Review: STM Harbour 2 for iPhone 5/5s
A direct sequel to its Harbour case, STM has released Harbour 2 for iPhone 5/5s ($30). In addition to a price drop, STM has made a few changes to the body of the CandyShell Flip-inspired case. It's available in a range of colors; you can choose an emerald, purple, charcoal, or black plastic base, each of which is accented by the rubber layer.
Just like the original version of the case, Harbour 2 combines a hard, matte plastic outer layer with rubber, which lines the inside. The rubber extends out to the front end of the case, forming a lip around the screen that helps protect it from the ground. Unfortunately, the material doesn’t make it to the Sleep/Wake and volume buttons; they’re left unprotected, sitting slightly recessed, but still easily accessible.
STM has made a few changes this time around, most of which are notable improvements. One of the most evident is the redesign of the seam connecting the flip-up bottom cap to the rest of the case. Before, it was somewhat sloppy and didn’t look quite right, but now the whole thing looks like a cohesive case. It takes more effort to lift the cap than it does with CandyShell Flip, but the hinge feels quite strong. The other big upgrade is along the bottom edge. Now, instead of a single long opening, there are holes for the Lightning and headphone ports, plus dots corresponding to the speaker and microphone. Because it has the flip-open cover, there’s no need to leave room for larger accessories, so there’s no downside to the extra protection.
It’s clear that Harbour 2 is a better case than the original Harbour, and comes in at a better price. It still earns the same strong general recommendation as before, though. Although we appreciate the improvements, the lack of button protection is still a concern, and we slightly prefer the overall aesthetic of CandyShell Flip. That doesn’t mean Harbour 2 isn’t a vey good case, but it does fall just shy of what we would consider great. Consider it as a strong alternative if you prefer the matte finish to Speck’s glossy plastic.