The LUNATIK TAKTIK (iPhone 4/4S) offers astronomical protection, but with a compromise… [Review]

When I was first presented with the TAKTIK from LUNATIK, I felt like I was being prepared not for some light journalism, but rather thermo-nuclear war. You may remember the name LUNATIK from a Kickstarter project in 2010. Lunatik launched the TikTok+, a gadget designed to transform your iPod nano into a watch that functioned as an iPod. The initiative was met with overwhelming success, and it is that same innovation, drive and determination that brings us the TAKTIK.

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So what is the TAKTIK? The TAKTIK is probably the most protective, rugged, hardcore iPhone case I have ever laid eyes on. Through a combination of precise engineering, mixed materials and sheer awesome, LUNATIK have created best looking and most durable case on the market. Let me tell you why.

The most striking aspect of the case it its design. It has a fantastic military style look that screams “indestructible” from every angle. This case is sure to turn heads. Granted, it isn’t to everyone’s liking, and so if you find yourself more inclined to use cases that are more artistic, then this case certainly isn’t for you. That being said, the military look really appeals to me personally. The red headphone jack cover is a really cool feature that rounds off the industrial feel of the case.

The mute switch, an engineering triumph...

The mute switch is absolutely fantastic, and whilst you’ll have to use the case to appreciate it fully, it really is a great solution to keeping the mute switch functional even though it’s hidden under such substantial protection. Likewise, the volume and lock buttons are also well catered for. This however, is where the compromise required to used this case begins. The volume and lock buttons are a little hard to press, buried under “High Impact Ballistic Bezels”, that’s to be expected, however they are a little hard to use. Not inconveniently so, but hard enough that you might find yourself pressing twice just to make sure the job gets done. This is most evident with the home button, whilst still functional, again, it’s a little stiff, especially when trying to double-tap in order to access multitasking.

The case is designed for protection, and on that front, it performs phenomenally well. This particular model features Gorilla Glass Impact Lens to protect your screen, sealed ports, secure screw closure and water/dust resistant membranes. If you want to damage your phone inside this case, you’d best drive a tank over it, and even then, it will most likely survive. The protection this case offers is unrivalled. Otterbox? Please, don’t make me laugh.

The case’s excellent design extends to its application. The case comes in 3 main parts, the front face and rear face are made out of polymer, whilst the middle piece is a “Silicone Impact Truss” designed to absorb impact. LUNATIK are currently waiting to get this stuff patented, which means it’s pretty awesome. All the port covers are Aluminum, and the membranes are hydrophobic. To apply the case, you simply place your phone inside the middle layer, and then screw the front and rear face together over the top. It sounds easy, and it is! The six screws aren’t too fiddly, and the case comes with a specialised Hex Key. Once applied, the case fits perfectly, and LUNATIK’s attention to detail is really evident hear. Application is incredibly easy, that being said, the screws mean this isn’t a case you can just snap off at the drop of a hat, which may be a drawback for some…

The TAKTIK broken down...

The pros of this case are many, which is why it receives such a good score in this review. However, as the title suggests, the protection is not without compromise. As mentioned, buttons are a little hard to use, and because the case is screwed together, it’s a little harder to switch out cases. Furthermore, the headphone jack is only big enough to accommodate the jack from the original Apple iPhone headphones, or any other device of the same size. If you use a more premium brand of headphone, you may find that a larger jack simply won’t fit into the allotted space.

My final, and perhaps most significant beef with this case is the Gorilla Glass. Whilst it does offer fantastic protection, it seems to have impacted the sensitivity of my iPhone screen. This was more apparent the first time I applied the case, I found it very difficult to press the space bar whilst typing messages and notes. However, after tightening the screws a little, I found the problem significantly reduced. That being said, the screen still doesn’t operate at full sensitivity. To combat this, you may want to consider the model without Gorilla glass, which comes in at $99 rather than $125. That brings us nicely to the price of the TAKTIK. For the model reviewed, you’ll pay $125 as mentioned. Without Gorilla Glass, the TAKTIK will set you back $99. Both versions are available in a range of colors, including a rather audacious shade of purple.

So there you have it, unrivalled protection and incredible design. The setbacks do detract from the user experience somewhat, preventing the case getting a higher score, however the problems are not catastrophic, and many of them simply require a little adaptation. If you want a case that brings complete peace of mind in a cool design, or you’re a mercenary, then the TAKTIK most definitely deserves your attention, and almost certainly your purchase aswell.

To buy the reviewed  TAKTIK click here

To view the full TAKTIK 4/4S range click here

To view the iPhone 5 equivalent click here

To follow me on Twitter, or to ask me a question about the case, head to @TiP_Stephen

 

 

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  • timsntexas

    Great case but had to modify the silence button to make it work. Took double sided tape and trimmed it to fit on the rocker which hits switch on my I-5, worked great. Wich there was an adapter long enough for the lightning to be able to plug it into my Ihome.

  • TragicExtreme

    I got my white Taktik Extreme- 3 months after the desire went away. I had hopes it would replace the lackluster iPhone 5 with a new feel and new look.
    First disappointment: “Balistic Bezel” doesn’t mean aluminum. My white case is plastic, looks plastic, feels like recycled plastic. Blah. The airbrushed ads for this case and description lead me to believe it was going to be aluminum. First sight, oh yeah, it’s plastic.
    Second disappointment: Forget living near humid-like climates. You’ll have fog and weird under-the-glass rainbow blobs that stick around for a day or two until they evaporate. Or, just use the included screw driver and undo all 6 screws, wipe away, reassemble, over and over again. (said no one ever)
    Third disappointment: The Corningware Gorilla whatever is awful. Your hands can be cleaner than an ER surgeon’s and as you touch the screen, you leave an oil-slick like print that blurs everything you’re trying to see. Super annoying! Wipe often.
    Fourth disappointment: The vibe/audio button isn’t long enough. You have to squeeze the case tight and push really hard (to get your skin to sink into the hole) to manipulate the switch. Or, get a pencil and switch between ringer and silence. LAME!
    Lastly: Static electricity is a problem now with this screen. Hair flies in and lands in the crevasse around the edges, which is super hard to get out, because it isn’t smooth like the iPhone 5 was without this case. Expect crap to land there often.
    Overall rating for an overly hyped iPhone case? 3 out of 10 stars. And that’s being generous.

  • Esmond

    I agree with all of the other comments, this case is awful.

  • ClaudiaJimena

    I read that the cell phones emit a dangerous non-ionizing form of electromagnetic radiation; radiation which can be absorbed by the tissues and cells which come into close contact with the phone. That’s why I decided to do something that reduce <a href=”http://www.pongresearch.com/science.html”>cell phone radiation levels</a>  for protect to my family. In the end though, I found a couple of reviews of Pong Research’s cases, that convinced me to give it a try. This case is built with an antenna in between layers of the back cover, which reduces exposure to radiation while optimizing the mobile reception.

  • mtaormina

    Great case.  However am quite disappointed.  Put phone in case per instructions and was like, wow this is nice.  Two days later a rainbow under the glass that won’t go away.  Very annoying.  Took it apart and cleaned everything.  Put back together and now two rainbows in my sight.  Most disappointing feature is tech support for a costly case.  There is none.  Emailed them and they looked into it with their engineers.  I finally got back to them and they said “Oh Well-stuff happens sometimes”.  I said maybe the engineers or CEO might want to send another one for me to try or get on addressing the issue.  Still no response.  I take it as They got the money and I got the goods.  I think 4 screws down each side might help out with this plus a little better tolerance tween phone and gorilla glass may be in order.  I tried shimming up the phone and that worked a little.  Secondly I tried the old otter box trick and put a screen protector on the phone and that was worse yet.  So if anyone has a fix for this let me know.  I know lunatik is not worried…..

  • TragicExtreme

    @mtaormina The gorilla glass is the problem. It is awful. I am just living with all the issues I listed below. Unless you get a better response like I did, (like WEEKS after my complaints) “It sounds like you got a defective piece, send it back to us and we can refund or exchange it.” I’m over it, and I kept it since the 5S and 6 will either make me forget this ever happened, or I’ll jump Apple’s tree for Windows. The rainbow effect is happening because their corningware (code for cheap) gorilla glass comes in contact with the iPhone glass in some areas. The blurry, oily smudges are more annoying, as this glass isn’t fingerprint compatible. Any billionaire who uses kickstarter for their products and then has their garbage made in the sweatiest of sweatshops, is a greedy son of a be itch! Opt for the model without the extra glass if you’re looking for less issues. Or, check out OtterBox’s latest Fort Knox-like protection for iPhone 5 at better prices!

  • TragicExtreme

    @mtaormina The gorilla glass is the problem. It is awful. I am just living with all the issues I listed below. Unless you get a better response like I did, (like WEEKS after my complaints) “It sounds like you got a defective piece, send it back to us and we can refund or exchange it.” I’m over it, and I kept it since the 5S and 6 will either make me forget this ever happened, or I’ll jump Apple’s tree for Windows. The rainbow effect is happening because their corningware (code for cheap) gorilla glass comes in contact with the iPhone glass in some areas. The blurry, oily smudges are more annoying, as this glass isn’t fingerprint compatible. Any billionaire who uses kickstarter for their products and then has their garbage made in the sweatiest of sweatshops, is a greedy son of a be itch! Opt for the model without the extra glass if you’re looking for less issues. Or, check out OtterBox’s latest Fort Knox-like protection for iPhone 5 at better prices!

  • Alan789

    I am very happy with this product; it saved my iPhone.  I bought a Lunatik Taktik Aluminium case for £19.99 at classycase.co.uk/producttag/11/lunatik

  • dan

    hey not sure if you find this interesting or not but i actually bought this Lunatik cover with 20% discount. I found in on a facebook page. i checked and its all items that are 20 % off if you use their link in their description. i guess it is some kind of lunatik promo code or something… anyway here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/lunatik.promo.code.taktik.review

  • Bruce Carter

    I admit it, I bought the Lunatik Taktik case
    primarily because I liked the look of it. Secondly, I wanted maximum protection
    for my iPhone. Given the weight and increased size of the case, I second-guessed
    this purchased many times. That was before July 17, 2014. I could not find my
    phone. I searched everywhere. When I called it, it went straight to voice mail
    so I assumed the battery was dead. I had used it while in the spa the previous
    night so after searching everywhere else, went into the backyard and there it
    was…in the hot tub that had been heated to 104 degrees the previously evening.
    I realized I had placed my phone on my towel and when I got out, grabbed the
    towel knocking my iPhone into the water (which I did not hear over the jets)
    and yeah…I had been drinking. Dopey me! So now some 16 hours later I fished my
    phone outta the spa knowing it was ruined. Uhhhh…hold the phone people! No
    problem, it works fine! WTF?!! How can a case protect a completely submerged
    phone in hot water? Taktik can and did. I am so glad I bought this case! No
    other case would have been able to do this. I still can’t believe it. Great
    product!