Stanley’s Highwire for iPhone 5 ($40) is modeled after development partner Incipio’s earlier Delta for iPhone 4; it looks and feels pretty much the same. Both are more deluxe versions of Incipio’s earlier Silicrylic, combining a rubber inner layer and a thin hard plastic cage that fits around it for extra support. Some of the patterns in the material have been updated, and the length of the case has been changed along with openings that accommodate the iPhone 5, but it’s otherwise an “as expected” update.
Highwire is a bit bulkier than many modern cases because of its dual-layer setup. The plastic frame simply snaps in place over the rubber layer, covering the iPhone’s sides and fitting between three raised columns of rubber. Not surprisingly, the inner rubber skin is quite soft, and imprinted with a diamond pattern at the top and bottom. While Sleep/Wake and volume button protection is built-in—and executed well, as it allows all three to remain their tactility—the bottom edge is fully exposed. Users who plan to use Lightning docks or adapters will like this, but users who prefer additional bottom coverage may not. Like the rest of Stanley’s iPhone 5 lineup, Highwire ships with a plastic belt clip and screen film.
Although the design hasn’t evolved much, Highwire is still a good case, and feels appropriate to the Stanley brand. While we tend to prefer co-molded cases such as Faxion, the inclusion of the belt clip is a smart choice that adds value for Highwire’s target audience. With that in mind, Highwire earns a strong general recommendation.
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Compatible: iPhone 5