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Case Scenario's Pantone Universe gives your iPhone a swatch of color protection

I'll be frank: I hate putting cases on my iPhone. They take away the fit and feel of the device in your hand, they can be overly bulky or clunky, and they almost always get dirty. But after breaking my iPhone 6's screen, I resigned myself to using some sort of cover — no caseless fit and feel is worth a broken glass screen.

Luckily, I've found quite a few awesome iPhone 6 cases in the months since I've started rocking one, the latest of which is Case Scenario's Pantone Universe Cover + Bumper. It's stylish, quirky, and — best of all — super-comfortable to use in-hand.

The thing that struck me about the cases when I first saw them on display at CES this year was their vibrancy — and there's a good reason for that. For this line, Case Scenario partnered with Pantone, best known as one of the color companies in the world for color trends, paint swatches, and the like. The cases come in eight distinct Pantone colors — including Gold Gloss and Silver Sheen — and a spokesperson at CES told me that batches have to be personally approved by a Pantone representative before they get shipped out to the public.

In other words, this Bright Cobalt case I'm currently rocking has been color-matched to be the exact shade of the 19-4037 Bright Cobalt swatch — though a small advisory on the case's inside still suggests using actual Pantone swatches if I plan to do any painting or color theory.

The Pantone marketing is part style gimmick, to be sure, but it works: I thought I was going to hate that little white "Pantone Universe" swatch on the bottom back quarter of the case, but it gives it an odd sort of class and finish that makes this plastic look more distinctive than any other blue-bumpered fare. (In fact, I've had more queries and demands about this case than any previous covering I've had on an iOS device throughout my five-year tenure as an Apple reporter. Funny, that.)

The case itself is a sleek rubberized plastic bumper with a slightly glossy plastic back. The plastic is well made, but not overly bulky or stiff; it both fits snugly around the iPhone 6 and is easy to peel off, reminding me a lot of Apple's iPhone 4 bumpers. Unlike the bumper case, however, this one has a sleek, slightly-glossy plastic backing with the aforementioned Pantone swatch designation in the lower corner. It provides scratch protection and a little bit of added style to the phone without bulking anything up too tremendously. (My magnetic Scosche MagicMount (opens in new tab) works just fine through the case's backing.)

This case may not do much if you drop your phone off a building, but it's more than adequate for daily stumbles and the occasional person-height drop. It covers the iPhone 6's glass corners and creeps a little bit over the sides, so as to prevent the LCD screen itself from being scratched if you put the phone face-down on a flat surface.

There are cutouts for the headphone port, mic, dock connector, speaker, and Ring/Silent switch; the volume and On/Off buttons are covered in a light, easily-pressable plastic. I normally dislike covered buttons on a case, but these do a great job of keeping dust and the like out of my iPhone's crevices without actually impeding functionality.

Bottom line

I've been impressed with almost every facet of this case: It's durable without being bulky, stylish without being gaudy, functional without an overly flashy price tag, easy to remove and snap back on, and it feels excellent. My only quibble is that the semi-gloss of the back covering has attracted a few scratches and scuffs — but that's after heavy use on a trade show floor and in pockets with keys and miscellany. I'll take a few minor scratches only seen in lamplight when it keeps my phone in pristine condition.

  • Case Scenario Pantone Universe - 20€/~$23 U.S. - Buy Now

Serenity was formerly the Managing Editor at iMore, and now works for Apple. She's been talking, writing about, and tinkering with Apple products since she was old enough to double-click. In her spare time, she sketches, sings, and in her secret superhero life, plays roller derby. Follow her on Twitter @settern.

12 Comments
  • It looks like an interesting case. I got the felt/fuz case for my iphone 6 plus, it is a nice case I like it, but I have moved to the rhinoshield case recently. After watching all of videos, surviving 20+ feet drops, and the super thin profile/weight made me switch. For me it is always finding the right balance between function, design, bulk/weight. I haven't thought of getting a battery case because my battery lasts easily all day and longer.
  • I saw the case in this article, http://www.imore.com/how-quickly-get-directions-any-address-your-iphone, and meant to ask but forgot. Yeah, I am not a fan of cases on devices but this one caught my eye. Will look into it. Thank you for sharing.
  • No offense, but that's a butt-ugly case. Of course, beauty is in the eye etc. etc.
  • Can iMore do a playoff tournament for cases or something? There are so many that I've got decision paralysis here. Do it NCAA basketball tournament style or something.
  • So, it is shaped like every other generic case out there (which I like, btw).
  • Thanks for the review. The 6 is the first iPhone that I feel actually needs a case. It's just too soapy without one, plus the portruding camera annoys me. Apple's cases were a no-go due to the exposed bottom design. Currently using the venerable Power Support Air Jacket (rubber black version) which, to me, is still the best feeling slim case out there. Only problem is that the exposed button design will let dust in and the case is an absolute b*tch to take off for cleaning. Not looking for 6ft drop protection (would have bought a Thule if I wanted that), but just a bit of a sock to make holding grippier and the camera flush. Next case decision will be between this CS Pantone (anthracite for me) and a Japanese brand called AndMesh.
  • Looks good, I just ordered a silver one for 6+ Anxious to see how it compares to my Apple leather case. Thanks for the review.
  • Thanks. I hate cases. But this one looks promising. Sent from the iMore App
  • After all the discussion about the back quarter white marker I can't believe there isn't any pictures of the back!
  • I see the back on the top of the story on my PC now - maybe it just wasn't showing up on my iPhone?
  • It sucks when you break any screen on any phone. I wish the manufacturers (Apple AND Android) would factor in a phone getting dropped when they design them. I have a Lenovo Yoga laptop that has a neat little rubber strip to facilitate it being in different positions or modes...One of those around a phone (ruggedized) would help all phones greatly, and it doesn't look ugly. Just my opinion...
  • I work in the repair industry and owning an iPhone I would say having a case is a must. Yes there are bulky cases out there which take away the great looks of the iPhone. Like many other cases I doubt very much this case will stand up with too many drops, most bumper cases offer little protection and the plastic / rubber is too flexible and have no corner protection. As well as a good case I also recommend a tempered glass screen protector just to add that extra hardness and protection to the screen surface. iPhone cases and screen protectors offer protection, if they get scratched or marked it does not matter because at least your iPhone will be in mint condition when you take them off or sell on the iPhone.... often meaning more $$$. I currently use a Spigen Tough Armor case coupled with a tempered glass screen protector, not dropped my phone many times but did whilst abroad on some flag stones around the pool, no problems at all and no damage from what was a nasty drop! I never feel 100% about holding a naked iPhone without a case, protect your investment.