I’ve always been a firm believer in giving my phone extra protection for a couple of reasons:
1. Despite claims of the latest Gorilla glass protection, I’ve seen too many shattered phones.
2. Ever since I started out with the Galaxy S2 I found my phone way too slippery.
In my family I was known as the grip tape guy, putting strips of grip tape onto my devices…
Any case can prevent superficial damage and keep your phone in pristine resale condition.
A great case can prevent catastrophic damage. And even enhance the looks of your phone.
Let’s check out the Cayman Carbon case from EFM as representative of their D3O range of case and screen armour.
Cayman Case Armour
My daily driver is the Galaxy S22 Ultra, normally protected by the Samsung Smart View flip cover.
The Cayman case covers the back and sides so a screen protector is also necessary, More on that later.
The claimed features on the box highlight the facts that it is drop tested from 6 metres and boasts a 5x military grade spec.
There’s also a claim that for some reason you’ll get a 10% stronger 5G signal.
All this through their patented D3O technology.
EFM even sent me a test kit with a hammer… More on that down below.
The Cayman case is a perfect fit for my S22 Ultra. The sides are ample and raised slightly above the screen level. They feel fairly smooth and not rubbery. The back is clear and the case is mainly made from recycled materials.
A good feature is also the antimicrobial protection of the used material.
One interesting bonus is that the case also comes with an additional set of bronze buttons and a bronze camera ring. I actually like the bronze accent better than the silvery/grey equivalent.
One minor aspect is the extra thickness of the sides make accessing the S Pen slightly harder.
You’ll forgive me for not having tested its toughness with wilfully throwing it from my 6m high roof.
Nor could I test the claimed 10% increase in 5G signal. I’m struggling to get 1 bar on 4G on my property…
The EFM Cayman Carbon 5G case is a good investment at just a nickel shy of 80 bucks.
You’ll have one of the slimmest, lightest and toughest cases in today’s market.
And you can have confidence that life’s little accidents do not need to have disastrous consequences for your phone…
This case covers about 55% percent of your device so we also need to look at protecting your screen.
D3O ScreenSafe Screen Armour
Me and screen protectors have a sordid history.
Frustration wells up as things are not aligned well or when air bubbles can’t be “ironed” out.
Would it be different with the ScreenSafe Armour from EFM?
Yes and No. And Yes…
Here’s what the box proclaims:
A 9H Sapphire hardness, making it 8 X more shatter resistant (than what?!).
(Note: the website says it’s actually 6 X more than an unprotected screen but in the specs it mentions 8 X … Go figure! How do you even measure that, anyway?)).
This screen armour has anti-blue light and antimicrobial properties.
Under-display fingerprints? No probs, fully compatible.
And best of all, the D3O secret sauce is also one of the ingredients.
The thing that intrigued me was that this screen actually has seven (7!) layers.
See this diagram.
I did not even know such layering was possible…
All of that brings scratch resistance, optical clarity and advanced protection to your display.
To get good results, imagine you’re an ER doctor, prepping the patient.
Out come the sterile cleaning wipe, microfibre cleaning cloth, dust removal stickers and the all-important bubble paddle. Huh?
Anyways, EFM provided all these goodies with clear instructions.
I was super careful to get all the dust off my Samsung.
Then I plugged in the applicator tool into the USB-C port. No, not to charge it up but it allows the screen armour to perfectly get aligned.
This actually worked well and I gingerly removed the bottom protective film.
Now the tricky part: getting the inevitable bubbles out with the paddle.
Initially, that went well but some bubbles remained.
I don’t have OCD but I can’t stand any bubbles or scratches on my display!
Fortunately, these bubbles disappeared over a couple of days.
There’s only some minor wrinkling visible when the phone is off. Can’t see it on a bright screen.
The screen protector fits well but there is still about 1-2 mm uncovered at the top.
Response to touch is smooth – just like the unprotected screen.
I would say, I’m 95% happy with the outcome.
Yes, at AUD79.95 it is not cheap but neither is good insurance.
I’m pretty confident this EFM Screen Armour will outlast my phone!
And yes, that is mainly due to that mysterious “secret sauce”…
So what’s up with that, you ask?
D3O Test Kit – Playdough Reimagined?
Well, I must hand it to EFM: we can wax eloquent about how tough the D3O ingredient is that protects their products but how do you prove their claims? Without ruining your own phone?
How does this stuff really work anyway?
So, the D3O test kit is a great idea.
This is what’s in it: a pot with sticky orange goo; a piece of ordinary black foam and a piece of orange D3O foam. Finally, a steel ball and a hammer.
I followed the instructions and watched how the steel ball just bounced off the black foam but how the orange D3O foam absorbs the shock. I felt how the sticky goo is fluid and flexible in its unshaped form but when you shape it a bit it becomes really stretchy.
It was a fun to see how it transforms into long, thin strands, without breaking. Awesome stuff.
And the hammer?
Looks like the handle had a dose of the orange D3O treatment too but it was just included to see how hitting this stuff really absorbs the shock well.
And that’s the secret to making the EFM products so tough.
No wonder the D3O technology has found its way into all sorts of protection for military and sports purposes. Helmets, gloves, electronics.
Have a look at this site here that explains it really well.
Having said all that, I know there is still a crowd out there that like to go “au naturel” – naked – with their phones.
They like the slim feel of their devices, I guess, but now you can also have total protection with EFM’s slim but tough cases.
I think it’s a no brainer.
Please check out the EFM store here.