The iPhone 5/5s is a nice phone, but it is quite delicate, ask anyone who has dropped their phone once or twice without a case on. When I sold my iPhone 5 the bezel was torn up and dented. I only took it out of its case for a couple weeks, and never dropped the phone. I have since learned my lesson, and I keep my phone in the Apple iPhone 5s case. Even in that case, there was room for damage, and not a very large standoff of surfaces. The fact is, sometimes I need a case with a bit more shock protection, I can’t always baby my phone. This is where the Karbon SP from Evutec comes into play, how does it fare?
The Karbon SP gets its name from the carbon fiber-esque weave pattern on the back of the case. This weave pattern isn’t just for looks, but more on that later. The case itself is a two-piece design. an inner flexible liner, and an outer tough shell — not unlike the Seidio Active.
The inner liner is a lot stronger than I have seen from other vendors, aside from some notches indicative of an additional piece, this could be a standalone case. Evutec has even placed their branding on the back of this liner to further encourage its use on its own. On this liner are all of the main cutouts and details. The Karbon SP has its own button covers for the sleep/wake button, as well as the volume buttons. Along the sides there are the standard cutouts for the mute switch, lightning port, and headphone jacks, as well as the speaker grill. Along the back is a nice cutout for the camera, it is almost the shape of a conversation bubble on iOS, a nice change from the roundrect or pill shape on most other cases. The liner is really thin, adding less than 1.5 millimeters to the total thickness of the device at its thickest. The liner continues around the front on the phone, providing a satisfactory lip to keep the iPhone screen from contacting whatever surface it’s placed on.
The outer liner is super thin. It acts as a shell to increase the protection of the case. The outer liner is also incredibly lightweight, I actually wish that this was a case in itself, but it looks as though Evutec has exactly that in the Karbon S. The overall surface is finished in a soft touch scratch resistant coating, with a woven black/grey pattern. This shell has long channel cutouts that fit around the inner liner and nests in its profile, so the outer liner adds limited thickness over the inner liner. The manufacturer states that this outer shell is 0.7mm thick, which brings the total thickness of the case at exactly 2mm, making it one of the thinnest shockproof cases (and the thinnest I am aware of).
The overall quality of this case is pretty good, with all buttons fitting perfectly, providing nice crisp button presses. I have had some issues with the Apple Lightning to 30-pin Adapter with 0.2m Cable fitting into the lightning cut out, but it just took a little wiggling to get it to fit. What’s interesting about this is more the fact that Apple’s own adapter doesn’t fit into the same footprint as the normal lightning connector. I have had no problems using standard lightning cables.
The outer liner is made of DuPont Kevlar fibers, advertised as 5 times stronger than steel of the same weight. As far as I know, Kevlar’s strength lies in the pattern in which it is woven or spun, which would disperse energy effectively. Evutec says that they use a Kevlar weave which means that this case is going to be quite strong. I think this case provides great protection, and I would even say that for my money this case is as good as if not better than an Otterbox case and its equivalent products, and comes in a much thinner/sleeker form factor. I have dropped my phone a couple of times in the course of testing this case and both my phone and the case have remained in perfect condition.
The Evutec Karbon SP is a great case. Its lightweight, thin, and protective. I can’t ask for any more from an iPhone case, and frankly I am kind of amazed I have never heard of Evutec before. I can say without hesitation that this case is a perfect case for mostly anyone with an iPhone 5 or 5s. The Karbon SP comes in both red and black and can be purchased for $50 from the Apple Store.