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[REVIEW] Incipio Octane Pure for the iPhone XS Max

Adam Matlock

Trusted Member
Mar 28, 2017
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Incipio makes many different cases. They make protective cases, slim cases, and pretty much everything you can imagine in-between. Well, today I’m here to talk to about one of Incipio’s more modest case offerings: the Octane Pure. The Octane Pure is a balanced case that offers 6ft of drop protection, but still keeps things light and sporty with its subtle colored bumper design and clear TPU backing.


The Look: The Octane Pure has been around for a bit, but one thing that remains the same is the design consistency. The Octane Pure uses a subtle and simple design formula that works really well, I think. It combines the ever-popular clear TPU design, but adds a little bit of flair to the bumpers by filling them in with color. The Octane Pure has three colors: Clear, Black, and Rose – one color offering for each color model of the XS Max. One of the reasons I like this approach is because a) the case body is clear and allows you to show off your phone, and b) the colored bumpers compliment the overall design. I have advocated many times over for clear TPU cases, because I think they let you keep your phone as close to natural as possible. The iPhone XS Max is a very, very expensive phone… but it is also a very gorgeous phone. It would be disappointing to live in a world where you have such a beautiful phone but cannot show it off without going caseless. Well, with the Octane Pure, you can keep your phone safe and show if off at the same time! The case also boasts a scratch-resistant finish. I do have a little bit of a hang up here because I haven’t found that the case is very scratch resistant. In fact, it seems like it picks up lots of scratches from regular day-to-day activities, which was surprising. I can say that the scratches aren’t deep, and it may hold up well against gouges and other damage, but the case certainly is good at picking up little micro-abrasions – see the review video for examples of this.


The Feel: The Octane Pure has a solid feel to it. The case is very sturdy and doesn’t really have any give to it, which I think helps support the overall protective qualities of the case. The case is very snug on the phone and you definitely don’t have to worry about it popping off. I do have a slight hang-up with the overall texture of the case. As is true with many other clear TPU cases, the smooth surface is a fingerprint and residue magnet. Even if you clean the case often, the residue still builds up on the back of the case and becomes an evident film. So, if you’re considering buying this case then you really need to keep a microfiber cloth handy, or find some way to wipe it off pretty much daily. Is this a strong deterrent? Not necessarily. Nevertheless, if you’re a self-proclaimed “clean freak”, or just don’t like the feel of having a case with this residue build-up, then this may be a “pass” for you. Otherwise, if you’re comfortable with the idea of cleaning off your phone case regularly or don’t mind sacrificing a little bit for a solid clear case with a lot of protection, then it could be a non-factor. One more feature that Incipio has incorporated into the case is oversized, reinforced bumpers. I can say that this is great for device protection, but it does add a little bit of padding to the form factor. If you’ve carried the phone without a case then you know that the XS Max has a great form factor and feels really good in-hand, so adding any case to it really kind of takes away from that. Unfortunately this is exactly the case with this case. The over-sized bumpers are great for protection, but the additional padding does detract from the overall form factor and grip of the device.


Security: The security for the Octane Pure is top-notch, and has excellent mid-tier protection. The Incipio Plextonium material is solid and keeps your phone well protected in pretty much any conceivable scenario. It fits snugly and wraps around your phone in a tightly knit blanket of security and clear-colored material. Generally, when it comes to clear style TPU cases you don’t really get a lot of protection, which can be a little disheartening. Lots of TPU style cases are in the less-expensive category and are sort of an introductory case, which means that a lot of companies don’t put a lot of effort into a) making them look good, and b) making them very strong and protective. Well, the Octane Pure has a robust 6ft of drop protection, which is the best that I’ve seen in any clear case that I have looked at in recent memory, and it also looks classy. Incipio included different colors that complement the XS Max very well, and accents the different options that Apple has to offer.


Conclusion: The Incipio Octane Pure is a well-made case that probably checks more boxes than any other clear-style TPU case that I have seen in recent memory. It has solid protection, a great design, and the price is representative of the quality that we have come to expect from Incipio ($29.99). The case does have a few hang ups for me (the oversized bumpers and fingerprint/residue accumulation), but it also has many strong points to advocate for, such as the 6ft of drop protection and the unique color accented bumpers. Overall, I think it is a strong offering from Incipio and deserves a look if you’re interested in having a traditional clear-style TPU case, but want plenty of protection to keep your $1100 phone safe.

If you’re interested in picking up one of Incipio’s Octane Pure cases for your shiny and brand new iPhone XS Max, you can find them on Incipio’s website for $29.99 - https://forums.imore.com/e?link=htt...e-pure-iphone-xs-max-case.html&token=pA70kdI9 - As always, if you have any questions or comments, please leave them down in the comments section.
Last edited:


Well-known member
Apr 26, 2011
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Thanks for the review.

I don't know what Octane I had for 7 Plus but it had a frosty back. It was outstanding as far as slim and protective. It added to my feeling that popular Otterbox, Lifeproof, UAG and others like them are thick and ugly bits of plastic.

The Octane and Speck Presidio Grips have been favorites for something that offers protection but not too thick.


Trusted Member
Sep 2, 2016
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I have the smoke pure octane on my X. I bought it mainly to use with my skin so that you can see it through the back, works great for that. Also have the regular octane in navy. That has a frosted back, and I like the feel of that one a lot more, but the smooth clear is good too, just shows small scratches easier. I have had many Incipio cases and have never been disappointed. The octane seems to be a good compromise between protection and not being too thick.

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