Apple’s flashy, budget-based smartphones are hitting shelves in all their polycarbonate goodness. Despite our reservations, they look and feel terrific, compounded with capable hardware on par with the iPhone 5 and available in a myriad of colors for the fashionista inside all of us. However, if you want to maintain your device’s shimmer and shine through the everyday trials and tribulations it will undoubtedly face, then it’s best to snag your new phone some worthwhile protection. It may render the whole color component and appeal moot, but at least you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing your iPhone 5C looks fantastic beneath the bulky exterior you’ve placed in.
The iPhone lineup has always spurred an abundance of imaginative and durable cases, whether you’re looking for some sleek and chic, virtually indestructible or just downright fun. The market for cases was flooded well before you weathered the storm for your 5C and continues to expand with each passing week. And no matter what you’re looking for, we’ve got the solution for you buried in the extensive roundup below. Now if only iOS 7 wasn’t plagued by all those nagging issues.
Not everyone is keen on covering up that florescent-yellow makeup of their new iPhone 5C. Thankfully, Apple designed an official case for the device that highlights the bright exterior of its new product while maintaining the form-fitting design for which it’s known. Each of the silicon-constructed cases — available in six different hues — feature a micro-fiber lined interior and don 35 precisely-cut circular, thus allowing your device’s backing shine through despite the exterior coverage. The silicon provides a bit of grip, and although it’s not the best protection against the downfalls of gravity, it offers moderate defense against scuffs and scrapes. And we dig those colors.
Marware Azteka Case ($15)
One thing is for sure, Florida-based Marware knows a thing or two about upping the ante on silicon without doing the same to the price. As one of the three in the company’s iPhone 5C case lineup, the Azteca provides admirable shock absorption and protection via the rigid silicon construction, while simultaneously complimenting your smartphone with one of seven individual colors (black, white, clear, pink, blue, emerald, orange). The case still grants full access to all ports, speakers and cameras despite the volume and power buttons being fully encased, and the raised edges protect the screen when laid flat. It’s also uniquely textured, coupled with a soft-touch finish, and far from expensive.
Moshi iGlaze Remix Case ($30)
Moshi’s iGlaze Remix case of the iPhone 5 is a prime example of the company’s devotion to minimalist, yet flashy, design. Pliable, hybrid construction provides 360-degree shock abortion that surpasses your typical shell-designed case, while offering an attractive high-gloss finish to bring the look of glazed ceramic to your smartphone. The flash-friendly design maintains access to all ports, buttons and cameras, and the available six, dual-tone color schemes are just as bright as those found on the exterior of any iPhone 5C. Whether you’re a gal who’d rather revel in jet black or a guy who prefers pastel pink (it can happen), Moshi’s hard-coated cases keep things slick and lightweight.
Spigen Neo Hybrid Case ($30)
It’s not surprising Spigen’s Neo Hybrid case made our list considering the company’s knockout foray into the realm of screen protectors over the past couple years. Constructed of a hard, UV-coated polycarbonate frame and soft, high-polymer cover, the case is one of the most polished and form-fitting on our roundup. It’s available in five distinct colors — white, red, slate, silver and yellow — and comprised of two separate pieces, both of which are interchangeable with other Spigen designs. Additionally, the control buttons don a metal-like appearance more akin to the iPhone 5S, and you can even bundle a Spigen screen protector with your purchase if you’re in need of more protectional oomph. And who can complain about free shipping?
What good is it having a smartphone built to show if you can’t see it half the time? Luvvitt’s latest endeavor in the case market provides a solution, offering a crystal clear back cover doused in a scratch-resistant coating and equipped with shock-resistant TPU sides guaranteed to endure the standard scuffs and scratches of regular use. Additionally, the slim-fit case features beveled front edges, preventing dust and dirt from entering the case, and all-encompassing button protection while maintaining access to your phone’s individual ports and cameras. It may not feature a kickstand or textured framework like the company’s other offerings, but it surely won’t take away from the 5C’s colorful appeal.
Belkin is a household name for a reason. The company’s products may not be top-of-the-line, but they offer a level of durability and protection at an affordable price. As the name implies, the Grip Sheer Matte case’s biggest proponent is its semi-flexible plastic construction, offering a wraparound frame that is easy to grasp and protective enough to withstand light dings and moderate abuse. Whether you choose the grayish stone color or the clear, see-through frame, each is adorned with a tinted, soft-touch finish and full-button protection. The form-fitting construction still allows access to the 5C’s various ports and cameras, but only as much as necessary to maintain the full-bodied, shock-resistant exterior. It’s not glossy, but it is practical.
I sincerely doubt many iPhone cases aside from Griffin’s Survivor series are tested to meet or exceed the U.S. Department of Defense Standard 810F. Constructed of shatter-resistant polycarbonate and clad in shock-absorbing silicone, the Survivor is one of most rugged cases on our roundup, offering ample protection from environmental elements and human error. It’s equipped with a detachable clip for securely attaching your phone to a belt or strap, along with hinged plugs to tightly seal various ports, and even touts a built-in screen protector to protect from wind, rain, and other general abuse. If the black-and-pink design isn’t your cup of tea, the standard black option is always available.
Poetic FlipBook Case ($15)
It appears suction cups are never going out of style (if they ever were to begin with). Poetic’s leather-like case makes the best of both worlds, combining a shock-resistant PC shell and a suctioned flip cover for full-body protection and convenience. The overall design is sturdy, featuring easy snap-on installation and plush microfiber lining, while maintaining user-friendly access to all ports, buttons and cameras without having to struggle with port covers and other hindering components. And while the suction cups will likely leave a smudge on your display with time, having the extra protection sans an intrusive screen protector is always welcome — especially at this price.
Otterbox remains the king when customization is key. Featuring a multi-layered design available in 56 color combinations, Otterbox’s Defender series offers a stylish and completely personal way to protect your phone from substantial drops and shocks you’ll surely encounter during your phone’s lifespan. A two-piece shell snaps around the 5C, cushioning it between layers of interior foam padding, while a rubberized outer layer wraps the inner shell and provides stability for the integrated screen protector. Although built-in port covers shelter the inside components from dust and debris, they’re easy to work around, allowing full access to your phone’s features and touchscreen display in any scenario. And, you know, it’s Otterbox.
Atlanta’s i-Blason touts itself as “kid friendly,” and for $15, it’s probably worth a shot. Not only does the design sport a hard-shell inner enclosure constructed from impact-resistant polycarbonate, it’s also double-enforced with a shock-absorbing silicone sleeve for a more sturdy finish. Each of the five available designs (black, red, blue, green and yellow) also feature a locking swivel belt clip that additionally functions as a kickstand and allows multi-angle viewing. Furthermore, the raised, wrap-around edges provide additional protection when your phone is lying flat, while the 180-degree flexibility adds an even greater level of control should you decide to wear your device on your belt. Again, it only costs $15, so overlooking the somewhat-unflattering appearance shouldn’t be that tough.
Incipio Stowaway Case ($35)
Like our wallets, our smartphones have become valuable extensions of ourselves, taken everywhere we venture. Incipio has found a way to conveniently capitalize on our ball-and-chain tendencies, creating a 5C case that doubles as a discreet storage container for up to three IDs and/or credit cards at a time. The case’s slim, glossed frame is co-molded using rigid Plextonium and an impact-resistant core, and available in four dual-color combinations (black, gray-purple, pink-gray, white-aqua). When not in use, the compartment door housed on the back also moonlights as a kickstand, subsequently allowing hands-free viewing when placed on a tabletop or other flat surface. Too bad it also elicits double the headache when lost.
No one said a smartphone case couldn’t also serve as retro gaming rig. The Amazing and Undecided cases, the two most prominent cases in PureGear’s flexible retro lineup, provide sturdy protection while offering a little bit of manual entertainment on the side. The Amazing boasts a cherry-red enclosure, along with full-button protection, and provides a traditional box maze on the back for the inevitable day when your 5C runs out of juice while out and about. The Undecided, likewise, touts a mustard-yellow exterior and full-button protection, not to mention a gravity-induced method of making decisions when indecisiveness gets the better of you. No Wi-Fi required.
What do you think of our picks for the best iPhone 5C cases on the market? Which case do you use to ward off day-to-day abuse on the go? Let us know in the comments below.