Adding to its already extensive product lineup, Belkin has released a handful of iPhone 5c cases, including Grip Sheer ($25), View Case ($25), and Wallet Folio with Stand Case ($40), all three following well-established styles that we’ve already seen repeatedly for the plastic handset. Because they’re such common designs, we’ll keep our thoughts on each brief. None of the cases are true standouts, but they are nice options.
Grip Sheer is a see-through rubber protector, available in either clear or stone gray colors. Rather than being completely transparent, the inside of the case has a matte finish that makes it take on a frosted appearance. It easily fits over the iPhone 5c’s body, offering all-around protection. The lip around the screen is minimal, but the button coverage is very good, and there are three openings along the bottom for access to the ports. While the design isn’t anything fancy, it’s nice.
View Case is a lot like Griffin’s Reveal and others. Its back is translucent somewhat like Grip Sheer, but the panel is hard plastic, rather than rubber, with a flexible border. Coming in purple, blue, or black, the rubber band that runs around the edge has enough give; in fact, it has a little too much. On our review unit, the black material was just a bit too large, seemingly stretched out, leaving some of the 5c’s plastic showing through from the front. It’s not a deal breaker, but the fit isn’t perfect. Button coverage is equally as good as Grip Sheer’s, and the bottom edge access is the same.
That brings us to Wallet Folio with Stand Case, which is a flip-style case that we normally wouldn’t cover. The genuine leather folio-style protector has a few aspects that make it worthy of note, though, including the choice of material. Available in red or black, the leather is quite nice, wrapping around to form both a lid and cover for the back of the hard plastic shell that holds the iPhone. The shape is a lot like that of Twelve South’s SurfacePad, with a magnetic tab holding the lid shut and a earphone opening in the lid.
Because it’s a shell, the holder offers less protection than the other two cases, leaving the top and bottom edge totally exposed inside the corners. Its left edge can lift away from the leather, and be positioned along a series of three ridges inside the cover, for multiple viewing angles. There’s also a single card slot, for a credit or business card. When watching video, you’ll have to deal with the closure tab dangling in front of the screen unless you tuck it away or break it in.
All three of Belkin’s cases are good, but Grip Sheer and View Case are a bit too expensive given comparable cases on the market. Both earn our general recommendation; they’re simple, protective options that you’ll like, even though you can find similar models for less. Wallet Folio with Stand Case also comes in at the same B rating. While we’re not the biggest fans of the flip-open style, it uses nice leather at an affordable price, and the stand positions and card slot are nice additions.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPhone 5c