Few things have changed in the world quite like the mobile phone. From Del Boy’s prodigiously-sized portable to tiny touchscreens, most people would now be lost without one.
And the average phone today boasts a camera good enough to put your standalone digital to shame, as well as providing tank mix calculators, wheat prices at the touch of a button and plenty of those love’em or loathe’em weather apps.
But, how do you protect your very expensive, super-fragile phone on the farm?
We’ve tried out some of the most popular iPhone cases. A couple of them might seem expensive but there are often cheaper versions available if you shop about. Just type the product name into Google Shopping and you’ll soon find the cheapest deal.
What’s it like? Smaller and less rubbery than its obvious competitor, the Griffin Survivor. Plastic inner case and smooth-edged silicon outer. No covers over speaker/microphones so sound quality excellent.
Protective? Not completely splashproof. No tight seals between the case and phone so muck and dust will work its way under the screen protector. There is a cover for the charge point.
Size and weight Lighter and less bulky than the Griffin. Comes with a belt clip holster. Size – 124x68x17mm. Weight – 59g
Easy to get on/off? Wrestle off the rubber outer layer and the plastic case unclips easily.
Best online price £19.98
What’s it like? Otterbox’s heaviest duty case. Super-tough plastic exterior and a silicone cushion inside. But military-level protection hinders sound quality and it’s difficult to hear with background noise.
Protective? Waterproof – all holes and sockets tightly sealed with O-rings. Designed to survive 30mins in six foot of water and a 10ft drop onto concrete. If you’re after out-and-out protection it’s the obvious winner.
Size and weight Big and heavy and doesn’t come with a belt clip. Size – 130x74x20mm. Weight – 121g
Easy to get on/off? Locks shut using two metal latches.
Best online price £40.98
What’s it like? A fat rubber outer layer surrounds a hard plastic case. The side-most letters of the phone’s touchscreen can be difficult to press because of the case’s high sides. Sound quality is good.
Protective? Splashproof – pop-out rubber camera lens cover and other rubber bungs protect from dust, dirt and rain.
Size and weight Bulky, rubber outer makes it difficult to slip in pocket. Comes with a lockable belt clip, which doubles up as a stand to hold to phone horizontally. Size -130x73x20mm. Weight – 83g
Easy to get on/off? Front plastic screen clips off before rubber outer can be removed.
Best online price £9.60
Peli Vault Series (iPhone 5 only)
What’s it like? Four hex-headed screws hold together a sleek case and screen cover.
Protective? Splashproof. Seals tightly when screwed together and there’s water protection for microphone and speakers and camera
Size and weight Slimline and lightweight compared to the others tested. No belt clip. Size – 139x72x13mm. Weight – 79g.
Easy to get on/off? Need a tool to take on/off but the tight seal means you won’t need to do it very often.
Best online price £51
Ballistic Hard Core
What’s it like? Can use it with or without gel case. It can be difficult to press the letters on the outside of the phone’s touchscreen. Very clear sound.
Protective? Water resistant mesh covers speaker holes and there’s a seal (but no protection) around the camera and flash. Not completely splash proof.
Size and weight Bulky with rubber outer attached. Comes with a belt clip and has a built-in kick stand, but it’s plastic, flimsy and badly positioned. Size – 140x77x38mm. Weight – 72g.
Easy to get on/off? Difficult to split the inner plastic case open.
Best online price £15
What’s it like? Something a little different – a lightweight, waterproof plastic cover that will fit an iPhone (and anything smaller) in it. Not tough and the grip-switch sealing unit on the top looks fragile. Might be handy if you like looking at your phone while sitting in the bath
Dustproof? Completely water tight – submersible to 6m.
Size and weight Size – 176x 100x12mm (completely flexi). Weight – 28g.
Easy to get on/off Grip switches unlock the seal, then just drop your phone in – simples.
Best online price £14.99