More Thing Para Duo for iPhone 5
Setting the stage for a look other companies are very likely to follow, More Thing has chosen a rubber and hard plastic combination for one of its early iPhone 5 cases. Para Duo ($27) is composed of a cloudy white silicone case and an "I" shaped, orange, blue, purple, or red polycarbonate plastic frame that come together for protection and support. More Thing's website lists a screen protector and cleaning cloth as pack-ins, although neither was included with our review samples, which shipped in nifty mirrored packages.
Para Duo combines most of the features we’re looking for when it comes to a respectable iPhone case. The use of plastic and rubber, with the soft layer wrapping around the device and the hard piece snapping into a matching depression, means it’s going to help prevent scratches and dings pretty well. That rubber also creates a protective lip around the screen, preventing it from lying flat. The volume buttons and Sleep/Wake button are covered in plastic, but the material doesn’t inhibit clicking at all. Despite all the material, it’s thin and light. The only real drawback to the design is something that’s missing: there’s no hard plastic on the front bottom, leaving a segment of the chamfered edge unprotected and exposed to scratches.
Overall, Para Duo is a mostly competent case: the design and materials are on the edge of “mall kiosk” quality, and the missing strip of material at the bottom prevents us from being able to offer anything higher than a limited recommendation. Users who pick it up will likely be satisfied by the functionality and look, but that’s it. Even early on in the iPhone 5’s life, there are quite a few options with at least as much protection that have more character at similar prices.