X-Doria Venue for iPhone 5
X-Doria's Venue for iPhone 5 ($35) combines aspects of shell-style cases with the hybrid rubber/plastic designs we generally prefer. Available in six color combinations, the case is a slim and lightweight option, but doesn't deliver the same overall value as other cases offer for the same price -- the only major knock against an otherwise nice design.
Inserting your iPhone 5 into Venue is easy; simply push the iPhone until it snaps into place. The glossy plastic exterior and rubber lining have enough give that there should be no issues. Removal isn’t any harder, either, thanks in part to the fully open bottom edge. Rather than individual holes for the I/O or even one long opening, X-Doria chose to leave the iPhone’s bottom and the corner connecting it to the display exposed, a design shortcut that’s rare in iPhone 5 cases. At least this makes it easy to lift the phone out.
The company did, however, cover the buttons on the top edge and left side without diminishing their tactility. We also liked that the rubber lining sticks through the back in a distinctive V pattern, because it adds some style and some extra grip. Our biggest concern is the almost imperceptible protective front lip. While it’s not great to have the sides of a case extending well past the screen, X-Doria went too small here, and the sides are nearly flush with the screen. As a result, we wouldn’t feel secure if the phone fell on its face.
Venue is lacking in some key areas, but it is slim and attractive enough to earn our general recommendation. That said, the same $35 can buy you a Speck CandyShell that excels in the areas this case falls short. A better lip and more thorough edge protection are important qualities, especially for the iPhone 5. At a lower price, Venue would make a lot more sense.