Apple iPhone 5c Case: Holey-er than thou [Review]

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Apple has a certain arrogance about it as a company, and that’s not necessarily always a bad thing. And if there’s one company who’s entitled to a little swaggering, it’s Apple. It consistently produces some of the highest rated (both by tech journalists and consumers) products on the planet. Tim Cook’s “we don’t do junk” attitude is one carried through from Steve Jobs’ day. And it still rings true. It’s latest case, in its design and the way Apple promotes it screams “we do design better than you”.

Before I get started with this review I’ll make one thing clear: I really wanted to hate it the official iPhone 5c case. For one reason: I could not abide the way the some of the holes on the back displayed the iPhone’s branding and legal information. I – like many others – instantly assumed Cupertino’s designers had missed a trick. But then I considered what the alternatives were. Either blocking out 4 holes, which I guarantee you would look ten times worse, or not having any holes at all, which goes against the whole point of the case.

The iPhone 5c is designed to be colorful, so to design a case in a series of complimentary colors, each contrasting and adding a new element to the look of your 5c, is a form of customization Apple wouldn’t normally allow you. Bored of your blue iPhone? Stick a green case on it, and it takes on a life of its own. I bought the white iPhone 5c and, case-free, I had the default white/grey background. Once the green case was on, that didn’t fit, so I loaded up the green/yellow wallpaper and now my iPhone feels like a completely different device. That affect is one that all other case manufacturers should seek to emulate when manufacturing accessories for this device.

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Inside the all-sillicone shell is a really nice micro-fiber lining that coats the entire inside of the case, even up the side edges. So, no matter what, there’s little chance that your glossy iPhone’s shell is going to be scratched or scuffed in regular daily use. On the outside, the silicone has a gorgeous soft touch surface that feels great in hand. (If you want the nearest comparison, the iPad’s polyurethane cover is pretty much the same stuff.)

On the design side, perfectly placed cutouts ensure you have access to all the ports and switches. Both volume buttons are covered, as is the power button, but each is still very easy to press and gives good feedback. What I really liked about the case is how Apple got the thickness and pliability of the case just right. It’s not too soft or too firm. Placing it on your iPhone is easy, and it holds very snugly.

On the protection side, it’s no Otterbox, but it’ll happily deal with any of your daily movements; in and out of pockets and/or handbags quite happily, keeping your iPhone well protected. Although, technically speaking, a large part of the back of your iPhone is exposed, you shouldn’t find many objects small or sharp enough to get through to scratching your device. The thickness of the case should stop keys, coins and the like from getting to your new phone too often.  Unless you planning on throwing your phone across gravel, there’s no real danger.

All in all, as much as I’m not a big fan of the sea of circles on the iPhone’s back, I completely understand the idea behind it and have to judge it based on what Apple was trying to achieve. Manufacturing is fantastic, and is one of the best examples of a rear cover I’ve seen over the past few years.

You can purchase the 5c case for £25/$29 direct from Apple in green, black, blue, pink, yellow and white.

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