The Apple Watch sure ain’t cheap, and like an iPhone, protecting it might be important. And that’s where the Otterbox Exo Edge comes in.
You know your phone probably needs a case, but what about your watch? As wearables become more mainstream and people discover that they, like phones, can scratch and break just as easily, a case may well be the thing to keep them in good nick.
Fortunately famed iPhone case maker Otterbox has something for this, and it might just keep your wearable looking the same underneath its plastic design and build.
What is the Exo Edge?
Appearing with a slightly cool name — it has the word “edge” in it, so it must be cool! — but basically just appearing as a thin slab of flexible plastic, the Otterbox Exo Edge is the first of something we’ve not seen before: a case for your Apple Watch. Kind of. Sort of.
There’s not much to the Exo Edge, truth be told, as it’s more or less just flexible plastic that wraps around the frame of the Apple Watch, providing a bumper of sorts for the frame and a raised edge for the screen. The frame seems to be the most important aspect here, but the raised edge on the screen could protect the display if you accidentally smash your watch and wrist against a door or wall, which does happen from time to time.
What does it do?
In theory, Otterbox’s Apple Watch case is supposed to protect the Apple wearable from scratches and such, but is built for one region specifically: the edges and frame of the Watch.
It will raise the border of protection around the glass a little, but not by a lot. Really, this less for the screen and more for the frame.
Does it do the job?
Easy to fit and snap on, the Exo Edge simply needs you to remove the bands, snap the case on, and then add them again to start protecting your Apple Watch, though it’s a job that is limited in application.
This will limit scratches to your wearable, which is something, handy if you have any concerns that you’re going to scratch the thing.
What does it need?
But it could probably go on a diet, because while the Exo Edge watch case will protect the frame, it won’t allow the Watch to be charged on all charging stands. The thickness of the case just gets in the way.
The Belkin Boost Up dual phone and watch charge, for instance, and any other charging stand where the Apple Watch charging pad is close to a surface will reject a Watch encased by this thing. It just adds too much thickness and means you can’t attach it to the pad.
We also kind of wish the case came with a thin screen protector of sorts, because protecting the wearable should be more than just the edges. You’d think there was a case there for making an Apple Watch Exo Edge screen protector, but that’s something Otterbox doesn’t make.
There’s also the look, which we think cheapens it a bit. You’ll gain protection of sorts, but the matte plastic looks a little meh, and made us want to take it off much faster than we probably should have, lest we picked up scratches.
Is it worth your money?
But for $30, it’s a cost that may well be justified. A new Apple Watch starts around the $400 to $500 mark, and a $30 case could just prevent yours from being thrown in the trash heap.
Once you see a cracked and broken Apple Watch, you typically don’t want to see it again, and the aluminium Apple Watch is the most likely to do that in our experience. Pay a little more (okay, a lot more) and the stainless steel models and above include sapphire glass, all of which bolsters the durability of the Apple Watch.
But if you want to keep the frames scratch free and as pretty as the day you bought them, protection may be warranted. At $30, that protection comes cheap, though we do find it strange Otterbox hasn’t catered for a screen protector, either by itself or in the same unit, given some competitors have.
Yay or nay?
An inexpensive option for folks looking to protect a costly Apple Watch, the Otterbox Exo Edge provides a hint of protection, even if it feels like it needs some more.
This is definitely a start, and from one of the better smartphone case makers. Otterbox is known for protection, even producing some eskies and ice box coolers resistant to attacks from bears.
Your Apple Watch probably won’t see a bear attack — and if it does, scratches are likely the least of your concerns — but Otterbox’s expertise does come with a way to prevent your wearable from scratches and scuffs that could ruin the look. It’s great on edges, less so stands.
We do think it needs a little more and isn’t going to like every charging stand out there, but for the fairly friendly $30 price, Otterbox provides something you might find beneficial overall.