Incipio Faxion + [Ovrmld] for iPhone 5
Incipio's Faxion for iPhone ($35) isn't a clone of Speck's CandyShell, but it's about as close as a major company has come. The case combines glossy hard plastic and a soft rubber lining, although their setup is noticeably different from Speck's. [Ovrmld] ($35) is essentially the same, but it has a soft-touch finish instead of a glossy one, along with a few other small differences. Both are supposed to come with a stand as well as screen film and the accessories to apply it, although our packaged review sample of Faxion came with only the stand.
Viewed from the back, Faxion looks like a simple slab of plastic. There’s a single strip of rubber extending out from the camera hole to the case’s right edge. On our black model, small scratches and fingerprints showed almost immediately, the same kind of marring issue Speck’s glossy cases often have. Follow the rubber around and you’ll find that it covers the volume and Sleep/Wake buttons, serves as a protective lip, and lines the inside of the case in a neat pattern of stacked, rounded boxes. There are also three separate openings along the bottom edge: one for the headphone port and mic, another for the Lightning port right in the center, and the last for the iPhone’s speaker. The dimensions are almost identical to CandyShell—that is to say quite slim—and it feels very nice. We did, however, find it slightly more difficult to remove the iPhone 5 from Faxion.
While we searched to find real differences between the two models, nothing more than subtle variances separate Faxion and [Ovrmld]. The body material of the latter is the biggest differentiator; instead of glossy plastic, it’s matte with a soft touch finish. Thankfully this means blemishes don’t show up nearly as readily. Other than that, a second rubber strip closer to the bottom of the backside and a different pattern on the lining are the only distinctions between them.
Incipio’s co-molded plastic and rubber cases are reasonable alternatives to Speck’s CandyShell. Though we’re making a lot of references to that competing product, they’re necessary in that Speck’s design was first to market, and remains the benchmark for the style. The addition of pack-ins is an appreciated difference with Incipio’s models, so long as they’re actually packed-in. CandyShell still merits a slight edge here, as the little details of the case design are nearly perfect. Incipio’s Faxion and [Ovrmld] are both quite good, but would benefit from a little extra industrial design polish to get up to CandyShell’s level.