Best iPhone 5S and iPhone cases: 19 to choose from

8th Dec 2013 | 11:00

Best iPhone 5S and iPhone cases: 19 to choose from

Best cases to get your iPhone 5 or 5S through its lifetime

Concerned about dropping your iPhone 5 or iPhone 5S? Panicked about scratches and nicks?

If you're worried about the sight of a crack appearing in that beautiful Retina display, here's our pick of the best iPhone 5 and 5S preserving cases that will keep your Apple smartphone in pristine condition much longer.

1. Knomo iPhone 5 Leather Folio

Knomo

Price: £45 / $70

The plastic part of the case certainly grips the phone firmly, and the cover is then held shut nicely thanks to the elastic wrap-around band. The leather isn't of the best quality considering the high price point, though, and we found that bits of it tended to flake off around the spine.

2. Belkin Grip Glam Matte Case

Belkin

Price: £18 / $30

Belkin's Grip Glam cases are made of thick rubber, and they certainly live up to the 'grip' part of their name. The case is comfortable in the hand and feels hard enough to keep the sides and rear of your iPhone 5 well protected. This also represents reasonable value for money at under £20.

3. Proporta Aluminium Lined

Proporta

Price: £30 / $50

One of the best quality cases here: lovely leather, tidy finish and a good magnetic clasp. It folds in an unconventional downwards fashion and is also quite bulky, but if you prefer a flip-down case like this and you're after one made out of leather, this is the best on the market for the price.

4. CoolerMaster Aluminium Bumper

Coolermaster

Price: £40 / $65

There's the essence of a good design here, but it's ruined by the huge gap at the rear that leaves a large section unprotected. Proceed with caution when fitting your phone, because this tough metal case could easily scratch it. Having said that, once it's on there, it's a very firm fit. ILUV NINJA £20 / $30 iluv.co.uk 5 If you're into your martial arts you might fall in love with this design, but it's not the great rubber case we were hoping for. The areas where the coloured design is printed are on thinner rubber, giving it an uneven feel – as a result the textured back doesn't feel particularly comfortable. There are better cases here for less money.

6. Gumdrop Drop Tech Series

Gumdrop

Price: £30 / $50

When it comes to rugged cases, look no further. Gumdrop's Drop Tech Series iPad mini case is very highly rated, and here the design is almost identical, just scaled down. The fitting takes a little getting used to but, once in, your iPhone will be kept safe from all manner of scuffs and bumps the world might throw at it.

7. Pong Classic Soft Touch Case

Pong

Price: £40 / $65
pongresearch.com

Pong's range of iPhone cases make claims of improving battery life, boosting signal and even cutting out radiation, but we like this case simply for its good-quality hard rubber casing. We failed to find much in the their claims, but if you believe Pong's blurb, this is a hard shell you could easily learn to love.

8. Be.ez La Cover Allure

Be.ez

Price: £20 / $30

A very light but deceptively tough plastic case. We like the clear sides keeping the iPhone 5's silver or black antenna band on view. If the striped design is to your taste, then this is a close-fit hard shell worth your consideration. If stripes aren't your thing, it also comes in a variety of slightly more subtle colours.

9. Ichic Gear Oxford Tweed Slim Shell Folio

ichic

Price: £20 / $30

This fold-over case is super-protective, keeping all sides safe thanks to its plastic shell and solid clip. Flappy covers aren't for everyone (you sacrifice some convenience), but this is a fine example of the form - we really like the tweed, and the card-holder slots are handy, giving that 'flappy cover' an added feature.

10. Tech21 Impact Band

Tech21

Price: £15 / $25

This case covers the outside edge of your iPhone 5 with a special impact protection material – it provides a sturdy surround, without adding much thickness. It keeps your phone safe from drops, but does make the buttons harder to press. The bottom is also annoyingly flappy, but it still gets a thumbs up because it can be found at very affordable prices online.

11. Twelve South Surfacepad

Twelve South

Price: £30 /$50

The SurfacePad actually sticks to your iPhone instead of clipping onto it, to keep things as thin as possible. It's really smart, and it even lets you prop your iPhone 5 up for watching videos. However, it offers little protection, doesn't close properly and can lose its stickiness after being fitted and removed just a few times.

12. Toffee Leather Slip

Toffee

Price: £25 / $40

The mottled leather of this slip case might not suit everyone, but it feels lovely. It's also impressively slimline, and holds the iPhone 5 snugly while still making it easy to get in and out. We're unconvinced by the narrow card slot on the outside, but you don't have to use it. A near-perfect little sleeve case.

13. Toffee Leather Shell

Toffee shell

Price: £25 / $40

This leather-lined plastic shell case is pretty standard as these kind of solid clip-on cases go, but it feels considerably more plastic than it does leather. As a result, you're paying a fairly premium price for something that feels like it should cost a lot less. Inelegant with a tacky feel, this toffee leather shell case is a far cry from the Toffee Leather Slip case above.

14. Cygnett TFL Tube Map

Cygnett

Price: £15 / $25

Save the 'hassle' of downloading the Tube Map app with this guide to the Underground (at least, the bit inside the Circle Line). This hard shell offers almost no protection for the front your device, but it covers the back really nicely. It's quite stiff to get on and off, and is a little thick round the edge, making it a bit of a stretch to hit the Sleep/Wake key.

15. QDos Smoothies Metallics

QDos

Price: £20 / $30

The Union Jack design we've got here is kind of a nasty 90s throwback, but there are other patterns available for this case - otherwise, it's not bad. The curved edge around the phone's rim is nice, and it's nicely slimline. There's a nasty join where the back meets the edge, though, and it's a tad pricey at £20.

16. iBattz Mojo Refuel For iPhone 5

Price: £57 / $75

Why did no one think of this before? This battery case for the iPhone 5 boasts a removable rechargeable 2200 mAh battery (two supplied), so if you're likely to be away from your charger for a long while, you can take a few spares and replace them when they're flat. Each battery gives 100% extra power, and you can swap them over without removing your iPhone from the case. It fits snugly and doesn't add too much bulk, but its detachable frame feels a little cheap and makes it awkward to reach the buttons. Still, it's a great option for regular travellers and it's the only removeable battery option around.

17. Belkin Grip Power Battery Case

Price: £90 / $100

This Belkin battery case has an almost identical shape and feel to the Mophie Juice Pack. It's every bit as comfortable and the 2000 mAh battery gives you the ability to charge your iPhone 5 from flat to full. Where it differs from Mophie's design however is that it's not a split case, where you remove the bottom quarter to fit the iPhone in. Rather it's like the iBattz in that the frame comes off the case, you slot the phone onto the Lighning connector and then place the frame back on. It's purely a matter of preference, but we prefer where Mophie has placed the USB port for charging (on the bottom).

18. Powerskin For iPhone 5

Price: £60 / $60
powerskin.co.uk

This one-piece silicone soft-touch case conceals a 1500mAh rechargeable battery, which holds enough power to extend your iPhone 5's battery life by up to 70%. It gives a good degree of protection, and only adds around 8mm to the thickness of your phone. Your earbuds might not plug into the headphones' socket unassisted, but a short adapter is supplied. PowerSkin for iPhone 5's design isn't very sympathetic to the iPhone's aesthetics, and the connecting cable is a bit fiddly, but it gives a good grip. It's just a shame that it can't compete with the charge capabilities of the other battery cases here.

19. Mophie Juice Pack Plus For iPhone 5

Price: £110 / $12

The Juice Pack has been a popular model and this latest version offers 120% more power – one full iPhone 5 charge plus a little bit extra. It's all done with the slightly beefier (2100mAh) battery compared to the Juice Pack Helium: around 10 hours of talktime and 12 hours of Wi-Fi use. With a full charge, you'll be sorted for a couple of days of heavy use. The case also features a dual-injected sleeve, engineered with a shockproof band to help buffer the impact of falls. Yes, this Juice Pack is now over £100 – a serious investment – but it really is the best mobile charging case you can hope for.

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