This year has seen some changes from Apple, first with the introduction of two new iPhones and a renewed focus on iPhone accessories. When the iPhone 5 launched, you couldn’t find a case, be it from the Apple Store or a third party manufacturer. The iPhone 5s benefits from the bevy of iPhone 5 cases and have started making their own cases. You’ve got the new leather iPhone 5s case, which Marianne reviewed and the hard to ignore iPhone 5c case. Casting our first impressions aside, we went hands-on and present our iPhone 5c case review.
As we noted in our review of the iPhone 5c, the lacquer finish helps to provide a scratch and fingerprint surface, but also one that is slippery, leaving users prone to drops. With the cost of screen replacements at $150 or so, it makes sense to get AppleCare+ or opt for a case. One option is to go for Apple’s case, designed specifically for the new iPhone 5c. As you would expect, there are precision cutouts for the speaker, microphone, ringer switch and Lightning port.
The volume and sleep/wake buttons are covered. The sleep/wake button in particular required a bit more push to engage. It’s not as effortless as if you were not using a case. Not a deal breaker, but worth noting. Over time, it might get easier as the case goes through a break-in process.
Apple’s iPhone 5c case benefits from a two layer construction. The exterior is a semi-rigid silicone material. The case wraps neatly around the iPhone 5c creating what I thought was a perfect fit. The soft-touch matte finish, aided by the circular cutouts, should allow you to get a good grip on your iPhone 5c. I absolutely love the feel of this case. One potential downside is that I’ve found is that the matte surface can attract pocket lint. The case sits slightly above the bezel, but the color of your iPhone 5c can still shine through. It’s never a good idea to lay your iPhone flat, but the case should protect the display when facing flat.
The interior of the iPhone 5c case is lined with a soft microfiber, a super-soft material that will protect the upper third of your iPhone. Herein lies a big problem with this case. Looking past the Croc-inspired design, it tries entirely too hard to embrace the color combinations you can create by selecting on of six colors that allow for up to thirty color options (less depending upon the color of your iPhone 5c). By exposing areas of the back panel, you open it up to dust and dirt. If you remove the case after an extended period, will the wear and tear on these areas become noticeable? Only one $549 way to find out.
If the intention is to create a striking, yet precision design, it’s hard not to take issue with the placement of the circles. The trademark ‘iPhone’ gets reduced to a mere ‘non’ or ‘hon’. How is that a good look?
- Perfect fit
- Fun assortment of color combinations
- Soft matte-finish makes it comfortable to hold
- Questionable Crocs-inspired design, partially blocks ‘iPhone’
- Holes leave iPhone susceptible to dirt
Apple’s Jony Ive talks about how hardware and software can work together to create a harmonious experience. This case should be an extension of that endeavor, while at the same time performing the core function of a case, to protect your iPhone. The circular cut-outs may appeal to some, but it’s hard to forgive the inability of this case to properly guard your iPhone 5c agains the elements.