Spigen has long been an accessory maker that focuses on quality materials and thoughtful design. Its latest iPhone case, the Slim Armor line, confronts the thickness versus protection debate with a solution that feels close to the right amount of compromise for such a product. It contains, like the popular Otterbox Commuter, a thin silicone base and a second hard shell that wraps around the back and sides in an area equivalent to the iPhone’s 4-inch screen. This means that there is less hard material — and therefore less weight overall — but the handset is still fully protected where it needs to be.
Unlike the Commuter series, the Slim Armor doesn’t close off the iPhone’s ports, so the Lightning and headphone jacks are accessible at the bottom with no issues. Well, few issues. When attempting to connect a pair of Koss PortaPro headphones, which have a right-angled connector, there around the headphone input was too tight for the ungainly plastic endpoint of the headphones. This was the only pair I had an issue with, but you’ll want to keep it in mind before making your purchase. Spigen claims that the case is compatible with Apple’s EarPods and “earbuds with L-shaped plug (within 6.17mm diameter) including Beats by Dr.Dre,” so your mileage may vary.
The Armor case’s colour scheme aligns pretty well with the iPhone’s original dual-shade offering. The one I reviewed, titled Metal Slate, is slightly darker than the darker iPhone 5 itself, but lends itself well to camoflage. There are two other colours available — Satin Silver and Gunmetal — which hew more closely to the lighter iPhone shade, with the former bringing would-be iPhone 4 and 4S users as close to the original white as possible. All three colours are matte, and feel great in the hand. The polycarbonate backing provides protection for the screen, too, by wrapping around just a bit further than the edge of the aluminum. Spigen suggests adding its own tempered glass solution to protect the screen, but I rarely worried about damaging the glass with the Slim Armor installed.
Overall the Slim Armor series is a bargain at $17.95 and readily deserves our honour of being Highly Recommended.
Check out Spigen’s Slim Armor case for the iPhone 5.