I’ve used the Urban Armor Gear Monarch iPhone case on my last several phones. I liked the ruggedness, the look, and its feel in my hand. The details are impressive, even the screws on the four corners that might be used to bolt the case together. I was impressed with the layer of Kevlar, a costly rugged bullet-proof fabric from DuPont.
Here’s the company’s description of the product:
The Monarch Pro Kevlar – the ultimate all-terrain, rugged protective case now featuring a powerful built-in MagSafe module. Engineered with premium materials for unrivaled protection. Monarch Pro boasts an impressive 5-layer construction, including a shock-resistant core, a distinctive signature armor frame layered with DuPont KEVLAR® Material, a polycarbonate shear plate, and an impact-resistant rubber surround. With seamless MagSafe charging compatibility, this case offers both advanced protection and effortless functionality. The Monarch Pro is built to go further, ensuring your essential tech device stays safe and secure no matter where life takes you.
But I was fooled. I assumed their description was true, but, in fact, it’s mostly fiction.
Kevlar, the woven product that seems to be a layer, is only a thin hex-shaped sticker!
I decided, mostly out of curiosity, to dissect one of last year’s cases (An iPhone 14 with MagSafe I use on my iPhone 12 because it has MagSafe). I wanted to understand the five layers and the protection offered by the Kevlar material that is used to justify its high cost of $100.
Much to my surpise, I discovered:
- The case was not a five-layer case, but a two-layer case.
- The Kevlar was not one of the layers, but instead a tiny decorative sticker that offered no protection because it didn’t extend throughout the case.
- The screws on each corner had no function, but were just decorative.
- Much of the case was glued together.
Here are photos of the case pulled apart that documents the above points. Judge for yourself.