Pong Case Splash

Pong approached me to write a review of the new Pong iPhone 6 cases with the bold claim the case will prevent cell phone radiation from damaging the user. Of course, I have no way to judge this for myself. Consequently, the information in this article, not so much of a review, is from the information found on the Pong website.

Naturally, I was extremely curious to take a look. While I can account for the build quality, which appears to be very rugged and well formed, the remainder of the radiation conversation will reside on a summary of the details from Pong. With four US patents, why not put on my tin hat and take a look.

Radiation

Pong Brain picture

When first visiting the Pong website, the splash banner prompts you with a question: Is cellphone radiation harmful? They are going for the hard sell here. An article written by Rong Wang PhD is linked, entitled “New Study Found Tripled Brain Tumor Risk for Long Term Cell Phone Users.”

A 2014 Swedish study of 1,498 malignant brain tumor patients between 1997-2003 and 2007-2009, allegedly concludes that individuals’ risk was 3 times higher for people who utilize wireless phones for 25 years or longer. Of course, that includes land line wireless phones with a time frame so expansive.

The Pong blog post continues to expound upon the study and also found a 2014 French study that seemingly corroborates the Swedish findings, through another set of controls and tests. This is a hyper reduced overarching summary of the conclusions found and I encourage you to delve a little deeper for yourself.

Important to us as iPhone accessory purchasers is, how Pong claims to prevent the tumors and radiation it spends so long trying to convey on its blog.

How Pong helps

Pong Radiation

Total Radiation Power (TRP) is the unit of measure that scales mobile device radiation emission. Pong claims to not reduce TRP, which would be detrimental to the service you receive on your device. Alternatively, Pong’s cases allegedly redirect the radiation necessary for your signal strength away from you. To do so, the cases include a patented thin gold plated antenna, designed to reduce exposure to “potentially” harmful cell phone radiation, while continuing cell phone signal strength.

The claim has been confirmed by FCC-certified labs that test exposure and ratings reduced by five times below FCC Specific Absorption Rate. This was even confirmed by an independent test by WIRED Magazine. However, links to the FCC results nor the WIRED article are found.

Pong antenna

Pong Sleek Case

The Pong Sleek case comes in black, white or red and features the patented antenna technology to reduce cell phone radiation exposure, which is 89% below the Specific Absorption Rate limit. This has been certified by the US FCC, European CE, Canadian, and Australian governments. Additionally, it will save your iPhone from 4′ drops, which is certified by US military standards. All ports and camera are easily assessable in this clip-on style case.

Pong Sleek Case

The overall design is attractive and adds no overwhelming bulk, despite its alleged ability to reduce radiation. I could see the diamond cut back panel very easily collecting lint in your pocket, but the smooth exterior is a single piece with a satin-like finish for easy gripping.

All articles and research appears to be all included on the site, but I cannot decide if I believe it. A skeptic myself, the company seems to back up their claims about radiation exposure and the side effects, but I’m not convinced the case can redirect a cellular signal the way the company claims. Sure, the gold plate may reduce radiation, but how does it actually pull it away from the users head? The gold antenna plate is between your hand and the iPhone, not between the iPhone and your head.

I am too ignorant on the topic to offer a specific rebuttal. The argument is very compelling and it is important to know that cases like this exist on the market. You must decide for yourself if you believe the claims. At $49.99 for an iPhone 6 or $59.99 for an iPhone 6 Plus case, you are really going to need some convincing to make the jump for those prices.

  • Sleaka J

    The number of brain tumours in people has increased over the years, but you’d expect a total explosion of them to co-incide with the explosion of mobile phone usage, when in reality brain tumours have only increased with the expected increase in population.

    Also, mobile phone radiation is non-ionising.

    F.U.D.

  • JoshuaHulgan

    “Pong approached me to write a review…”
    “No, Thank you.”

    • The reality is, when you write for a blog with a large audience, you get approached every single day by dozens of people. There is nothing wrong with that.

      • Ryan Bartsch

        I agree.

      • mp

        Nobody said there was.

      • JoshuaHulgan

        If my response will ever be approved by a moderator (due to links.)
        I stated that’s not the issue.
        That’s a little dubious.
        The World Health Orginaztion has a fact sheet easily available about this misinformation.
        And I likened it a bit like the recent NYT article where a public editor had to step in to deal with pseudoscientific claims presented by one of their writers.

      • JoshuaHulgan

        If my response will ever be approved by a moderator (due to links.)
        I stated that’s not the issue.
        That’s a little dubious.
        The World Health Orginaztion has a fact sheet easily available about this misinformation.
        And I likened it a bit like the recent NYT article where a public editor had to step in to deal with pseudoscientific claims presented by one of their writers.
        Readers deserve more than what’s presented here in this article.
        If a writer can’t deliver that, then perhaps he or she shouldn’t take on the article until it’s researched a bit more.
        Otherwise, it presents more as an advertisement than a review and should be labeled as such.
        (Of course, no offense intended.)

  • mp

    ‘The claim has been confirmed by FCC-certified labs that test exposure and ratings reduced by five times below FCC Specific Absorption Rate. This was even confirmed by an independent test by WIRED Magazine. However, links to the FCC results nor the WIRED article are found.’

    So why don’t you ask them the question assuming a review entitles you to ask at least the fundamental basic questions? Too difficult or not up to journalistic/blog integrity standards?
    Why not just say Pong approached me to advertise for them and we’ll accept that for what it is which is the truth here. If not you’re a ‘weak’ reviewer at best or lacking in giving a damn at what you get paid to do. The same applies to your colleagues. Nothing worse than treating your readers as fools. It only lasts for so long..
    If I’m wrong then prove it by providing a follow up to this ‘review'(sic). Now that you’ve had some time to think of a few questions. I’m sure there’d be a few kicking around the office. I’ll expect nil reply.
    You could at least say the case ‘allegedly’ protects you from blah blah blah, but the case sure as heck doesn’t protect the entirety of your phone. Although that’s not really the claim to fame here.

    • If he was just to sell the case I think he would’ve written it in a different manner but he was very clear in the article that he was ignorant of the topic and only got his info from their site and left it up to the user to decide. Well written imo.

      • mp

        They say ignorance is bliss, but come on, you don’t have to be the sharpest tool in the shed to cover some basic questions do you? Considering the volume of blogs this site alone pumps out it really isn’t too much to expect some ‘quality’.
        I get your point on the manner the article was written vs advertising. However this ‘style’ sure is vaguely familiar to other advertisements, I mean reviews. 🙂
        Yes agreed a well written half review half advertisement. Agreed?

      • Lol I agree some articles are like that but I see no bias in this one. Maybe half assed but I don’t think it was a ploy to sell the product.

  • Joonyaboy

    I am deeply interested in this as there are several studies connecting EMF with tumors and cancer. I can understand the skepticism of the commenters but the author clearly stated this is something we should investigate further.

    We put our phones in airplane mode at night and when not in use to greatly reduce the ill effects. You may not think its a big deal, but its just one extra thing that is causing our bodies harm. It can add up.

    • mp

      it’s quite possible even plausible that the links to brain tumour might be firmly established within a generation so as to avoid mass claims. Think of it like the tobacco companies when they established a foothold with the public generations ago.
      This is very real and a likely possibility hence my disappointment at the effort put in by the ‘author’ to at least provide some info to the readership. Maybe I’m expecting too much and just used to being spoonfed in comparison to other arricles I read..

  • Paymon John Vafa

    Very interesting and thanks for covering. Ignore the trolls below 🙂

    • mp

      There’s a difference between a troll and someone voicing a legitimate opinion. The lines can be blurred especially if you’re wearing your rose coloured glasses whilst reading.

      • Paymon John Vafa

        He’s writing a blog post not a research paper. He even concedes that he’s using information from the maker’s website.

        There is scientific data indicating it’s a possibility if you want to disprove it go write a thesis on the topic.

      • mp

        Can I borrow your rose coloured glasses to write it? No one likes a troll, but a sycophant is just as bad.

      • Paymon John Vafa

        my rose coloured glasses lol. I love how you’re assuming I completely agree with this article and I believe in the information presented. You completely missed my point about how he conceded its all the information is based from the manufacturer and he cited other sources. The guy even stated that he has no knowledge of the area. He’s basically passing on information down the idownloadblog pipeline.

        Obviously you do not appreciate that. Instead of blasting the guy just “correct” the info. that is what the comment area is for. There is no need to attack him for his writing style when he is legitimately calling out his assumptions.

        have fun troll 🙂

      • mp

        I take your point and no harm done, sycophant. 🙂

  • Dave Newcomb

    I think it would have been better to go with a different title than “This case protects you from wireless radiations (sic)”. This case might protect you from radiation that might harm you. Without actual sources, this is only the manufacturer’s claim, and a dubious one at that.

    • mp

      You hit the nail on the head in three lines (maybe four), well done.

  • Ds

    so according to the above picture of how pong helps… your phone “leaks” radiation on all sides.. yet a case you put on the back of your phone stops the radiation leak on the front of your phone?

    ok I may have played that a little to dumb but still..

    • mp

      Smoke and mirrors assist.

  • Alberto Espinal

    Too late we are F****d anyways so many years of using cellphones!

  • Kameron Burton

    Just curious, but how can it redirect radiation if, as illustration shows, it’s a case that covers the back of the phone? Wouldn’t there have to be something between you and the phone to direct it away from you?

  • mp

    Thanks for this article, I read it in full along with the first 30 odd comments. The author of this blog should do likewise and perhaps those interested in the subject, which by and large are all of us as we are all heavily interested and invested in tech. Hence my concern with blogs such as this here or anywhere. What is insulting is to be labelled a ‘troll’ or such crap when one has his or her own style for commenting/crticising against what they read. Some say this is not an ad, yet the influence iDb has shouldn’t be underestimated and don’t companies or manufacturers know that. I cannot in all good consciousness accept everything I read ‘blindly’ as there are those who may need a hand in helping to sort out fact from fiction. We’re not all clever and some are easier to manipulate or convince or pressured to buy something on the notion it will save us from sort of thing like cancer. How dare one of you label me or anyone else a troll for calling out on a topic such as this. A sycophant and a hypocrit combined allow garbage to flourish on the web. Don’t be so hasty to label one a troll for merely being different or having their own style in the manner they voice a concern. None of us want the integrity of this site to diminish. That doesn’t mean that no mistakes are made and a proverbial kick up the backside isn’t to be expected in the guise of a comment.
    End of rant on this subject.

    • JoshuaHulgan

      Yeah, this seemed like a similar issue.
      Glad someone found it useful as well.

  • Victor

    I have one for the iPhone 5s. I have noticed an average of 1 bar increase when the case is on. I also work in location sound. This case dampens the gross RF spread that leaches into my wireless equipment. The trick is to orientate it in your pocket the proper way. Hope that helps!