UAG Civilian Series iPhone Case review: Shock-absorbing and sophisticated

UAG Civilian Series iPhone Case
(Image: © iMore)

iMore Verdict

Bottom line: This non-bulky but rugged case protects your iPhone and looks good doing it.


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    Light but rugged hard shell

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    Sophisticated good looks

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    Meets military drop-test standards to four feet

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    Shock-absorbing soft honeycomb core

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    Wireless charging compatible


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    Somewhat pricey

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    Limited color and size selection

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Urban Armor Gear, or UAG, has released a sharp-looking new case. It's fairly light but is designed to absorb and disperse shocks in case you drop your precious iPhone.

UAG style

UAG Civilian Series iPhone Case: Features

UAG Civilian Series iPhone Case

UAG Civilian Series iPhone Case (Image credit: iMore)

UAG is known for its lightweight but extremely protective iPhone cases. UAG's latest release, the Civilian Series, runs along the same lines, with an emphasis on protection in a non-bulky form. Unlike UAG's more industrial-looking models, this one leans more towards a sophisticated, clean look. The surface of the case is smooth and pleasing to the touch. The finish resists fingerprints. Though it does not have grippy edges, the case is not overly slippery. It's a two-layer case; the outer layer is a hard shell and the inner layer is a softer, honeycomb pattern.

Cutouts for the camera, mute switch, Lightning port, and speakers ensure full functionality. Appropriately labeled Sleep/Wake and volume button covers are satisfyingly clicky and work great. The lip of the case does extend well over the level of the screen for face-down protection.

UAG's Civilian Series blends urbane good looks with non-bulky protection.

Branding is embossed on the outside of the case in two places: UAG on the left bumper near the bottom, and URBN ARMR GEAR right in the middle of the back. Oddly, they took out the vowels from the first two words but not the third, presumably so each word would have exactly four letters in it. The inside of the case is a mix of black and bright orange and is covered with the honeycomb pattern that plays a part in the case's drop protection. It's also branded inside with UAG and the military drop-test specs, MIL STD 810G 516.6. If you're interested in learning more about military drop-test standards, you can read more details at EverySpec, but basically, it means that a phone in the case is dropped onto 2-inch thick plywood over concrete. It must be dropped onto the front, back, each corner, and each edge 26 times from a distance of four feet. Oddly, the case manufacturers are allowed to use up to five different samples, plus they are conducting the tests themselves, so take it as you will.

The UAG Civilian Series iPhone Case is made just for the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. The case comes in just three subtle shades: Black, Olive Drab, and Slate. Each has bright orange highlights on the front lip of the case, all across the top and at the bottom corners.


UAG Civilian Series iPhone Case: What I like

I love the concept of UAG cases, which offer a lot of protection in a non-bulky package, but I find many of their styles to be overly machine-looking for my taste. This model offers a more sophisticated, urbane look. The case has enough substance, plus the honeycomb pattern inside the case, to feel quite protective. Yet it won't weigh your iPhone down.

UAG Civilian Series iPhone Case

UAG Civilian Series iPhone Case (Image credit: iMore)

Not perfect

UAG Civilian Series iPhone Case: What I don't like

I'd like to see just a little bit more grip at the edges. The case isn't slippery, but it probably would be if your hands were moist. I do think that the bright orange at the front of the case takes away from the elegance of the case, but that's down to personal taste. All three of the color options are quite subdued, which may or may not be to your taste.


UAG Civilian Series iPhone Case: Bottom line

The UAG Civilian Series iPhone Case is military drop-tested, made to survive your everyday drops and dings. The two-layer case has a hard, smooth, fingerprint-resistant shell and a softer, honeycomb-patterned inner shell to disperse shocks. The bumper is thick and the lip comes up over the iPhone's screen. Your iPhone is fully functional within this case, including wireless charging. The case is not very bulky, and it has a smooth, polished look.

Karen S Freeman

Karen is a contributor to as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at TechRadar and Tom's Guide. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, CNET, AppAdvice, and WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.