Skip to main content

Beeline Case for iPhone 6 Review


Having a waterproof or shock proof phone case is great, but it doesn't do you a lot of good if you can't retrieve your phone from where it's been dropped.  This is the Beeline case for iPhone 6 and its main goal is to solve that very problem.  Beeline was kind enough to send me these cases for review and in this review we'll find out if Beeline's unique retractable carabiner make it a worthy companion for your next outdoor adventure.



The case's primary selling point is a retractable carabiner that's attached to a durable sprocket in the back of the case via a 30" Kevlar cord. Beeline refers to this as the stinger. The default mode is known as lock step. The stinger pulls out, ratcheting along the way, and stays where you leave it. It retracts by pressing up on the button on the back. If you hold up on the button it puts it in free flow mode. This makes the stinger always retract and make much less noise when pulling it out. Unfortunately you can't lock this button in free flow mode but Beeline did say that's something they're looking at for the next version.

For day to day use I did find myself being very self-conscious about the ratcheting noise that it made when you would pull your phone out of my pocket. After all, you don't want to be this guy. Thankfully, when you hold the button in the up position it puts it in free flow mode so it's a little less distracting.

All the materials for the stinger feel very sturdy. The carabiner is made of zinc and the cord is a non fraying Kevlar that doesn't give at all and is surprisingly strong. Also the attachment point where the Kevlar cord meets the carabiner is really strong as well. The one downside of the stinger is the amount of play that the latch has. Most of the time it will spring back shut with no problems. However if it's pressed to one side the latch will hit the carabiner and not close all the way. It's an easy fix but it's something that I wish Beeline would have made a little tighter. Most of the time I was able to quickly and easily snap the stinger onto my belt loop. And to be honest it's not that noticeable or distracting. For ladies on the go this makes a lot of sense. Just clip the stinger to something on your purse, tuck your phone away, and you'll never have to worry about losing your phone again.

The case is a hard plastic material that doesn't give much at all. It has a soft touch smooth finish that makes it nice to hold and easy to grip and hold on to. The volume buttons are labeled with a plus and minus and are a little harder to press than I'd like. They're also flush with the side of the case which can make them a little difficult to locate without looking. The mute switch is usually easy to toggle but can be more difficult with my thumb or if you have large fingers. There are notches in the corners to allow the edges to flex for installation. The power button is flush and equally hard to press. It's not terrible, it's just harder than I'd expect. Along the bottom are individual droplet shaped openings for the speaker, a pretty normal sized lightning connector opening, and a tency wency headphone jack opening. I'm not sure why they chose to make this so small but you're not going to get much more than Apple's stock ear pods in here. I did manage to break the small plastic strip above the Lightning port opening on one of the cases in normal daily use. Beeline said they would cover this in their one year manufacturer warranty. You do have to be the original owner and show proof of purchase to qualify, but that's pretty standard. On the back is a compartment where the stinger stays when not in use as well as the switch for retracting it. Usually when retracting the stinger doesn't go fully into the case. You can easily just press it in the rest of the way for a tighter fit. The camera is pretty deeply recessed but everything is coated in black and shouldn't cause any problems with photography. One of my biggest complaints with this case is the lack of front protection. Beeline is obviously trying to make this as thin as possible given how thick the back is, but there's barely any lip at all here. I would highly recommend you pair this with a durable tempered glass screen protector.

The port where the cord enters the back of the case is fitted with a small metal grommet. The quality of the stinger and its associated components was definitely a focus in designing this case and it shows.

To install the case you place your phone in button side first and then snap in place. It snaps on very easily and is a very tight fit. Even though there's very little lip I'm not concerned at all with my phone popping out of this case. To remove you pull the carabiner out of the way and use the ejection port behind this area to pop your phone out of the case.

When dropped from pocket height the case ratchets down a few inches and quickly comes to a stop. From texting height the stinger will fully extend before coming to a stop. My main concern here would be that the phone would swing around and hit something damaging the screen since there's little protection in that area. Even when fully extended the case keeps your iPhone from hitting the ground assuming that the attachment point is more than 35" or so off the ground. The durable Kevlar cord and sturdy internal sprocket were very impressive here. I thought the stress of a fall this high might rip the cord out of the case but it held up extremely well in my testing. Don't be tempted by the Beeline marketing to clip the phone to your body and let it hang. Even normal walking causes it to slowly ratchet down.

While this is a great case for dry environments and it will prevent your phone from plummeting to its death, there'd be a lot more use cases if it also made your phone waterproof. I was able to speak with the inventor of Beeline cases, Brent Williams, and although he wasn't prepared to give me actual release dates he did say that a waterproof version is already in the works.

When I first heard about this case and how Brent designed it after losing his iPhone when he dropped it off a ski lift I was immediately sold on the practicality of it. After having used it for a number of weeks I can definitely say it will keep your iPhone safe by your side.  I just wish that it could do that while canoeing, white water
rafting, or even surfing. I was very impressed with the durability of the stinger and ratcheting mechanism. Beeline said they have a case they've stress tested with over 100,000 pulls on it. You don't have to worry about these components failing anytime soon. I don't see this being a daily case for most people but more of a case you'd use when hiking, rock climbing, or biking. However for people who travel in airports a lot, construction workers, or motorcycle riders this case makes a lot of sense. They even have a mossy oak version for hunters. You can purchase them from beelinecases.com or Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Beeline-Protective-iPhone-Retractable-Carabiner/dp/B00WRBLHL6/) for $60 with free shipping. They currently have versions for the iPhone 5 and 5S as well as the 6 and 6 Plus. If you have any questions I didn't cover please leave them in the comments.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Wireless Lapel Mic for Cisco Conference Calls

I was recently asked by one of our VP’s to investigate a way for people who are at a remote location to participate in a presentation at our corporate office.My first thought was video conferencing, but video wasn’t necessary because participants didn’t need to see each other.The only real requirement was to see the presentation slides and hear the presentation audio.Since we have a Cisco Meetingplace server I figured that would be easy.The challenge was the VP wanted the presenter to be heard clearly and not have to speak directly into a phone.He suggested we find a wireless lapel mic.

After looking at the 7937 product data sheet it noted that the phone supports "a third-party lapel microphone kit".  I assumed this was a Polycom product since the Cisco conference phones are made by Polycom.  
I opened a chat session on Cisco’s website.Both a Cisco agent and his supervisor said they didn’t know how the lapel mic worked.They also didn’t know where I could get one.They recommend…

Otterbox Commuter versus Symmetry for iPhone 6

This is a brief comparison video of the Otterbox Commuter Series versus the Otterbox Symmetry Series for the iPhone 6.  I've been a huge fan of Otterbox cases for years because of the protection that they provide for the cost.  Other cases will offer more protection or cost less, but not at the same time.  Additionally, some of the Otterbox cases that they've begun to offer in the past few years offer great protection with little bulk.  I was sold when I watched YouTuber MobileSyrup repeatedly throw his phone down the sidewalk and road with no damage using a relatively thin Otterbox Reflex case.  The other huge plus here is I got my iPhone on launch day and both of these cases were available for purchase that day.  Watch the video below to see which case I think wins out between the two and why.



Urban Armor Gear iPhone 7 Review

Urban Armor Gear has made a name for itself as being a really protective case without all the bulk. They’re thin and light while still meeting military drop specifications. These are two of their newest offerings for the iPhone 7. UAG was kind enough to send me these cases for review, and in this review we'll see if they live up to the high expectations set by the previous generation.