A Brief History
Magpul started as a small company that specialized in making Magpuls. Magpuls are tabs or loops that attach to AR/STANAG magazines for easy retrieval from vests and magazine pouches. Having a faster reload time created a force multiplier for rifle users. Eventually the company evolved and branched out into creating other products. These included magazines, rifle stocks, rifle lowers, handguards, rails, rifle sights and more. They are highly respected and well-regarded among the military and shooting enthusiasts. I, myself have used P-MAGs, MBUS sights, MOE hand guards, the UBR stock and even a PTS T-Shirt.
Back during SHOT show 2010, Magpul introduced an iPhone case based off their P-Mag design. There was a lot of buzz surrounding this product. Unfortunately, it was only given out during the show and was not available for purchase at the time. Fast forward to SHOT show 2011, and Magpul has finally sent the case out to retailers for consumers.
This review will cover Magpul’s iPhone Field Case, which is only compatible with the iPhone 3G and 3GS. They do have a case available for the iPhone 4 (known as the Executive Field Case), which can be found here.
The Magpul Field Case is designed after their infamous P-MAG (image shown below from LaRue Tactical’s website).
In fact, the case is made out of same thermoplastic as the P-Mags. The magazines themselves are very durable, and that quality craftsmanship has carried itself over to the Field Case. The case itself is ribbed and textured almost exactly like how the P-Mag is ribbed. I noticed that the ribs felt great and made it easier to maintain a grip on the phone itself. I have previously used inCase’s shiny and rubberized plastic cases and felt that they were too slippery to hold. I did not run into this issue with Magpul’s Field Case.
Some iPhone cases can be too bulky. I like the Magpul because it did not add too much weight and maintained a low profile after you snapped it onto the phone. The case is a little flexible, and the edges have a bit of give to allow you to slip the phone in. After it has been placed on however, it remains wrapped around the phone. I have seen other rubber cases wear it and fray around the edges of the case (near the front of the phone). I have been using this case for about a month and I have not ran into this issue yet.
Picture of front of the iPhone after case is placed on.
The Magpul logo is clearly displayed near the top center of the phone.
I am currently using the black case and I think it looks great on the iPhone 3GS. It doesn’t affect the profile of the phone at all. The color is matte and not shiny. It pairs well without being distracting. Too many times I have seen other iPhone cases that advertise themselves as being black. However, they are so off-color (being way too dark, being gun metal gray instead of black or being too shiny) that they can be distracting.
Again, I reiterate that the case itself makes the phone easier to hold. It just grips really well. Overall, I am extremely satisfied with this case. There is a “coolness” factor knowing that it has come from Magpul. Airsofters, Military, Law Enforcement and Shooting Enthusiasts may be the only demographics whom are familiar with Magpul, but I would definitely recommend this case for people who want a cheap and simple cover solution. For $9.95, the price can not be beat! Walk into any Best Buy or Apple Store and the cases run on average $20-$30. It may not have the thrills of having an extra battery built in, wireless charging (PowerMat) or being waterproof (Otterbox). It will, however, offer some shock absorption and keep dirt out.
My previous case was an inCase and it agitated me because it would still allow dirt to get inside between the phone and the case. It also scratched the back of my phone terribly.
See below for a gallery of my iPhone 3GS (with the Field Case attached) compared to a iPod Video (5th Generation) and iPhone 4 (uncovered).
Some of my concerns with this case include the volume control buttons, the silent/mute button, headphone jack/port and the sleep button (button located on the top right). The sleep button and volume controls are covered on this phone. The case is cut so that these buttons now have their own molded and textured covers on top of the button themselves. Please see below:
My problem with it is that pressing these buttons were not comfortable. You lose the “snap” or push back that you would feel when you press these buttons when they are uncovered. There wasn’t that much of an issue with the volume control buttons, but the sleep button kind of bothered me. It was more evident when I had to turn off my phone. It required a lot of pressure to hold the sleep button down to bring up the power down screen. Luckily, the grip on these buttons allowed for a quick “finger feel” if you have to make adjustments while the phone is in your pocket.
While light, the case is a little thick. Using the mute/silent switch can be a pain. If you have fat fingers or short nails, this can be a problem.There is a lot of space from the surface of the phone to the edge of the case. You can see this with the headphone jack and on the port for the 20 pin connector at the bottom of the phone. So far I haven’t had an issue with any headphones yet. I also haven’t ran into any issues with connecting the phone on my standard iPhone charger, DLO car charger and my Klipsch iPod speakers, but YMMV.
Please note that the Executive Field Case may not be compatible with Verizon’s iPhone 4. I have been hearing reports that iPhone 4 cases do not work with Verizon’s version because the placement of the buttons are slightly different than AT&T’s iPhone 4. This due to the placement of the CDMA antenna being different than the GSM antenna, which has affected where exactly the buttons lie on the top and side of the phone.
Compatible with: iPhone 3G/3GS only
Colors Available: Black, Olive Drab, Flat Dark Earth, Foliage Green, Pink and Orange