Hands On: Urban Armor Gear Monarch case

Urban Armor Gear Monarch cover (Image: UAG)

Heavy duty protection without the bulk



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18 October 2019 | 0

When the device in your pocket can cost a substantial amount of your monthly income, and yet now performs 50+ vital functions in your life, protection is vital.

It is not just the beautiful screen that needs some protection, but its sleek flanks too.

For real insulation from more than just inadvertent drops or bumps, there are many options, but Urban Armor Gear is relatively new entrant to the market.




Its range of protections for major smart phone manufacturers feature hi-tech materials in multiple layers for not just impact resistance, but also grip and durability.

The makers say the “precise engineering” is “to provide a case that meets double the Military Standard for drop and shock protection”. MIL STD 810G 516.6 being the standard in question.

In an obvious show of confidence in the results, the maker offers a 10-year limited warranty.

The tested model was from the Monarch range for the Google Pixel 3 XL, in black.

It is a combination of top-grain leather, plastic and metal alloys that is yet wireless charging and NFC service compatible.

This was confirmed in testing through the unhindered use of the Pixel 3 wireless charging stand. It is also compatible with the fingerprint sensor and active edge features of various devices.

In use, the cover has a pleasing appearance, with multiple textures and structural details. There is an engineered feel to the corners in particular, complete with faux-torx heads and honeycomb patterns for increased grip.

Urban Armor Gear Monarch cover in red. (Image: UAG)

The dimensions do not exaggerate what is already a large device and are easily comparable to say, the likes of an Otterbox Symmetry Series case for the same device.

It is pocket and table friendly, insofar as it sits comfortably with either and doesn’t slide about or get stuck.

Were there to be a criticism, it would be that the fingerprint sensor, though well protected, is slightly more awkward to access than some rivals.

Though nicely recessed, there isn’t quite the lead in that appears on other similar offerings, meaning that there is just a nano-second of blind mooching before finding the target. In isolation, it would hardly have been noticed, but when experienced alongside a slightly better implementation, it becomes noticeable.

With such a minor gripe as the sole negative, this is a very high-quality cover that does what it says on the tin.

At €46.95 direct with free shipping, it is also competitive in terms of price.


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