in the cutout. Cover-Up has your back there, I can't help but marvel at how well the Stone Explorer is made. If you are a person that lays your phone screen down, I don't really have a good way to test this at the moment, but you should be good. There is just the minimum amount of lip over the front of the case, which should be just enough to protect the screen when placed screen down. I don't think it's going to do much protecting during a drop though as it does not sit that far above the screen. Speaking of drops, you can expect average drop protection from the Stone Explorer, which is to say roughly six feet. I wouldn't purposely drop from any higher than that. One last thing worth mentioning is that despite the Stone Explorer having real stone on the back, it is still an incredibly light case and is very comfortable to hold even while laying down.



    Pros
    •Grip, grip, grip
    •Character growth with age
    •Masterful build quality

    Cons
    •Price
    •Not a lot of screen protection
    •Lighting port cutout a touch too small



    Conclusion
    There's really one great reason to buy a Stone Explorer case and that is because you want to make a statement. So to speak. The Stone Explorer is an elegant, classy case and it's just rugged enough to fit into everyday use as well. The Stone Explorer is going to show more and more character as long as you keep it on your phone which is something a lot of cases can't say. Need another reason? I don't even know how you're supposed to be able to drop the thing. I really can't get over how amazing the grip is. Try, try to drop the thing without fully opening your hand. If aren't a fan of the full body case, you can even get the Woodback and Stone Snap Cases, which don't cover the top or bottom of the phone and leave your buttons and cutouts wide open. The Stone Explorer looks amazing and the Stone Explorer can be yours for $55, and you can order it directly from Cover-Up.
    Last edited by metllicamilitia; 07-27-2017 at 06:21 PM.
    anon(9602380) and RumoredNow like this.
    05-21-2017 09:31 PM

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