Hands-on with dbrand’s extra grippy iPhone 14 case and customizable 3M skins

Dbrand iPhone 14 case review

dbrand launched its new Grip case ecosystem shortly after Apple’s unveiled this year’s iPhone 14 models and just before landing in our roundup of the best options out there. Delivering a minimalistic case, the dbrand iPhone 14 case goes from a stealthy all-black approach with a special grippy treatment throughout to a far more creative and unique option when employing one of its many 3M skin treatments. Today we are taking a hands-on look at both as well as the skin installation process to give you a better idea of what you’re in for with the latest dbrand iPhone 14 Grip Case. 

Hands-on with the dbrand iPhone 14 Grip Case and skins

The dbrand iPhone 14 offering is two-fold; a case known as the Grip and a range of compatible skins. The Grip case can be used on its own or you can customize the look with one of a range of skin designs the brand offers.

The case itself, with or with a skin installed, is a MagSafe compatible one with its own built-in array of magnets so it will play nice with the plethora of chargers, wallets, and stands out there. dbrand is delivering “military-grade” drop protection here on a case no thicker than 2mm and with the usual raised edges around the camera array around back and up front surrounding the display. 

Extra grippy build

Beyond the skins and as the name suggests, it is the texture and grippy sides that best defines dbrand’s case solution here. On either side of the cover, dbrand is employing what it refers to as “Grip Strips.” They are essentially small diagonal panels lined down (and raised slightly off) both sides of the case just below the power and volume buttons. They offer a sort slick smooth surface in juxtaposition to the micro dot texture the sides and top of the case are made of. There are “literally thousands” of microscopic ridges in combination with the “Grip Strips” to not only help to keep your butterfingers from bouncing your precious Apple handset off the sidewalk somewhere, but also deliver a satisfying feel in your hand. For comparison, something like Apple’s leather or silicone cases feel much more slippery in my hand than the dbrand grip-focused use of materials and design here. 

Chamfered lips and Crescent Arc swiping action

How many times have you tried swiping the edge of your screen, only to find that the lip of your garbage phone case was in the way? Far too many. Our solution is simple: just lower the sides. It’s called innovation.

It sounds like a simple and almost no-brainer design choice, doesn’t it? But as someone who has used, tested, and reviewed hundreds of iPhone cases over the years, from just about every brand you might already know about and then some, it really isn’t. Far too many case designers don’t take these elements of an iPhone cover seriously enough as seemingly basic as it might sound, but dbrand has nailed it here. 

The chamfered edge allows your fingers and thumbs to smoothly transition from the case bezel directly on to the iPhone’s touchscreen with ease all the way around with a slightly sloped edge that, while still providing raised, face-down tabletop protection, is a pleasurable experience that doesn’t get in the way at all. 

dbrand Grip Case skins

From black leather, navy camo, and carbon-fiber to a range of pastel colorways, wild abstract patterns, marble, and something that looks like the innards of a computer or series of electrical circuits, there are over 50 different skins to decorate the dbrand iPhone 14 Grip case with. Each of which sells for $19.95 a pop if you’re looking to purchase them separately.

The process of installing the skin is a simple one – dbrand has made a basic video with some tips on how to get it on there neatly. The actual skin comes in a piece of 3M paper, delivering a simple peel and stick procedure that’s hard to mess up all that much, especially if you employ the brand’s simple installation tips. The skins themselves are sort of like a high-end sticker, much more robust and thick than a typical sticker but also not thick enough to add any bulk to the carrying experience. They can also be peeled off relatively easily when you’re ready for a new look. It’s hard for me to say if you can successfully reinstall a skin after removing it for long period of time, but I was able to try one out, peel it off, place it back on the 3M paper backing it shipped on, and install it again a couple days later – you’ll just want to be careful not to stretch or wrinkle the thinner bits that fit around the camera array both when installing it and placing it back on the 3M backing afterwards.  

The dbrand Grip case starts at $45 with one Classic skin included and goes up slightly from there with the Premium skins:

  • dbrand Grip case iPhone 14 collection from $45
    • iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, 14 Pro, and Pro Max

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