January 4, 2013
There are a lot of iPhone 5 cases on the market, but if you're looking for a case that will protect your iDevice like a tough case without feeling like one, then the Shield by X-doria is a perfect fit. It has a great combination of heavy protection with a light weight feel that's perfect for everyday use.
MaterialLet's start with the basics. The Shield by X-doria is a tough case made out of a combination of soft silicone and shock resistant polycarbonate that covers the back, sides, screen and all the ports.
DesignThe design is rugged without adding too much bulk. It has a three piece design that covers the entire back, sides and front. The back is hard polycarbonate with cut-outs so that the colored silicone can show through and also allowing the button coverings to pop out. The silicone is soft and fits right into the hard exterior. The silicone comes in several different colors to meet your fancy. The front piece is not just one of those soft screen protectors that peels on and off like a lot of cases today, it's actually a clear, hard polycarbonate that covers the entire front and even fits over the sides of the device. It's kind of like a backwards snap case. The three layers combined is what qualifies the X-doria Shield as a tough case, giving it a triple layer of protection. The protection is good, but we'll get into some of the downsides of the protective front cover later.
ProtectionOnce the three piece case is on it will provide excellent protection from the elements since all of the ports, screen and microphones are covered. The case fits well and definitely isn't loose. The triple layer design provides premium shock absorption as well. While it does have a three piece design, one of the nice things about the X-doria Shield is that you can decide on the level of protection since it works both with and without the screen protecting portion.
Put It On, Take It OffWhile the case fits well, the three piece design makes getting it off and on a bit of a pain. You won't necessarily break a nail trying to get it on or off but you will have to do a bit of a juggling act with all the pieces. As we know, tough cases are never the easiest to get on and off, but I would have to say it's easier than most tough cases. With that said, we still wouldn't recommend doing it while driving.
Integration With The DeviceA case can look great and provide fabulous protection, but if it is not integrated well with the device itself, then it ruins the overall effect. To test the integration we're going to look at how well the case works with the buttons, proximity sensor, camera and flash, as well as how it works with all the ports.
The ButtonsThe X-doria Shield covers all the buttons including the home, power, and volume buttons. The volume and power buttons are covered by a thick silicone. The silicone is obviously soft, however when pushing the volume buttons you have to push them hard in order for them to work. The home button is another story. While using the case with the screen protector, the hard polycarbonate cover does add a little extra bulk around the home button, but it is not enough to make it annoying or obstructive.
Proximity SensorWhy would we care about the proximity sensor when it comes to cases? Because some cases cover the area around the ear piece blocking the proximity sensor's functionality. While the X-doria Shield does cover the proximity sensor, it's only covered by clear plastic that doesn't move, therefore the proximity sensor works perfectly with the Shield in place.
The PortsThe X-doria Shield provides some great coverage to your iDevice, and covers all the ports and microphones. This is great for things like being shielded from the elements, however they are really annoying to access, and it takes several tries to actually get the flap open, especially if you have short nails.
Camera And FlashIf you have an iPhone I can almost guarantee you take a lot of pictures. One of the major downsides of the Shield case is that it has a clear plastic covering that is attached to the back portion of the case covering the camera lens. While it's good for protection, it definitely obstructs the flash, producing photos that have a glare.
The Hand And Pocket Test
Bulk FactorWhen holding a case in your hand, you want it to feel good. When it's too bulky or if the materials used are not of a good quality, your hand will know it. The X-doria Shield case is surprisingly slender for the amount of protection it provides. And even though the case is made up of three pieces, it does not feel bulky. The etched soft silicone that peeps out of the cut-outs in the back is pretty smooth without feeling sticky like some soft silicones. Now, being able to glide a case into your pocket is a big plus, and you shouldn't have a problem with the X-doria Shield ... but that might depend on how tight you like to wear your pants.
How Long Will It Last?
Scratches, Scuffs, Dirt And StretchingCases are meant to protect. So we like to determine how long a case will last through things like drops, scratches, scuffs, and how often you can take it on and off your device before it's totally ready for the trash. We definitely think that the Shield will last a long time. While the screen protector portion might suffer from scratches, you can always toss that part away, because the body of the case should last years. The polycarbonate back combined with the soft silicone ensures that you can rip this case on and off a hundred times with it still keeping true to form. As for dirt, the soft silicone, especially the ones that come in lighter colors, will definitely get dirty as dust and dirt build up over time causing it to lose some of it's beauty and softness. You will also notice that dirt easily collects on the screen protector, it almost attracts it.
DropsSo how many times can you drop the Shield case before it goes to pieces? As many times as you like because this case will not go to pieces unless you take it in your hands and literally attempt to snap it in half. Since the hard part of the case is on the back and sides, the device will likely not even get hit when you drop it as the Shield acts as extra absorption for a fall.
- Great protection
- Full coverage
- Multiple colors
- Not too bulky
What's Not Hot
- Glare from camera flash
- Bad integration with buttons
- Will collect dirt
- Hard to access ports