You may have heard of Ali Express–as they were a well known purveyor of counterfeit Forgeworld models from China. Heck, you may have even heard of them from some of my experiences. Well, it’s been a while since I’ve done business with them, but due to some recent changes, I found myself wandering their website.
I wasn’t looking for models, but rather I was looking for a case for my new cell phone. I’m one of those dinosaurs that tends to keep his phone until it’s completely unusable (based upon a combination of environmental concerns and the fact that I’m a cheap bastard–mostly the latter). The last time I purchased a phone new was an iPhone 4 when it first came out. Since then, I’ve limped by on that phone and my mom’s old 5c (at least it wasn’t pink). When the battery on the 5c got to the point where it wouldn’t hold more than a 20 minute charge, it was time to pick up a new phone.
Luckily, a friend of mine happened to have a 16GB iPhone 6 laying around and he let me use that. Historically, I haven’t been one for using phone cases, but since this isn’t my device, and it’s in good shape, I wanted to be able to return in in likewise condition. With that in mind, I set to searching online for a suitable case.
I know a bunch of people that ensconce their devices in premium cases like Otterboxes or Lifeproof cases that can run in excess of $100. That’s just more than I care to spend. Frankly, I find the $20 and $30 options for a piece of plastic or silicone rubber to be highway robbery, so I found myself checking out Ebay and Amazon. I did find some highly rated options on those sites that would’ve more than met my needs, but I also got a wild hair for something more than a monocolor silicone sleeve, which lead me over to my old friend, Ali Express.
I searched for “iPhone 6 case warhammer” and came back with a number of results. There were a lot of viable options to go with (including one of Marneus Calgar sitting on his throne, but I ultimately went with the Adeptus symbol as it was more clean and simple.
Yeah, I tell myself that, but nerdshame played highly into it. Marneus would’ve been harder to pass off, but the Adeptus symbol is generic enough that, unless you play 40k, you probably have no idea what it is and think I just listen to heavy metal music.
The case ran a perfectly acceptable $5.50 (including shipping from China) and despite the claim that it would be delivered within 39 days, it actually arrived in 13, so I was pleasantly surprised.
Since the vendors are all Chinese and English is clearly not their primary language, it can be difficult to tell exactly what you’re buying. I was a little concerned about the general quality of the item–particularly I wondered if it was going to be a hard or flexible plastic, and whether the adeptus icon would just be a cheap sticker that would peel off when it got wet.
Again, I found myself pleasantly surprised on both counts. The case itself is a combination of hard and soft plastic, giving it a sturdy back, but allowing it to grip snuggly around the phone. It’s also flexible enough to be removed smoothly without fear of scratching my device. As for the sticker, I’m sure it’s still fairly cheap, but the resolution is pretty good (as you can see from the photos) and there is a layer of clear plastic above it, which should help to protect it.
The case also has a nice feel with textured grips on the sides, plus the design is such that the buttons work easily without having to force them, and the holes don’t seem to have any impediments to using the various peripherals, buttons, or slots on the phone.
In short, I’m happier with this case than some other $30 options I’ve tried in the past. Granted, I’ve only had the case for a couple of days, so that could all change in time, but as I’m only $5.50 in the hole on this, I can’t see myself changing my opinion drastically. This really seems like money well spent to me.
Granted, if you’re concerned about GW’s IP, you can always get another variant that doesn’t include the symbols, but I suspect if you’re reading this blog, that might be one of the bigger selling points on this particular case. If you’re interested in picking one up yourself, you can follow this link to the vendor I used.
Also, for anyone who checked my Frugal gaming page and saw that the $5.50 charge is curiously omitted, I figured that this charge wasn’t a hobby purchase so much as it was a functional upgrade for my phone, so I didn’t count it against my spending for the year. Whether that’s the right answer or not can be debated, but I went with the prevailing wisdom that went along with buying my card catalog: just because it’s hobby related, doesn’t mean it’s hobby spending.