I generally don’t carry my phone in a case but when the phone is brand new, I get a little paranoid of dropping it. My iPhone 4S spent some time in a case after I bought it but as time passed, I relaxed and it went naked for most of its life. With the 5s being lighter, thinner, and perhaps a little more beautiful, it pains me to hide it in a case but the fear of dropping it seems more powerful.
After a bit of research, I ordered a Magpul Field Case in Olive Drab from Amazon for $12.95. The reviews seemed positive and the price was hard to beat. Some of you may be familiar with Magpul as the company that makes AR-15 accessories. In fact, the pattern on the back of the case is modeled after their PMAG magazines.
I’m not sure what made Magpul get into phone cases but they seem to know what they were doing. The Magpul Field Case is a semi-rigid slip on case that wraps tightly over the back and sides of the phone. The sides provide a raised lip around the screen so you can set the phone on its face without hurting the glass if that’s your kind of thing. It’s a little difficult to get the phone out of the case but I don’t think you’d want it any other way.
The power and volume buttons are molded into the case, likely because they’d be hard to activate if they were simply cutouts. The mute switch however is a cutout as is the headphone jack, microphone, speakers, and Lightning port. The Apple Lightning cable fits the case with ease while the slightly larger Monoprice Lightning cables are a tight fit. I should note the headphone jack opening works fine for the Apple Earpods and other headphones with similar sized mini-plugs but my Audio Technica M50s have a larger diameter plug that won’t plug in with the case on. I have to peel the phone out of the case when I want to use my headphones which is annoying but I’m searching for a suitable 3.5mm adapter to solve this problem.
The case material is textured enough to give assure a good grip but not so textured that it’s hard to get in and out of a pocket. When the phone isn’t inside, the case is fairly flexible but slide your phone into it and it feels like hard plastic. It probably won’t outperform an Otterbox but it seems to provide plenty of protection. The rear of the case has a large cutout for the camera/flash and sports the Magpul logo and company name.
I’ve been carrying my phone in this case for the past week and while I can’t say I prefer it to a naked phone, the Magpul is as close to the perfect case as I’ve found and it looks great as well. From time to time I pull the phone out and try to carry it that way but it always seems to end up back in the Magpul. For just under $13, I don’t think this case can be beat.