Review: Stanley Technician for iPhone 5
In an inspired partnership, tool company Stanley and case maker Incipio have come together to produce a line of iPhone cases, and one of their first releases for the iPhone 5 is Technician ($40). Like some of Incipio's products, this one combines hard and soft materials, but it's designed to look like one of Stanley's tools -- right down to the signature yellow and black color scheme. It comes with a black plastic belt clip that can rotate all the way around and hold the iPhone with its screen facing either in or out, as well as screen film and application tools.
Although they’re not exactly the same case in different colors and textures, the similarities between Technician and Incipio’s earlier Faxion and [Ovrmld] cases are pretty clear. Technician’s core is hard black plastic running down the center in an asymmetrical shape. It’s surrounded on the left, right, and bottom by textured yellow semi-rigid rubber. Rather than separating into two layers, the materials have been co-molded into one continuous piece. We found it to be pretty easy to install the case, except for the bottom, where the material is a little less firm because of the three input openings, and snags on the iPhone 5 before snapping into place. As with most of Incipio’s cases, the rubber covers the Sleep/Wake and Home Buttons, while forming a protective lip around the screen.
While it’s not necessarily better than other cases in Incipio’s lineup, Technician is still a neat option that will likely be appreciated by Stanley fans. It offers plenty of protection, and the included belt clip actually makes sense for the target market. Although it costs a few dollars more than Faxion and [Ovrmld], the price isn’t as crazy as licensed products can be, and you do actually get more for the money here. On the other hand, Technician didn’t feel as good to us as the less expensive Faxion or [Ovrmld], and although it’s a good execution of its license, we’d sooner recommend the other designs. We’d also like to see the bottom edge improved just a bit, but it’s not a huge issue. Technician is still good enough to earn our general recommendation.