The Apple iPhone 5S Case - Understated. Perfect.

When it comes to iPhone cases, you can usually go in one of two directions - plastic and a bit gaudy, or
elegant, but unbelievably expensive.

Occasionally, we see cases that are gaudy AND unbelievably expensive. 

Apple's new iPhone 5S case splits the difference. It is elegant, minimalist, and priced in line with the competition. 

For the last year, I've used a black Speck Candyshell case. 

Iit gets the job done, it's built like a fortress, and its branding is relatively unobtrusive. 

I've dropped my phone more times than I care to admit, and the Candyshell has absorbed the punishment. 

BUT... I'm not a fan of the Speck logo, for reasons that I won't elaborate here. 
It's always right there. Winking at you.

AND... the rubberized seal that keeps the iPhone in place, while useful and relatively durable, isn't really built for the long haul - after 1 year of solid use, it has weathered away like the "Breaking Bad" logo during the opening credits.

AND, last week the plastic around the Lightning Connector broke, and the jagged edge that was left over kept cutting into my hand. New case time!

I'm still in love with the Element Ronin. 

So pretty. And it literally costs more than your iPhone.

But.... I didn't buy it last year. And I'm not sure I feel like investing $200 in a case for a phone that I'll only be using for another 9 months - I expect that the iPhone 6 will have some size/design changes, even if they're minor. 

I looked into getting a Ronin second-hand, but eBay is just flooded with counterfeits. And they aren't all that cheap, either. I'd hate to pay $100 for a knockoff lacquered-wood copycat. 

The iPhone 5S Case

So, why NOT look to Cupertino? 

After all, Apple made my iPhone 4 bumper, which was a pretty good case, all things considered. 

But Apple never released a first-party iPhone 5 case. 

They did, however, make the iPhone 5S Case. 

And it works perfectly with the iPhone 5. 

It's a full-coverage, dyed leather, minimalist case. 

The case is available in black, white, brown, blue, yellow, and red. $40. 

It's a seamless piece of leather - even the buttons are a part of that one piece. It feels smooth, soft. Well engineered. Well thought-out. 

I imagine that Jony Ive himself must have held hundreds of versions of this case before deciding that THIS one had the correct "leather-feel". 

The only ornamentation is the Apple logo, which is "letterpressed" into the back of the case. 

While the buttons are only raised the tiniest bit - it might take a day or so of getting used to - they work perfectly.  

The interior is a microfiber cushion, which should avoid any scratches coming from the case itself. 

I went with the black case (because I always go for the black case for all of my iPhones.) 

However, I carry two iPhones (the other one is work-only), and I'm also going to pick up a brown leather case. 

Classy. It will match my briefcase.

(EDIT: I purchased the brown iPhone case last week - it's very nice. Oranger than I thought, but still great.)

One unique aspect of this case: 100% of the front of your iPhone is exposed. There is no "overlap" whatsoever.

While many other cases have a "lip" that is flush with (and covers) a small part of the edge of the glass, this case covers the front chamfer, and stops right there.

The case does, however, have a small amount of "rise" around the front - if you drop your phone face-down, the glass will not hit the pavement.

All told, this is a deceptively well-engineered case - one that deserves to wear the Apple logo. I am really glad to have purchased it.


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