If you are looking for a understated case for your iPhone 5, this is not for you. The folks at SQ1 seem focused on pleasing consumers who are looking for loud, in your face colors. Did they succeed and are the bright colors enough for you to pick up this case? Read on for our comprehensive Caseology/Mercury case review for iPhone 5.
The SQ1 Mercury slim fit case is designed in New York , according to the silver imprint on the back of the case below the Mercury logo. Just above is the iPhone logo, ripped directly from Apple’s design. If and when Apple comes across this brand infraction, I’d suspect their current inventory will find its way to a landfill. It’s only made worse by the fact it’s slightly off center. As a resident of New York, even I’m offended by using our good states name on what is a poor attempt at looking as if this originated at Apple. Well, what about the case?
It is manufactured using a TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) which creates a flexible type material that fits somewhere between silicone and harder plastic cases, which also tend to use TPU. This case from Mercury feels much different than either of those cases. It has almost a gummy type feel to it, which I’d say was similar to the Speck CandyShell. At the same time, it is a very glossy feel. This case installs easily enough, with the iPhone 5 popping into the place. It’s also easily removed, in the event you swap cases with any regularity. The fit of the case is decent, with no movement that I noticed, but there is some there on the sides if you’re looking for it.
Similar to the Poetic Atmosphere, the bottom bezel of the case is loose fitting, as is the area above the volume buttons. This is where the case is thinner, so while it makes sense, it can still tend to be annoying when grabbing your iPhone. When pressing the volume buttons, the bezel of the case starts to flex inward. The bottom of the case has a wide opening, which should easily accommodate any larger adapters.
The TPU does make for some exceptionally vivid case protection. Shown in these photos are a taxi yellow, just one of twelve or so colors available. Each color seems brighter than the next. If you are in bright sunlight, the case also has a shimmer to it, thanks to those magic crystals. Okay, no magic crystals included, but it is very sparkly.
One of the best aspects of the Mercury case design can be found by the power button. The front has a ridge, which follows the entire border of the display. This is good as it protects the display if you should place your iPhone 5 flat on a surface. While in general, I’d recommend against what is a bad habit, this case does protect against that. Back to the power button. If you naturally use your index finger to power on your iPhone 5, you’ll notice this case has a cutout that is flat. I wish other case manufacturers would follow suit.
This is not an ultra-thin case by any stretch. It is however very light and doesn’t add much in the way of bulk. The case is not flat to the edge, with beveled edges from the back to the sides. The camera cut-out is very small. I had concerns that reflections from the case might cause color casting, but I’m happy to report there were no such issues.
- Low to mid-level protection
- Large selection of bright, vivid colors
- Good, but not great fit
- Loose fitting by volume, dock area
This case will offer a fair amount of protection, but I’d be concerned that the glossy surface could result in more impact drops. The fit is decent enough, especially considering the sub-$10 price point. The SQ1 Mercury case for iPhone 5, with its bright color selection, makes for a decent option for those looking for an affordable case. Unless you’re are sold on a particular color, the better option at this price point is still the Ringke Slim.
SQ1 Mercury Case from $9 at Amazon
Editor’s note: It appears as if the manufacturer SQ1 is the midst of rebranding this case from the Mercury to the Caseology Slim Fit Case.