The Griffin Survivor line is for those times when your phone is recreating the “Worst Case Survival Guide Handbook”. For more mundane adventures, like falling from tables and cars, there’s the Survivor Clear Case for iPhone 5C. As a bonus, the back is clear, so you can show off your choice of 5C color. But is it protective enough to bear the “Survivor” moniker?
Physically, the Clear Case is much thinner than the famous original Survivor, making it significantly more pocketable. It is all one piece, with a molded rubber outer edge around the clear back plate. All the buttons are covered, but the volume switch, Lightning connector, and speakers are exposed. Griffin has a generous cutout for the camera as well as a black rim to prevent the flash from causing a halo in low light due to the clear back. The rubber edges are very stiff, and while you can get the case on and off easily, I don’t see the rubber loosening over time. Unlike similar rubber/plastic cases like the Speck CandyShell, this rubber looks like it will withstand quite a beating. The corners are molded to curve outwards slightly, giving the case a bit more corner protection and shock absorption.
Griffin says the case can protect a phone up to a 6ft drop, but we did not test it on Sarah’s 5C. I will say that her phone routinely tumbles from 3-4 feet up onto both carpeting and hardwood, and the phone and case are both in great shape with no sign of abuse. I have some concerns that the clear back will eventually show signs of scratches, but I haven’t seen anything yet. One downside to the clear back, though, is that any and all dust and grime caught in the case stands out boldly, especially against the lime green of Sarah’s iPhone.
Since this has been tested on Sarah’s phone, here’s her take on the case:
I like this case quite a bit. It feels protective, but it isn’t too thick, and I like that it shows off the lime green phone. One thing I do wish is that the back were frosted, rather than clear. Then the dust wouldn’t be as easy to see, and it would look just as nice. But I definitely like this case best!
This case is quite nice, though it isn’t quite what I would think of first for a “Survivor” labelled case. It feels very much like a way for Griffin to compete with silicon/plastic hybrids like the CandyShell line, but they’re using the Survivor name to highlight that it’s fairly protective. Naming quibbles aside, it’s a very solid case, and if you’re looking for something that maintains a low profile with a fair amount of everyday protection, it’s a great choice. I wouldn’t reach for it as my first choice in a harsh environment, but if the most dangerous condition your phone faces is suburbia, the Griffin Survivor Clear Case is highly recommended.
MSRP: $29.99 from Griffin
What I Liked: Quality rubberized ring around the outside of the phone; generous camera cutout with black ring to prevent flash issues; shows off brightly colored 5C
What Needs Improvement: Clear back is prone to scratching; dust and dirt caught under the case can be seen.