Every time a company releases an accessory for an announced Apple product, it’s taking a gamble. If it gets the details right, the payoff can be huge, but get it wrong and it can be a costly mistake for both the company and its customers. Odoyo’s SoftEdge for iPhone 5c ($20) unfortunately falls into the latter camp, at least to a degree. Arriving in our office the day before Apple’s plastic phone was actually announced, the case looks nice, and fits well for the most part. There’s a seemingly small issue with it, however, that ends up being a real problem.
SoftEdge is a simple rubber case sold in six translucent colors; four match the bright hues of the plastic casings, alongside black and clear versions. It easy fits around the iPhone’s body, rising above to form a protective lip, and coming in right to the edge of the glass. The material is smooth to the point of being slippery. All six have large camera hole openings, ringed with black plastic to prevent flash diffusion issues.
The iPhone 5c’s shell was floating around for months before the device was actually announced, so many companies were able to design cases for it well in advance, just as Odoyo did here. It got the fit mostly right; the port openings along the bottom are all the right size and shape, and are lined up correctly. The same goes for the silent switch hole, and the volume buttons beneath it. Those buttons feel quite good, too, not dampened at all by the rubber.
Sleep/Wake button coverage is the major issue. The raised protector looks just like those for the volume buttons, but it’s just a little bit misaligned, enough that the first time we installed the case, it held the button down, causing the iPhone’s shutdown screen to appear. Moving to another color of the same case, the same problem was present. After a few minutes of testing, the switch seemed to be working, so we figured that the case simply had to be broken in. Unfortunately, once we moved away from the case and came back to it, the same problem arose again. The button became unusable, although after some period of time, it would click back into place.
SoftEdge isn’t the fanciest case around, but it had the potential to be a good, simple, inexpensive option. The issues with the Sleep/Wake button, however, prevent us from being able to recommend it. We hope that Odoyo will address the fit issue, but for cases that were sent to us in final, shipping form, the problem is just not acceptable. Because of this, SoftEdge earns a C- rating.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPhone 5c