Review: Scosche kickBACK sport for iPhone 5
Scosche's kickBACK sport ($30) straddles the line between a shell and a full case, but comes closer to the latter category given its materials and screen-protecting front lip. Unlike most shells, this case is actually thicker than many popular plastic and rubber combinations. The design, especially the back, is clearly from Scosche, and a sequel of sorts to an earlier fourth-generation iPod touch case we liked.
kickBACK sport takes a cue from some of our favorite cases with its hard plastic exterior and rubber inner lining. The soft material sticks through the back in a zigzagging pattern, as well as covering the volume buttons and forming a lip around the left and right edges of the display. We like how the buttons feel under the rubber, as you can feel and even hear the clickiness. Unfortunately the combination is noticeably thicker than comparable models, although it’s still thinner than iPhone 4/4S cases made with the same materials.
Unlike the prior iPod touch version, which covered the top but not the bottom, Scosche also chose to leave the iPhone 5’s top edge totally exposed. While it’s not unusual to see a long opening along the bottom for access to the ports, speaker, and mic, this lack of coverage is a let down. Just a bit more material makes a significant difference when it comes to protection, especially along the iPhone 5’s delicate chamfered edges. The company did preserve kickBACK’s signature feature, though: on back is a landscape orientation fold-out kickstand. It clicks inwards, becoming flush with the rest of the case when not in use, and is sturdy enough to support a small range of viewing angles.
Were Scosche to update kickBACK sport with proper top coverage, it would be a very good option. Despite the overall thickness, the kickstand is a nice feature that’s well executed and truly handy, while the rubber and plastic design is smart. With fully exposed top and bottom edges, however, the case leaves protection to be desired, and the lack of screen film is another omission relative to its iPod touch predecessor. This is a good case for what it is, and the price isn’t crazy, but it could use a little bit more iPhone 5 coverage. kickBACK sport is worthy of a general-level recommendation.