Tough Stuff: RokBed V3 Samsung Galaxy S3 Case Review

Thanks in advance to William Vega, contributing writer, for another great post. 

There’s a reason I have an S3: I like its slim form factor.

The holidays have left my pants feeling a bit tighter, and I really can’t deal with a rectangular bulge in my pocket. Not only is it unsightly (and so clearly not the kind of bulge I want to be showing off), but it’s uncomfortable. It’s why I made it a point to buy my S3 only when I knew slim silicone covers were available. Like a condom, I wanted my cover to be as unobtrusive and smooth as possible… for my pleasure.

Enter the Rokbed case from RokForm.

I won’t lie. I decided to give this case a try because it comes with a mount for the car, and I’m tired of putting my phone alternately between my thighs (try explaining that reach to the neighboring car), on the dash (watch is slide!), or in my cup holder (oh, look, it fell). So in the interest of getting the most out of my GPS, I slid this not-so-little guy on.

The RokBed case is a tank.

The bottom part of the case slides out so you can slide the phone in, but I didn’t notice this feature. Instead, I snapped the phone into place and proceeded to try and remove it for the next 10 minutes. I almost thought I’d have to break the case to retrieve my phone, which, in hindsight, is not a terrible thing. Consider children who play with phones: if they can’t remove the case, then chances are they won’t break or otherwise damage it. Impressive feat.

Despite its sturdiness, though, the case still presented a few issues for me.

Because the S3 is such a sleek phone, the hard keys are only slightly raised on its side. With the RokBed on, these keys are buried under the bulk of the case, making it all but impossible to easily reach the hard keys. And while this might simply take some getting used to, it presents a real problem for covertly silencing your phone while it rings in your pocket. No way you’re getting to those keys.

The biggest disappointment for me had to be the mount, since the included piece is flat and has a one-time use adhesive. And because the case mounts from the back, the phone has to be placed right in front of you on a surface parallel with your body. Unfortunately, there is no room on my SUV’s console – which is completely flat – to attach this case. My only other options are on top of the dash (but that would mean the phone lies flat on its back, making it impossible for me to see the display) or on the windshield, which is slanted and would face the phone away from my direct line of sight. Plus, I don’t want an unsightly mount piece permanently stuck to my windshield.

There are few ways around this problem, but they unfortunately require that you purchase additional equipment, like the v3 Suction Mount, which retails for $49 from RokForm. But when you take into account the fact that this case already goes for $45, you’re paying nearly $100 for the convenience of a mount that offers more versatility.

The included mount would be fine if it were suction-cup and not adhesive-based. At least then you could put it where it was most convenient, depending on your dashboard or console configuration. This is unfortunately not the case.

Still, if what you are looking for is a sturdy case, and you don’t much care for maintaining the sleekness of your device (as I suspect many of those iPhone 5 users with the monster cases don’t), then this case is definitely worth it. It will protect your phone and keep young children, or at the very least disgruntled PhD students, from removing the case easily.

Additionally, the back of the case comes with a no-slip grip (with magnet), which works wonderfully if you place the phone on your dashboard and don’t want it to slip out of sight. This is how I will be using mine from now on, since it keeps the phone within reach (and ear-shot for GPS), but I realize this is something I could have added to my existing case on my own for much less than $45.

Over all, this is an excellent case, just not for every user.

If what you want is protection, it’s a worthwhile investment. But if what you’re looking for is an unobtrusive case with mounting functionality at a reasonable price, consider the purchase carefully before mounting this beast.

RokBed close up

RokBed V3 Samsung Galaxy S3 clear case

RokBed V3 Samsung Galaxy S3 protective case

RokBed V3 Samsung Galaxy S3 case

RokBed V3 Samsung Galaxy S3

 

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