One common problem with the average phone case is that the beauty of the phone itself is masked behind the unattractive bulkiness of the rubber or plastic meant to protect it. Designing a shielding that is rugged enough to withstand drops and mishaps, but still allows the aesthetics of the phone to shine, always remains a challenge.

Enter the Cat® Active Urban case. The sides of this rugged encasing is glazed with the same “aloo-mini-yum” Jony Ive is famous for dressing many of Apple’s own products in.

When looking at the images of the case for the first time, the raised corners seem out of place and somewhat distracting, however there’s a method to the mistakenly unwieldy design. The corners are in fact what give the case its distinctive ruggedness. The SAIF technology absorbs the impact on falls if an owner’s phone lands on one of its corners. Oddly enough, the raised points also act nicely as a resting place for fingers depending on how the phone is held.

The volume and power buttons are easily accessible and though the headphone jack seems deep, once the case is installed, it easily fits all variations of the standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, even with a right angle. However, if users are hoping for a case with the something that covers the headphone and charging port from dust, this case won’t do the trick. The unique patterns on the back of the holder also create an area to accumulate dust and dirt, which doesn’t serve well in industrial areas and seems slightly uneven when rested on flat surfaces. There’s also a lack of a screen protector included with the package.

Installation of the case is a breeze and takes less than a few seconds, but removing the phone out of the case can take some effort due to the sturdy metal sides – a non-issue for those that plan on using it as a permanent solution.

Currently the Cat® Active Urban and Utility Rugged cases are available for the iPhone 4/4s, iPhone 5 and 5c/s, all versions of the iPad, and the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5 at The Source Canada.

Words By. Matthew Anness