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We look at two Urban Armor cases for the iPhone Xs Max

Urban Armor offers two protective cases for the iPhone Xs Max, which have striking designs that, admittedly, may not be for everyone. 

The $59.95 Monarch — available in crimson, black,  and “carbon fiber” — boasts five layers of protection that include an armor frame (feels like plastic), leather, a polycarbonate shear plate, allow metal hardware,  and impact resistant rubber. It’s surprisingly light considering that it meets 2X Military drop-test standards. Even with this durability, it’s Apple Pay and wireless charging compatible and still provides easy access to all ports and buttons. And tThe camera cutout is big enough that it doesn’t get in the way of the flash.

Another feature of the Monarch that I really like is the texture, which makes the iPhone Xs Max less likely to slip from your hand. All these features come at a price, however. The Monarch is slightly thicker and heavier than the typical case.

With all the other protective features, I kinda wish the Monarch was waterproof. However, no UAG cases are waterproof, though they provide some water resistance. And they don’t come with shield protectors, which have to be purchased separately. 

Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★1/2

The other UAG case I tested on my iPhone Xs Max is the $39.95 Pathfinder. Think of it as the Monarch’s little sibling. Available in black, white, carmine, and slate, it provides an armor shell and impact resistant soft core in a lightweight, composite construction.

The Pathfinder sports oversized tactile buttons and scratch resistant skid pads, all while providing easy access to the phone’s touchscreen and ports. Like the Monarch, it’s wireless charging and Apple Pay compatible and meets military drop-test standards 

The Pathfinder is easy to install. The raised lip on the front helps protect the screen. The reinforced corners are more pronounced on this case, while also being angular in design rather than rounded like the Monarch. The same side button and openings are present, but, alas, it lacks the same side design for improved grip as found on the Monarch.

I’d recommend spending the extra 20 bucks for the Monarch, but the Pathfinder works well for those who have less stringent protection requirements for the iPhone Xs Max.

One issue for folks like me: both the UAG cases add too much width to the iPhone Xs Max to allow it to slip into smartphone holsters, which I like to use.

Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.