Updated on 7-25-2014 by Simon Hill: Added Trent Trentium case, Speck SmartFlex Card, Caseology Bumper, MediaDevil Leather Pouch, and Spigen Tough Armor cases.
If you want to keep that shiny new iPhone looking pristine and sexy, then you need to grab yourself some decent protection. Whether you want something to match Apple’s stylish flagship design, something to safeguard it from accidents, or something to show off your personality, we’ve got you covered in this iPhone 5/5S case roundup. When it comes to accessories, the iPhone line has always inspired some imaginative entries, and the latest release is no exception. We’ve got unbreakable iPhone cases, gorgeous iPhone cases, retro iPhone cases – in short, we have an iPhone 5S case to suit everyone.
The majority of cases and covers that were designed for the iPhone 5 will fit the iPhone 5S as well because the two devices have exactly the same dimensions. You might run into trouble with the new dual-LED flash if the cut-out on the back of your case isn’t big enough – make sure you check on how well it fits on a 5S before you buy; user reviews often help.
Trent Trentium case ($30)
A slim case that offers decent protection is relatively rare so Trent’s offering is definitely worth checking out. It combines a hard inner case with a built-in screen protector, a soft TPU layer, and a hard polycarbonate back cover that can be changed (it comes in black, silver, or gold). This case can also handle the odd splash, but not full immersion. The port covers are stiff and the Home button protection can impact on how easy it is to use Touch ID, but it’s a good all-rounder.
This flexible TPU case is really easy to fit and it will handle minor falls and bumps, but it doesn’t offer rugged protection. There is a raised bezel to protect the screen if it lands face down and covers protect the buttons, though they are stiff. The cut-outs are accurate, and the added extra that might tempt you in is a special pocket on the back that you can slide cash and cards into. It will hold up to three cards comfortably.
Simple, basic, and cheap is what you get with these malleable TPU cases from Caseology. You’ve got a choice of seven colors, each with a subtle, shiny pearl coating. It’s a slim case, but there is a lip to protect the screen should it land face down and the corners can handle a drop impact. The cut-outs are fairly precise, and it’s quite a minimalist design overall.
Hand-crafted from genuine leather, these pouches come in a wide range of different colors and stitching finishes, so you can get the look you want. The quality is high and the pouch feels lovely in hand. The fit for the iPhone 5S is tight, which should keep the phone safe and secure. When you need to slide it out you simply pull the tab on the back and out it pops.
Spigen Tough Armor case ($23)
Related: Best iPhone 6 cases
If you’re really concerned about dropping your iPhone 5S then Spigen has you covered with this case. The corners have air pockets to cushion any fall. The trade-off is that this case is chunky, with large angular button covers, and some people have had problems with the headphone jack. The cut-outs are precise and there’s one on the back to show off the Apple logo. You’ve got a choice of six colors.
It’s tough to find a fully protective case that guards against drops, shocks, and even full submersion, but doesn’t add ridiculous bulk or restrict your use of the iPhone 5S. The Nuud case is designed to do just that. You’ll find that the touchscreen and the Touch ID feature work with the case on. There are also built-in buttons, and you can get full access to ports through covers that can be opened. It does muffle the microphone slightly, and it makes actions like opening the control center by swiping up from the bottom more difficult to pull off.
We’ve seen a few cases like this before, but Performance Designed Products (PDP) also makes game console accessories and the company officially licensed the design from Nintendo. It’s a two piece case that clips onto your iPhone 5/5S and has built-in Sleep/Wake and volume buttons. There are also cut-outs for your ports, though you might have difficulty connecting some accessories because it’s quite a chunky case and it’s a little tricky to take off. There’s a decent lip to protect the screen, and the NES buttons on the back can be pressed, though they don’t actually do anything. This one is all about the nostalgia.
Mophie Space Pack ($150)
A CES 2014 award winner, this clever case from Mophie offers an extended battery rated at 1,700mAh and an extra 16GB or 32GB (add $30) of storage. Using the Mophie Space app you can back up your photos at the touch of a button, or store any other files you want in the case, freeing up space on your iPhone 5S. You can also plug it into your computer and drag and drop files as though it was a standard drive. Combine that with up to 100 percent extra battery life from the fully charged case and it’s a must-have. Check out our Mophie Space Pack review to learn more. It comes out in March.
UAG Maverick Case ($35)
Urban Armor Gear has made a name for itself with an angular, futuristic, military design language. The cases combine a standard soft core to absorb impact with a polycarbonate shell to bear the brunt of knocks and falls. There are large buttons, cut-outs for ports, camera, and flash, and a screen protector to keep the display scratch-free. The Maverick case is translucent, so you can see your iPhone 5S within, but you can get opaque versions in various colors.
Trident Aegis Case ($35)
The thick inner rubber shell has toughened corners to deal with drop impact. It also covers the buttons and creates a raised protective frame around the screen. There are flip-open covers for access to the ports, and dust filters for the microphone and speaker. You slot the tough black frame on top, which creates a nice contrast if you select a colored inner. Finally, there’s a screen protector you can apply. The only real detail is an open circle on the back to expose the Apple logo. There’s also a cut-out for the camera and the Touch ID.
Apple’s official case for the iPhone 5S is made from premium leather. There’s a microfiber lining on the inside, and the leather covers all your buttons. It feels expensive and it will safeguard your iPhone from scratches and dings. The case is available in brown, beige, black, yellow, blue, or red. It also has an impressively svelte form factor, and sports an Apple logo on the back.
We can all use a bit of extra power when we’re on the go and this battery case provides up to nine hours of additional talk time for your iPhone 5 or 5S. Considering it’s packing a 2500mAh battery, it manages to add minimal bulk, and it has a surprisingly slim design. There’s an interior protective case which you can slide in and out of the main battery case with ease. You’ll get a black one and a contrasting color option, so you can take your pick. The battery case also has an LED light to indicate charge and it comes with a power cable that also allows you to sync without removing the case. This is a well-designed bit of kit.
Griffin Survivor Case ($50)
If you’re planning on taking your iPhone 5S to a war zone then you might want to grab a Survivor case first. This case offers military grade protection against drops, bumps, wind, rain, and dirt. It might not take a bullet or a swim, but you’re covered for most scenarios. The trade-off is that the lovely, premium design is well hidden behind chunky, angular plastic and a display shield. This is inevitably going to slightly hamper your use of your iPhone, but it will keep it safe.
Let’s just be honest about this, we’ve all been waiting for the day when we could flip our iPhone over and have it double up as a Ouija board, and this case makes that dream a reality. Slickwraps offer a wide range of plain and patterned natural finishes from cherry or mahogany, to ostrich leather. All the cases are hand-crafted in the U.S. and they ship with wraps and a screen protector which completely cover your iPhone 5S.
Findables FlexStand case ($30)
It’s nice to come across a case that’s trying to do something a little different and the FlexStand from Findables scores on two fronts. First, there’s the folding mechanism that allows the case to act as a stand, but more interesting than that is the Findables Mobile Sharing App which allows you to easily share your contact information via the unique QR code on the back of the case. The case itself offers standard dual-layer protection with a hard exterior and shock absorbing interior.
Body Glove Diamond case ($30)
Your iPhone 5S will be well protected in this case. The exterior is a glossy, hard shell and it’s backed up by a malleable interior which absorbs the shock of any impact. The two materials also provide a contrast pattern on the back that looks pretty stylish. It’s a lightweight combo of form and function that will keep your iPhone looking good.
This is a really slim case and the brushed aluminum matches the iPhone style. There are precision cut-outs for unobstructed access to the camera, ports, and buttons. You also get a screen protector with the case. If you’re looking for basic protection from scuffs and knocks, but you want something that matches the iPhone’s premium look, then this is worth considering.
Here’s a genuine leather wallet case that flips open from the bottom. It has a magnetic clasp to keep it securely closed. The interior is lined with soft microfiber to prevent any scratches and there’s a pocket for storing credit cards or ID. Even with the case on, you’ll still enjoy unfettered access to the ports and controls, there’s even a cut-out on the back for the camera and flash.
Head on to page two for a vast array for iPhone 5 cases worth checking out. If you’ve found any great iPhone 5S cases that you want to suggest then post a comment. We will update this roundup with new entries from time to time.
Updated by Simon on 1-22-2014: Added several new iPhone 5S cases to the list.