Despite owning the iPhone 5 for six months, I’m still amazed at how Apple managed to design a phone this incredibly thin and light. For many, they want to toe the line between retaining the form factor, but adding some level of protection. It’s no surprise that a number of manufacturers have been designing cases that do little to the overall weight and footprint of the iPhone 5, all while guarding it from scratches and scuffs. The ultra-thin cases won’t get mistaken for an Otterbox or Lifeproof, but they have their own set of design and usability hurdles. See how the latest from Rearth performs in our Ringke SLIM case for iPhone 5 review.
The Ringke Slim case is composed of a hard plastic, with the thin construction allowing for it to weigh less than 2 credit cards. From a weight perspective, there is virtually no difference from carrying a naked iPhone from one with the Ringke Slim. Installation takes a matter of seconds, with the iPhone 5 snapping neatly into place.
There are generous cut-outs for accessibility to all ports. Rearth, the company manufactures the case, has some nice touches throughout. For example, I’ve seen a number of cases that have a lip at the edge of either the power button or volume buttons. Not only are they focused on delivering a super-lightweight case, but they are clearing showing an attention to detail when it comes to usability. There are ever-so-slight cutouts by the headphone and Lightning connector as well. If you’ve got a bigger than normal 3.5mm headphone adapter, these sort of small improvements that are easily appreciated and can go a long way when searching for the perfect case.
When compared to a similar case, the Spigen SGP Ultra-Thin Air, I prefer the fit of the Ringke SLIM. When grabbing the SGP, you could hear crackling and feel movement between the phone and the case. If anything, I’d say that the bottom part of SLIM has a slight gap, but it’s hardly noticeable in every day use. I would be concerned that over time, dirt particles could find their way into the case, increasing the risk for scratches. While I wasn’t able to test it, if this case fits over a back protector, that would resolve this problem I had with the case.
As for the finish, Rearth uses ‘premium LF coating’. I’m not exactly sure what that is, but I can tell you that the result is a soft feel. The case itself a matte finish, while still being incredibly bright and vivid. With the assortment of colors available, this case can make a statement if that’s your style. For me, I wanted a Kermit the Frog look, which I think I captured. Where as most matte finishes are grippy, this case borders on being slippery.
If you are purchasing a case to protect your iPhone, I’m afraid this particular model won’t help much in the case of shoulder height drop to a hard surface. It’s going to provide you with low-level protection. I don’t see the iPhone dislodging from the case, so you might get lucky if it lands on a corner. The slightly razed lip that surrounds the sides of the display also offer little in the way of preventing damage should it suffer any sort of impact.
- Thin, light
- Nice attention to detail
- Low level of protection
- Gap at bottom could prove to be problematic
If you are looking to retain the insanely thin dimensions of the iPhone 5, there are a growing number of cases that will only slightly alter your iPhone experience. These cases offer a low level of protection, but it’s still a vast improvement over going case-less. Rearth has done a wonderful job with the Ringke Slim, with the only real issue being the gap between the case and the iPhone just above the Lightning connector. This could be solved with a back protector, but that might impact the fit of the case, which for the most I found to be quite good.
The Ringke SLIM case for iPhone 5 brings much of what you would look for in thin, lightweight case and does so at just under $10.