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On our packrafting trip in Scotland I have tried out the Thule X4 smartphone case which we received from Thule to test them on our iPhone 6. Konstantin had already some experience with the X3 case so we were sitting together after our packrafting trip in the Scottish Highlands to discuss the main differences between the X3 and the X4 during our 2 1/2 hours train trip from Aberdeen to Edinburgh.
- The X4 has a better grip
- The buttons on the X4 are easier to push
- Screen protection on the X4
- More protection on the front (around the camera and the home button) on the X4.
- Indication of the Volume buttons (+ and -) on the X3 has been removed on the X4.
The slots at the bottom of the case are larger which makes it easier to plug in the charger or headphones. Think of a cold night where you just want to get into your sleeping bag as soon as possible. To have your phone ready charged for the next day you don’t want to fickle around with the charger to connect it with your phone. You may also have issues to plug in some iPhone chargers which are not disigned like the original iPhone charger.
Those additional features would make us to upgrade our phone cases from the X3 to the X4. Having a proper phone case is especially important when you pursue outdoor activities.
The only features we were missing on the X4 were that it is not waterproof and an attachement point – lanyard or a coard for a hand. Think of a situation while paddling on a river and you hit by accident a rock while taking a picture. You may drop your phone and all the nice memories (picture) of your trip are gone.
In general, we also liked the camera lens protection. Even so there is no physical protection for the lens we found it sufficient to have the lens just placed lower than the case.
However, we will test the new Thule Atmos X5 (which is supposed to be waterproof) on our iPhones on our next trip probably in Poland or Japan. If the X5 works as promised it will probably be our outdoor smartphone case of choice for our upcoming hiking and packrafting adventures.