Incipio has entered the rugged iPhone case ring with their new line of Stanley iPhone cases, including the Stanley Highwire iPhone 5 Case by Incipio. These cases are clearly targeted toward folks in construction jobs or other hands-on work where you’d rather not worry have to worry about the safety of your high priced smartphone. I think the Highwire case fits the bill, but let’s first let’s look at a video and then talk about what comes in the box.
Inside the retail packaging, you’ll find the Highwire case along with a belt holster into which the case fits fairly snug. The holster can be rotated and snaps in place every 45 degrees. The Highwire case fits well in the holster and it does not feel like the phone will slip off of your hip. The Highwire case also comes with a screen protector as well as a screen cleaning microfiber. I’ve never been a huge believer in screen protectors since I feel as though Corning’s Gorilla Glass is strong enough to withstand any scratches or dings that I’ll ever inflict on my iPhone.
The Highwire has a good sized lip surrounding the touchscreen, which makes me feel confident tossing my phone down without the possibility of damaging the screen. There is a good sized opening at the bottom of the case that leaves ample room for the iPhone’s speakers as well as for the lightning port and headphone jack. It’s nice not to have to flip up a cover in order to plug the phone in. Another positive is that the power button and volume buttons work well.
The case comes in two pieces; a soft rubber sleeve that hugs your iPhone and a hard plastic exoskeleton that surrounds the soft rubber and provides additional protection. Stanley calls the exoskeleton the “Rigid Plextonium™ Frame.” There are positives and negatives to this design. The soft rubber fits snugly around the phone, however below the home button, the rubber feels too soft in my opinion. The flap of rubber at this point easily pulls away from the phone and my finger has a tendency to get caught on it. Another downside to this soft rubber is that it makes it difficult to take the phone in and out of your pocket. This wouldn’t concern you if you use the holster, though. Another minor gripe is that it is difficult to operate the mute switch since the case is so thick.
Let’s get to the most important point with these rugged cases: how safe I feel trusting my iPhone to the case. To be honest, I feel pretty good about throwing my iPhone around in the Highwire case. I did purposely drop my phone a few times, whether it was smart or not, and there has been no damage to my phone. I definitely think the Highwire case can stand up to life’s mishaps and butterfingers. While Stanley, as well as Incipio, have not yet made a name for themselves in the indestructible iPhone case market, it’s clear that they are on the right track. Otterbox and Life Proof appear to be the model to live up to, but Stanley and Incipio appear to have given themselves a good foothold in the market with their new offerings.
The Stanley Highwire by Incipio is available directly from the manufacturer and from other retailers.
What I like: My iPhone feels protected. The rubber material feels soft in the hand. The case fits snug inside the belt clip. The opening at the bottom of the phone leaves ample room for the lightening adapter, headphones, and speakers.
What Needs Improvement: The rubber material surrounding the front of the phone feels almost too soft, feels too pliable. Since the case is so thick, it hinders use of the mute switch.
Source: Manufacturer Supplied Sample