Apple iPhone 5s Case Review

After braving the crowds early Friday Morning (and stumbling upon some crazy iPhone exporting ring) I finally had an iPhone 5s. It wasn’t until Saturday AM that I realized that needed a case on my 5s (my trusty Poetic Atmosphere was included in the sale of my iPhone 5), and the new leather iPhone 5s case from Apple seemed like it would be a good choice. Does it live up to my expectations?

Design

The 5s Case from Apple is a gorgeous case. The external of the case is a very supple leather, properly cut to fit the iPhone 5s and even stamped with the Apple logo. On the inside of the case is a microfiber liner which will help to protect your device from scratches. The iPhone 5s case comes in 6 different colors: Brown, Beige, Black, Yellow, Blue, and (PRODUCT)RED, I chose the black case.
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The Sleep/Wake button and volume buttons are raised absolutely perfectly, and the mute switch is easily accessible — a problem I have run into with some other cases is that my thumbs just don’t fit well enough to flip the switch, not an issue with this case.

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The lightning port cutout has enough space to fit the lightning connector perfectly, and the speaker cutouts are are exactly where they need to be. The headphone jack may be a point of concern, however. If your headphones have a large plug (see picture) you might be out of luck with this case. I have a set of Shure SE215s which fit thanks to the compressibility of the leather, but in some cases, you won’t be able to fit your headphones.
On the inside of the camera cutout is a tiny plastic frame that adds significant stability to that portion of the case, and adds a bit of care that may not be present from some other case manufacturers. It is important to note that this case will work with both the iPhone 5 and the 5s.

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Build Quality/Protection

So we knew that Apple would make a well designed case, but how much protection does it provide? In short, just enough. Apple didn’t make an Otterbox or a SEIDIO Obex —nor did it set out to. What it did make was a great alternative to the plethora of mainstream cases from the likes of iLuv or Cygnett. In that regard, the iPhone 5s case is perfect, it has just enough padding and give to allow for protection against putting your phone on a table or counter. The overall case is sturdy feeling, and around the front of the case is a minor but significant lip that measures about 0.1 mm that keeps the iPhone off of the table if you rest it face-down. This gap is very useful, but it is so small that a decently sized grain of salt could touch your screen, so keep that in mind. I haven’t yet dropped my phone, and I hope to never drop it, but when I do, I think that the 5s case will protect the phone from a minor accident, much like any other thin case.

Wrap-up

The iPhone 5s case from Apple is a nice case. When I first started using it I thought I had over payed. After all, $40 is a lot of money for a case that provides minor protection. But now that I have used it for a few days, I am most certainly keeping it. After a few conversations around the t3chniq office, it was pointed out to me that this case can eventually become like that baseball glove you’ve had forever—perfectly worn and individualized based on your personal use pattern— and with that, I realized that I was looking at this case the wrong way. This case isn’t intended to replace the Poetics of the world, its intended to be akin to Porsche Design products or the iPhone 5s itself, with an understated focus on premium design. I am sure that in a couple of months when I have some wear spots I will be ecstatic, having a case that is both uniquely my own yet simultaneously one of millions, much like the iPhone itself.

Price: $39 From Apple
Pros
  • Great looking case
  • Premium feeling
  • Great fit
  • Works with lightning adapters
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Minimal Protection