Apple’s iPhone 5s Case May Be Pricey, But It’s Worth Every Penny [Review]

iPhone-5s-case

While we knew almost everything there was to know about the iPhone 5s prior to its official unveiling last week, I don’t think anybody expected Apple to announce a fancy new case to go with it.

PRODUCT by Apple
Category: Cases
Works With: iPhone 5 & iPhone 5s
Price: $39.95

The Cupertino company has released an iPad case or cover for every model it has ever made, but this is the first time it has provided first-party iPhone protection since the iPhone 4 Bumper back in 2010. But I’m glad it’s back in the case business.

The new iPhone 5s case — which fits the iPhone 5, too, by the way — is made from soft, premium leather and designed to “look and feel luxurious,” Apple says. It is precision crafted for a tight fit that maintain’s your iPhone’s sleek, slim design, and its microfiber lining promises to protect its aluminum shell from scuffs and scratches.

The case is available in six pretty colors, and it’s priced at $39.95. That’s pretty expensive for a case of this kind, but is it worth it?

The Good

This may just be a case, but it’s clear as soon as you take it out of the box that Apple put just as much love and attention into designing and manufacturing this as it did with the iPhone 5s itself. It feels incredibly soft and smooth, and it looks beautiful.

Apple’s attention to detail is quite incredible.

No matter how hard you look, you won’t find a single seam in the leather — even the transition from leather to microfiber on the inside is clean and attractive. And Apple’s attention to detail here is quite incredible.

The Apple logo that’s stamped into the back of the case is in exactly the same place as the Apple logo on the back of your iPhone, and every single hole in the bottom lines up perfectly with the holes drilled into your iPhone’s aluminum for its speaker and microphone.

iPhone-5s-case-1

The case is tight and fits the iPhone 5s like a glove — you can prod and squeeze it all over and you won’t find even the slightest bit of movement. Apple says it’s designed like this in an effort to maintain your iPhone’s size, and it does. Your iPhone will feel slightly thicker — as you would expect with any case — but it still feels thin and light at the same time.

No one wants a big, bulky case that makes their iPhone fat.

Nobody wants a big, bulky case that makes their iPhone fat — not unless they really, really need one because they’re exceptionally clumsy, or they work in harsh conditions or environments.

Apple’s case is still protective, though. Beneath the leather exterior there’s a hard shell that feels sturdy and robust. Combined with the leather on the outside and the microfiber lining, it will almost certainly prevent your iPhone from being damaged if you drop it. You may graze the luscious leather, though, so don’t be too careless.

iPhone-5s-case-2

The case also covers your iPhone’s volume and sleep/wake buttons to keep them protected, but it leaves the mute switch, Lightning port, and headphone jack exposed for easy access.

The Bad

Perfect holes.

Perfect holes.

Due to its tight fit, the iPhone 5s case needs a firm hand to get your device inside it, and an even firmer one to remove it. It’s probably not the best case to use, then, if you need to keep removing your iPhone for use with a dock. You may be better off with something more flexible.

The other thing I should note is that Apple wasn’t very generous with space around the headphone jack and Lightning port. While its own EarPods and cables fit just fine, not all third-party solutions will. I have two sets of headphones here that don’t, for instance.

The Verdict

Apple’s iPhone 5s case really is beautiful, and the build quality is exactly what you would expect from a premium Apple product. You can’t help but admire the attention to detail Apple has put into it, even though it only sells for $40 — far less than most Apple products.

It may cost $40, but it’s worth every penny.

The case’s tight fit means it’s not too big or heavy, and it is strong enough to provide your iPhone with all the protection it needs against dings and drops. It’s genuinely one of the best-looking, best built cases for iPhone.

It may cost $40, but it’s worth every penny.

Screen Shot 2013-09-26 at 21.55.52
Product Name: iPhone 5s Case
The Good: Premium leather looks and feels fantastic; build quality is great; and it fits like a glove.
The Bad: Slightly difficult to apply and remove; not too friendly with third-party headphone jacks and chargers.
The Verdict: $40 well spent — you’ll love this case.
Buy from: Apple



Cult of Mac rating: Excellent

Related
  • NinerNikki

    Would have loved a white leather version.

  • Jonathan Morse

    I would buy one of these cases in a New York Minute if I could find a charging dock for it.
    Anyone know of one?

  • nates02gt

    I would buy one of these cases in a New York Minute if I could find a charging dock for it.
    Anyone know of one?

    I make docks for iphones if you are interested. I charge $10. You can use your own lightening cable. It is s simple wooden dock but looks very nice. If you are interested, you can email me at nates02gt(at)mac.com. Just put iphone dock in the subject field and I can send you a picture.

  • Ryan Sargent

    Seems to me that they put out a leather iphone case to match the leather clad apps that everyone makes fun of.

  • HerbalEd

    Would have loved a white leather version.

    I haven’t seen it in the flesh (leather, get it?) but the beige looks kinda whitish. Not snow white, but whatcha gona do?

  • jamespalf

    Not sure if this is a stupid question but this case is still compatible with iPhone 5, right?

  • CoyoteDen

    I wish Apple would leave their cases open on the bottom. Apple’s own dock adapter won’t fit this case. The only decent case I’ve found that I can use it with is the Otterbox Reflex.

  • CoyoteDen

    Not sure if this is a stupid question but this case is still compatible with iPhone 5, right?

    Right.

  • Brandon57

    So I bought this case on the release day, I actually bought the Red Case. The feel of it was indeed very nice, smooth leather and not bulky by any means. Cheap does not come to mind when you see or feel this case. There is only one major problem that I had with this case which landed this guy in the trash 2 days later. If your hands are not perfectly clean at all times, or your hands sweat a lot or even a little, its going to show on the case edges. After 2 days of use ( I am a power user) all the edges of the phone were dark black, like a worn baseball glove that been used for 20 years. So that is my gripe with it.

  • Brandon57

    On a side note, I ordered a Element Case, this will be my 3rd from them, they are spendy but totally worth it. Here is a link if any of you are interested, keep in mind when it comes to top tier hand made cases for iPhone, there are only 2 companies. Element Case and Exovault. – http://www.elementcase.comhttp://exovault.com

  • planetOGLE

    I would buy one of these cases in a New York Minute if I could find a charging dock for it.
    Anyone know of one?

    The Twelve South HiRise dock for iPhone is perfect for this case. It’s sleek, sexy and all round awesome – bought both of them last week, and the middle dock connector part fits perfectly in the hole etc and it’s just all round awesome.

    So I bought this case on the release day, I actually bought the Red Case. The feel of it was indeed very nice, smooth leather and not bulky by any means. Cheap does not come to mind when you see or feel this case. There is only one major problem that I had with this case which landed this guy in the trash 2 days later. If your hands are not perfectly clean at all times, or your hands sweat a lot or even a little, its going to show on the case edges. After 2 days of use ( I am a power user) all the edges of the phone were dark black, like a worn baseball glove that been used for 20 years. So that is my gripe with it.

    However I do very much agree with you – I got a red one, and within days it was dirty (I also am a power user), black around the edges etc. I went to Apple and they gave me a brand new one (there was a small scratch which turned into a large one), however I got another red one – and after reading your comment and seeing that is not just me (I thought the newspaper ink had rubbed on it), I think I’ll swap it for black – but I definitely love that look and feel!!

  • planetOGLE

    I would buy one of these cases in a New York Minute if I could find a charging dock for it.
    Anyone know of one?

    The Twelve South HiRise dock for iPhone is perfect for this case. It’s sleek, sexy and all round awesome – bought both of them last week, and the middle dock connector part fits perfectly in the hole etc and it’s just all round awesome.

    So I bought this case on the release day, I actually bought the Red Case. The feel of it was indeed very nice, smooth leather and not bulky by any means. Cheap does not come to mind when you see or feel this case. There is only one major problem that I had with this case which landed this guy in the trash 2 days later. If your hands are not perfectly clean at all times, or your hands sweat a lot or even a little, its going to show on the case edges. After 2 days of use ( I am a power user) all the edges of the phone were dark black, like a worn baseball glove that been used for 20 years. So that is my gripe with it.

    However I do very much agree with you – I got a red one, and within days it was dirty (I also am a power user), black around the edges etc. I went to Apple and they gave me a brand new one (there was a small scratch which turned into a large one), however I got another red one – and after reading your comment and seeing that is not just me (I thought the newspaper ink had rubbed on it), I think I’ll swap it for black – but I definitely love that look and feel!!

  • alenawilson

    As the Apple iPhone 5S reaches in the hands of its admirers it has definitely exceeded their expectations. The new iOS 7 has pleased techofreaks giving the most promising experience…..http://www.iphone5sbestdeals.co.uk/

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About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the UK. He has an interest in all things tech, but most enjoys covering Apple, anything mobile, and gaming. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

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