Review: Lunatik Taktik Extreme + Taktik Strike for iPhone 5/5s
Last year, Lunatik released its Taktik case for iPhone 4/4S, and now it has launched a pair of sequels for iPhone 5/5s. Taktik Extreme ($125) and Taktik Strike ($60) both share the same thick rubber core, but as the price suggests, Extreme is the heavier duty option. Like before, these are really more than just cases, they’re full conversion kits. The installation process requires you to twist in six screws with an included hex wrench, meaning your iPhone is semi-permanently encased.
In terms of body shape, Taktik Extreme and Taktik Strike are just about identical, and they’re both pretty huge. They measure in at 5.6” tall, 3” wide, and .67” thick. Compare this to the dimensions of a bare iPhone: 4.87” tall, 2.31” wide, and 0.3” thick. It’s a big difference. Again, the core is a thick piece of molded rubber, and it’s sandwiched between two plastic plates, with the rear piece allowing a 2” x 4” rectangle of rubber to show through. On Strike, there’s a single opening for the camera array, while Extreme has tight, individual holes for the camera, microphone, and flash. To support the True Tone flash on the iPhone 5s, there’s actually a different backplate with a taller opening.
Flip the cases around to the front, and you’ll find this is where the two really differ. Strike is equipped with just a frame running around the outer edge of the iPhone, leaving the screen exposed, and porting audio out through the bottom edge in front. Extreme’s display coverage is much more involved, and blocks the use of Touch ID on the iPhone 5s. The plastic doesn’t stop at the border, but instead continues on to cover the top and bottom bezels. A plastic circle covers the Home button on the bottom, while there’s Gorilla Glass over the front-facing camera and sensors, and an opening for the earpiece. That same heavy duty material also covers the entirety of the screen, keeping it safe from drops and scratches. Like other glass screen protectors we’ve seen, it doesn’t hinder the touch controls in any way, nor does it impact how the screen looks. The only issue we found was in calling up Control Center by swiping from the bottom edge; the covered bezel makes this much more difficult.
Both Extreme and Strike offer a recessed segment of the rubber for access to the Sleep/Wake button, and raised volume protectors. The vibration switch is controlled by a round rod that moves back and forth through the edge of the case. Then, along the bottom edge, there’s a hinged metal door that protects the headphone port, next to a stopper over the Lightning port. All in all, the iPhone is going to be very well protected, although while Extreme listed as being water and dust resistant, there are no claims that it can survive a dunk in the pool.
It’s inarguable that Lunatik offers some truly over-engineered cases. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but for many people, the level of protection the cases provide isn’t worth the bulk, the installation process, or the price. They are good cases though, and for a certain audience, they’ll be exciting choices. The design is clearly a specific choice, and those who purchase will know what they’re getting into. When it comes to Taktik Extreme though, the price is simply too high for what’s being offered. If it were fully waterproof, it would be a different story, but the addition of a glass protector doesn’t justify the doubled price. With that in mind, Taktik Strike earns a limited recommendation, and Extreme gets our C+ rating.