The role of the NPL in our products

Tech21 partner with NPL in London

At tech21, we work with an independent third party testing lab, the NPL in London. Meaning our products are truly unbeatable and offer protection you can trust.

Many smartphone protection brands boast about meeting or exceeding ‘Military Grade’ standards on their packaging, but when each one creates their own test, how do you compare?

Tech publication, Digital Trends, asked Colin Woodward, the Global Marketing Director here at tech21 about the lack of consistent standards in drop tests.

“The actual benefits are hard for consumers to fully understand, with some brands stating ‘meets,’ others quoting ‘exceeds,’ and some attributing different heights to the claims,” Woodward told Digital Trends.

Military Grade Protection is the standard you’ll often see on case packaging; stating that the drop surface should be 2-inch thick plywood over concrete. The device in the case will be dropped onto each face, edge, and corner for a total of 26 drops. After each drop, the device is visually inspected for both functional and structural integrity.

Sounds decent, right?

Well unfortunately, manufacturers are allowed to use up to five different case samples while testing, so each case is potentially only being dropped five or six times rather than 26, and the orientation can be changed for each drop, which doesn’t test for cumulative damage. It’s also being dropped onto plywood, not a sidewalk.

“Companies can conduct their own tests and therefore make their own claims,” explains Woodward.

“The logos give the impression of independent testing, but this is not necessarily the case and can, therefore, be misleading.”

At tech21, we work with an independent third party testing lab to ensure reliability of our cases and credibility of our testing methods.

The National Physical Laboratory, a government-funded organization based in London, develops our unique testing methodology for tech21 cases.

To improve, we need to know how we’re performing. So, we’ve invested in a new R&D facility at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in London. NPL is the UK’s National Measurement Institute, a globally recognized leader in its field. It’s also the UK’s largest applied physics organization.


Working in partnership, in a first of its kind collaboration, we’ve built cutting edge equipment, a unique testing methodology, and formed a team of highly skilled scientists. This means more advanced testing. More accurate results. And an unbeatable range of drop protection products that you can trust.

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“We would encourage all brands to allow their products to be subjected to independent testing,” suggests Woodward.

“After all, it’s easy to pass your own tests no matter how many you conduct, right?”

To insure tech21 provides nothing less than the best against drop protection, we partner with The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) to deliver a rigorous testing methodology under the supervision of experts.

Developed in partnership with NPL, our testing methodology not only considers drop protection, but it also considers the case’s weight and volume. When we know how the case performs in relation to its weight and volume, we know how effective it is. The more effective the protection, the better your smartphone experience.

But what good is a case that only offers protection for the first drop? We test our cases to make sure they offer consistent and reliable protection. Drop, after drop, after drop…


Read more about our partnership with the NPL here, and check out our full range of protective cases for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.