The Gear4 Oxford – protecting your phone and your cards

As part of one of our recent iPhone 11 case roundups we told you about new offerings coming from Gear4. Well, as with the UAG review we couldn?t quite test out a case for the new devices, but we were able to snag one that fit the phones we?ve got available. Today, we?ll let you know all about the Gear4 Oxford case.

Looking at the construction of the Gear4 Oxford, you can see how it started life as a simpler protective case, made from a rubbery material. In this case, this material is D3O?, which is how the case can be rated for a 10-foot drop. Not something I was likely to test out on purpose, but it is a fairly thick layer. Gear4 didn?t stop there, however.

As you can plainly see from the photos, the Gear4 Oxford has a flip cover. The product page calls this out as being leather, but with it?s grooves, it feels more like a ballistic nylon. The cover itself is decently firm, and closes on the case with a hard plastic clasp that holds in place via friction. No magnets or anything here. Perhaps a good idea by a phone, but I?m so used to my Kindle case turning the screen on and off, it was a shift to not see that happen here.

Aside from just protecting your screen when the cover is closed, the lid of the 70g Gear4 Oxford has two angled pockets (easy to slip in a credit card or ID) and slim pocket under those where you could stash a few bills if you were so inclined. The cover also has another trick. It?s semi-detatched from the caseback, so you?re able to set things up like a little kickstand, so you could watch a show or do some video conferencing without needing to hold your phone.

Ignore the cracked screen protector – that happened before this case review

Those are all interesting details, but when someone is considering a case like the Gear4 Oxford, they?re wondering about how well it protects. Of course, you?ll have the best protection with the lid closed and latched. Should it fall with the lid flipped open, the lip around the edge of the phone is decently high, plenty of room in the planes between that and the screen, even if you have a glass screen protector in place. Definitely a step above a basic slimline silicone case.

If you recall from the Monarch review I wrote about how pleasurable it was to interact with the buttons via the case. With the Gear4 Oxford, you?re back to that rubbery, sort of numb feel. Sure, that?s just due to the material used here, and it?s par for the course. With the lid closed, you can still hit the volume rockers (and there are marks on the cover that indicate those). I more often than not found myself hitting those as I was pressing the power button to shut the screen off, due to how I gripped the case. Oh, and it?s worth noting – there is a cutout on the lid for the earpiece, so you could, in theory, use the phone for a call with things closed up, and even then adjust call volume.

So, was the Gear4 Oxford the case for me? While I appreciate the protection, ultimately, the answer for me was no. First and foremost, while I appreciated the extra screen protection from the lid, as a left-hander, it was just uncomfortable to hold. Not impossible, but bulky. Secondly, I like to keep my cards in my wallet, not with my phone. However, I understand the appeal of being able to consolidate things a bit – it?s just not my cup of tea. I know I see plenty of folks with cases like these, so I?m obviously in the minority. If you think the Gear4 Oxford is the one for you, it?s available for a reasonable $34.99 direct from Zagg, while newer versions will run closer to $50 for this same case. GEAR4

Details from Gear4

  • Hand finished in genuine leather this case provides great impact protection yet doesn?t compromise on style. The Oxford has a stylish flip screen cover with credit card slots allowing this case to be slim and practical at the same time.
  • Drop Protection
    • Take on anything that comes your way with confidence, knowing that you?ve got up to 10 feet (3 meters) of drop protection.
    • D3O? ? the same material used by the military and professional athletes?is the key component in our formidable phone protection.
  • Card Slots
    • The inside of the stylish screen cover has integrated slots for credit cards or ID making Oxford the intelligent choice for travelers, commuters and everyone else with an on-the-go lifestyle.
  • Movie Stand
    • The flexible fabric hinge and semi-detached back panel adjust to form a built-in stand that holds your phone at a convenient viewing angle so you can catch up on your favorite show or video-conference with family, friends, and work-colleagues.
  • Wireless Charging
    • Wireless charging has become indispensable in a world that never stops. All Gear4 cases are wireless charging compatible which means you can drop your phone on any wireless charging pad for a quick charge without removing your case.
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Weight: 0.3064
  • Wireless Compatible: Yes
  • D3O? Technology: Yes

Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

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