In just a little more than a month since its introduction, I’ve seen an enormous number of cases designed for the iPhone 5. I mean a lot. And while there are a fair share of cases designed specifically for women, and even kids, decidedly masculine looking protection is normally hard to find.
But Incipio and Stanley have formed an interesting partnership to change that. Incipio is a popular accessory maker for iOS devices while Stanley manufacturers an iconic line of hand tools. Together, the two companies are producing a line of cases for the new handset, including the aptly named Technician.
I’m a sucker for a great looking iOS device case. And the Technician doesn’t disappoint. Clad in yellow and black, the case does a great job of looking like an actual Stanley tool.
It also feels great in the hand as textured rubber on the sides of the case add extra grip.
The rubber extends to the bottom of the case where there are openings for the Lightning connector, speakers, and headphone jack. The volume buttons are fully covered and protected by the same rubber material. A protective lip also surrounds the iPhone 5’s screen so users can place their phones face down without worrying about scratches to the screen.
Running up the middle of the case, and extending to the top, is a swatch of impact-resistant plastic. The material feels strong and sturdy. The power button is covered by the same type of rubber material like the sides and is very easy to press.
Even though the Technician is composed of two different materials, getting the case on and off the iPhone 5 is very easy. A co-molded manufacturing process fuses the rubber and plastic together for a one-piece design.
And Incipio includes more than just the case. Along with a screen protector and microfiber cleaning cloth, a belt holster is included. The holster allows you to carry the iPhone face in or face out.
But while I appreciate the add-ons, I wouldn’t recommend buying the case on the extras alone.
Even though it has the Stanley logo, the holster is a little flimsy, and I don’t feel like it would hold up after extensive use. My favorite holster I’ve found so far to use with the iPhone 5, from Seidio, is better designed and feels much more sturdy.
The included screen protector is only so-so. Even though I’ve become quite the expert on installing protectors, there were an unusual amount of air bubbles with the included film. I also felt like it somewhat degraded the clarity of the Retina display.
The only fault I could find with the case itself is the tiny opening for the ringer mute switch. With the iPhone 5 getting even thinner, the switch is even harder to toggle, even without a case. And the Technician’s opening isn’t large enough for my somewhat tiny fingers. I have to spend a few seconds of pushing to make sure that my phone is actually muted.
But those faults are definitely minor, and overall I’ve enjoyed the Technician. It’s a unique looking case that stands out from the crowd and provides a great amount of everyday protection while not being bulky. It has rightfully earned the title of my favorite iPhone 5 case – for now.
Retailing for $39.99, the Technician can be found at your local RadioShack location and on the company’s website along with other retailers.