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Otterbox Universe turns your iPhone into a rugged modular device

by Jacob Kleinman | May 24, 2016May 24, 2016 6:30 am PDT

Modular Android phones are finally getting some attention this year with the LG G5, Google’s newly re-announced Project Ara and Motorola’s rumored MotoMod backplates. But Apple fans are still out in the cold… until now. Otterbox‘s new Universe Case System turns your iPhone into a modular handset with a wide range of attachments that easily and securely snap on.

The design is sleek and simple. It looks like a standard case with thick bumpers to keep the screen safe, but in back there’s a small inset rectangle with a smooth plastic surface. Slide any module into that slot and it locks in so it’s safe to use and won’t break off if you drop your phone. That’s pretty much it for the actual case.

The case costs $50 and comes in black or white with size options for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus. Universe launches today on Otterbox’s website. On May 29 it will also be available from Amazon and Best Buy (in stores and online).

Once you grab a case you can pick from a variety of modules, offering anything from extra battery life to external storage to camera attachmements. Here’s the full list of Otterbox-approved extras:

  • Square Contactless & Chip Reader, $49.99 – accept every way each customer likes to pay including credit cards and contactless payments on the go
  • olloclip 4-in-1 lens, $79.99 – enhance every shot with the world’s most-awarded mobile lens. Switch quickly and easily between fisheye, wide-angle, 10x and 15x lens options
  • SanDisk iXpandTM Flash Drive, $59.99 to $119.99 – quickly and easily free up space on iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus with 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of additional capacity3
  • Nite Ize Steelie Vent Mount Kit, $39.99 – easily mount iPhone 6/6s and iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus to a vehicle vent for hands-free use
  • Goal Zero Slide Battery, starting at $59.99 – add a full additional charge to iPhone 6/6s and iPhone 6/6s Plus battery life
  • Manatee Works StingRay Barcode Scanner, $95 – stay on top of inventory with a barcode scanner that stays in reach
  • Seek Thermal Compact Camera and Seek Case, starting at $249 – connect, detect and now further protect the most advanced thermal imaging camera designed for smartphones
  • Influx WiFi Booster, $39.99 – boost wifi to download, stream and watch anywhere and everywhere4
  • PolarPro Trippler Tripod, $49.99 – capture epic pics with this tripod that transforms into grip and extension pole
  • PolarPro Stance Compact Tripod, $29.99 – take steady shots anywhere with this folding tripod
  • PolarPro PowerPack Removable Battery Pack, $49.99 – charge up to talk, text and capture every moment without interruption
  • PolarPro Beat Pulsar Wireless Mobile Speaker, $59.99 – rock and roll on the go
  • PolarPro Fisheye Wide-Angle Lens, $29.99 – shoot the whole scene with this wide-angle lens
  • PolarPro Trail Blazer Armband, $34.99 – run, hike and bike while iPhone 6/6s and iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus stay protected and in an arm’s reach – literally
  • PolarPro Stash Slim Mobile Wallet, $19.99 – ditch the wallet and stash cash directly on the uniVERSE case

Every accessory is certified by Otterbox and needs to undergo quality and drop testing. The company loaned us a few modules to try out with the case, including an external battery, a Bluetooth speaker and a small tripod and they all work pretty well. We’ll have a full review soon, but if you don’t feel like waiting you can order your own now at otterbox.com.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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