Casemate Tank for iPhone 4/4s

If you regularly put your phone in rough conditions you need a case built like a tank.

I’ve never liked the idea of having to put a protective case on my phone. After all, shouldn’t mobile phones be designed to be, well, mobile?

Phone makers put so much effort into making the devices look sleek and futuristic, but if we want to carry them around with us we have to put an inch of plastic around it. Such is the beast at this point in cell phone history I guess.

For my daily carry I use a slim case by Incipio. It has some finishing flaws, but it’s thin and is decently priced. Though, it won’t handle much outside your typical drop-it-from-your-pocket falls. If you find yourself in environments where a much harsher fall or impact is likely, then you may want to check out the Case-Mate Tank.

If you work in the field, in construction, or go hiking or climbing you’re going to need something tough. The Tank has a polymer hard shell with internal rubber bumpers on each end. The unique aspect of the Tank is the retractable plastic screen protector that slides out from the back with the push of your thumb.

The Tank meets or exceeds military spec for dust, shock, wind/rain, and vibration according to Case-Mate. With the phone in, the Tank feels very solid. The retracting door is likely better at keeping particles and liquids out rather than straight-on impact due to its thinness.

The Tank’s main competitor would be the Otterbox Defender, which comes highly recommended from several Primer Twitter followers. According to third-party tests the Tank absorbs 2.5 times more impact energy.

Do you have any experience with the Tank or other heavy-duty phone cases? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.


  • Reply January 9, 2012


    Bought one of these for my son and the sliding door to protect the glass broke on second day. I see with my own eyes how it protects in the video, but the quality of the plastic and the worksmanship is way below par.

  • Reply January 22, 2012


    I have the griffin survivor case and it’s extremely tuff and proven to protect. Check out griffin videos.

  • […] Casemate TANK for iPhone 4/4s | Primer Magazine (1/9/12) […]

  • Reply August 5, 2012


    Griffin is the way to go. Used by military and law enforcement. Their videos vouch for real world ruggedness. I have one on my phone and it provides excellent protection. Form, fit, and function is great.

  • Reply July 27, 2013


    I had a tank case for 2 weeks and it feel less than a foot and cracked. Fortunately, my phone survived. The Griffin case is sooo much better!😷

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