When opting to put my iPhone in a case these days, I tend to go one of two directions. I either seek out a slim, minimalist case that will protect my iPhone from scratches while adding the least amount of weight and bulk, or I put the phone in a LifeProof case for maximum protection. The new Rokform Rokshield v3 for iPhone 5 that arrived the other day may change that.
The Rokshield v3 isn’t exactly minimalist, but it also doesn’t offer the maximum protection found in a LifeProof. Instead it falls somewhere between the two extremes. Actually allow me to correct that — it falls somewhere between the two, since this single case offers two levels of different protection depending upon how you choose to use it. More than that, this case is part of a larger system that not only protects your iPhone but also allows you to secure it to different surfaces.
Let’s take a closer look. Oh, and don’t miss the gallery of pictures taken during my booth tour during CES.
The case looks like a single slider case with a locking mount. It is, in fact, two cases in one. It also offers two methods of attachment, the second of which is already “hidden” inside the case.
The case includes an interior “high impact polycarbonate frame” and an outer “shock absorbing rubber outer bumper”. Best of all, you can use the interior frame on its own for those times you want a thinner, lighter case or you can throw on the outer bumper when you need extra protection.
The case includes:
• The injection molded polycarbonate frame :: v3
• The elastomer rubber protective outer bumper
• A thermoplastic elastomer non-slip grip insert
• A remote Mounting System (RMS) which lets you mount the case most anywhere you want
• A magnetic mounting that allows you to attach to any magnetic surface.
• A Rokgard screen protector (My case included 2 but I suspect this was a mistake)
The interior portion of the case is a (mostly) traditional slider case. The bottom portion slides off once you lift the small tab of material that overlays the upper portion and “locks” it in place.
The outer ring is made from a soft material. It simply slides over the interior case when you want to use it. Once in place, it not only protects all of the sides, but it also sits atop the Home button for added protection.
The iPhone slides in with ease. Thanks to the design of the case it also happens to offer a nice degree of lay-on-the-table protection.
I’ve run into slider cases that required a good degree of force to get the iPhone in place. That isn’t situation here. The phone does need to be pushed into the case, but there isn’t a lot of force necessary.
The slider case leaves a nice space open for the sleep/awake button.
The volume buttons and mute toggle switch are left open as well.
On the opposite side there is a gap for the microSIM card. Other than wanting this opening in order to make sure the case is balanced I’m not sure why this opening would be here. After all, it isn’t like you will be swapping out the microSIM on a daily basis. Then again, having open portions in the case that don’t reduce its ability to protect the phone does help keep the weight down.
The Lightning port, speaker, microphone and 3.5mm headphone jack are all left open but, thanks to the design, the entire area is completely protected by a raised ring of case material. That balance of accessible and protection is hard to achieve and Rokform has done just that with this design.
The back of the case is rather intricate in appearance. The design serves a purpose. The indented areas reduces the weight of the case. The soft area beneath the circle reduces slippage when the case is placed on a smooth surface and hides the magnet that lets the case attach to any metallic surface.
As noted in the introduction, this is a system more than it is a case. And what a system it is! The circular area works with an assortment of accessories that can be purchased separately. There are stands, belt clipping/bottle opener and much more.
The case comes with one Remote Mounting System (RMS). As previously noted this lets you mount the case almost anywhere you want once you have affixed the mount in place.
It locks in place. To secure the RMS to a surface you can use the 3M VHB and/or screw it into place. The screws are not included but will make this a far more secure attachment system.
And for added bump, drop and screen protection you can quickly put the soft outer ring around the case. It not only added to the side and corner protection, but it also adds to the lay-on-the-table protection AND covers the home button.
The liked the Rokbed for iPhone 4S I reviewed back in August. (Read the review.) This case not only fits the iPhone 5 but it ups the ante by adding an extra layer of protection and including the special magnet. I love the flexibility of being able to easily choose to have “some” or “some more” protection and I love the flexibility all the various accessories can offer. I think I’ll be using this case for the foreseeable future and am going to go shopping for some accessories. After all, why use a case this cool and functional if you don’t take maximum advantage of everything it has to offer.
You can learn more. And make sure to check out the gallery of pictures I took at the Rokform CES booth!
What I Like: Simple slider case or slider with extra protection, you get to choose; Magnetic holder built into the case, Remote Mounting System included too; Multiple accessories available that work with the case; Case itself is affordable and comes with value added thanks to the two mounting options
What Needs Improvement: Not the most refined case available; Adding accessories can add up price-wise
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample