Just behind the crowds of Apple devotees collecting their iPhone 5 are the legions of new cases hitting the market. How you select one may be ultimately subjective — a quest to find the perfect balance of durability and design. Do you try to add some customization to your device and make a statement? Or do you hope to ensure protection while causing as little harm to Apple's careful industrial design as possible? Fortunately, with this many options, there are cases to cover everything.
Here are five cases that will ensure your iPhone 5 is still intact when the iPhone 6 comes out.
Grove Case (opens in new tab)
For a more environmentally-conscious option and a more natural-looking design, check out the Grove Case. The Grove Case is made entirely of environmentally-friendly post-consumer fibers and renewable bamboo, and manufactured in a single building in Portland, OR. The Grove Case costs $80, though you can preorder it till end-September for $60. (A refundable $20 deposit is required to place a preorder). The case is expected to ship in early October.
The HitCase Pro was designed for athletes and adventurers who are likely to give their phone a beating, but such durability should serve a custom installer just as well. (The sleek black casing ain't bad looking, either.) The HitCase Pro features an extremely durable and high-impact protection system, and can be mounted on a variety of surfaces, such as the handlebars of a bike, or the top of a helmet. While the HitCase Pro will set you back $130, its companion app can record videos alongside a special overlay that displays speed, altitude, inclination, and other stats. (Okay, that part may be less crucial when you're stripping wires, but it's still cool.)
Macally offers around a dozen iPhone 5 cases, but for the tech set more accustomed to belt-clips than arm-bands, Macally's Protective Holster should hit the spot. For $30, this specially designed iPhone 5 case is equipped with a detachable belt clip that can double as a viewing stand. Removed from the holster, the case can still be used as a stand alone case. The Protective Holster is built from TPU material to ensure protection and durability.
OtterBox Defender Series Case (opens in new tab)
The iPhone 5 Defender Series offers great protection not only against knocks and drops, but also against dust buildup. Three layers of protection include a polycarbonate skeleton that cushions the iPhone while the built-in screen protector prevents smudges and scratches. The outer layer wraps around the solid inner shell like an epidermis. A redesigned, slim belt-clip holster also doubles as a media-viewing stand. The iPhone 5 Defender Series Case costs $50.
ZAGG InvisibleSHIELD EXTREME (opens in new tab)
ZAGG's invisibleSHIELD EXTREME isn't a case, per se, but a tougher version of the invisibleSHIELD screen protectors made by ZAGG. The precision pre-cut invisibleSHIELD applies directly to your iPhone 5, providing durable protection. This screen protector has its origins in the military, where it was used to protect high-speed helicopter blades from dust, dirt and debris, the company says. Check out the video of the invisibleSHIELD EXTREME above for a cool demonstration of its powers. The invisibleSHIELD EXTREME costs $30 for the screen protector component and $50 for full body (front and back) coverage. It is available now at Zagg.com (opens in new tab) and Best Buy in the United States.
Of course, if you're able to find a case with a good map printed onto the back, you may want to consider that.