Review: Ballistic Aspira Series Case for iPhone 5
Coming in seven color combinations, Ballistic's Aspira Series Case for iPhone 5 ($35) combines elements from the company's other cases with a design clearly inspired by Speck's CandyShell series. It's a combination of rubber and plastic layers, and each version has a different pattern ranging from a simple flat finish to flowers. Like many of Ballistic's cases, extended corners offer extra protection against drops and other shocks.
Much like CandyShell, Aspira is plastic on the outside and rubber on the inside, with that lining sticking through in certain areas. On all of the models, it’s the only thing covering the top and bottom edges, as well as the Sleep/Wake and volume buttons. As the best button protectors do, they cover without reducing tactility; you’re able to feel the button clicks to the same degree you would with a bare iPhone. The rubber also creates a raised, protective lip around the screen, which is otherwise left uncovered.
For the cases with patterns on their backs, the rubber just barely juts through; it’s not enough to get caught on anything, but it does provide some grip when the back of the case is laid on a flat surface. Another way the case differs from CandyShell is the 1.75” long opening along the bottom, instead of individual holes for the ports. It’s less protective, but means you can use Apple’s Lightning to 30-Pin Adapter without issue.
We’ve been very vocal of our admiration for Speck’s CandyShell design—it won multiple awards from us, and inspired a number of competitors. Ballistic’s Aspira is one of the best CandyShell-alike cases yet. The co-molded layers are executed properly, and the addition of raised corners and design adds a nice touch, without adding bulk. Really, the company got just about everything right here, and the outcome is pleasing in almost all regards. It’s a great choice, and earns our high recommendation.