Review: Incase Slider Case for iPhone 5
There's something to be said for consistency. Incase revels in it, as the Slider Case ($35) has made as few changes as possible over the last four and a half years. Starting with the original iPhone and then moving on to the 3G/3GS and 4/4S, the only real modifications have been to accommodate the changing shapes of Apple's new devices; even the prices have stayed the same. The iPhone 5 version continues the modest evolution: coming in plain black or white, sparkly Crystal, or shiny Metallic finishes, Slider Case preserves the same simple design we've come to know well.
As always, the case is made entirely of plastic, and a roughly 3/4” tall bottom cap separates from the main body for docking. Although accessories that will require the accommodation have yet to hit the market, the feature has a foreseeable value, much like the flip-open bottom of Speck’s CandyShell Flip cases. In light of rival designs that don’t work as well, Incase deserves partial credit for developing a slider that stays together well when it’s supposed to, but separates without too much effort. However, we found that the top actually slides off instead of the bottom if you don’t hold the case in place while pulling. Both pieces are lined with a strip of rubber down the middle to prevent the plastic from scratching the iPhone’s metal and glass back. Slider Case doesn’t provide any button or port protection, but it does come up high enough around the screen to form a protective lip.
If this all sounds pretty familiar, that’s because it is; the last time we issued a full review for Slider Case was in October 2008, and the text could easily be reused here. “Incase is still charging $35 for each case, which is a steep price for a simple plastic case that leaves so much of the device exposed. They all look nice, but not special by comparison with the many other cases we’ve tested at or below the same price point.” Apart from accommodating different iPhone body shapes, all that has changed since then are the colors and textures of subsequent Sliders, which look nice, but don’t match the improvements competitors have made between generations. Our hope is that Incase embraces some of its rivals’ ideas or lowers Slider’s price, as $35 is expensive for a case with no button coverage, film, or other frills. Thanks more to color options than anything else, this design remains solid enough to merit the same rating as before, but it really could benefit from some re-thinking or a price drop.