Element Case Sector 5 Black Ops Elite for iPhone 5S- Perhaps My Favorite Case Ever

I planned on keeping the Element Case Sector 5 Black Ops Elite case on my iPhone for just a few days during my review process. That was almost a month ago and I don’t see taking it off any time soon. Yup, this $220 case system is that awesome. It looks great, protects well and is pure Element Case.


We’ve written quite a bit about Element case recently. Judie reviewed her gorgeous Ronin Bamboo for iPhone 5S, we brought word of their impressive new Soft-Tec iPhone 5S Wallet and we shared some of what we learned while visiting with the company during CES 2014. As we noted in the latter post, we probably spent more time at the Element Case booth than any other and for good reason- we love their products. That love extends to their pricey-but-of-so-awesome Sector 5 Black Ops Elite for iPhone 5S. This is a case I planned to use for just a week or so but liked so much that it has remained on my iPhone and I don’t see removing it any time soon. Here’s why.

And here’s a closer look.

From Element Case:

The Sector 5 Black Ops Elite is the new flagship case in the Element Case Tactical line. It features a machined G10 back plate and matching knurled G10 side grips made by Hogue.

The first thing that struck me when the case arrived was the fact that this is more a system than it is a case. Sure, it has Element Case’s tradition side rails and caps but it also comes with so many extras that make this a purchase that is as much fun to open and discover as it is to use.

Inside you get

  • The Sector 5 case
  • The backplate
  • The Stealth privacy screen
  • The backplate storage sheet
  • Two sets of rash guards
  • Two screwdrivers (one for the case and one for the belt clip)
  • Extra screws and an extra corner joint
  • A cool belt pouch system

It is a lot of gear in a single package and it makes sense considering the fact that the Element Case Sector 5 Black Ops Elite has an MSRP of $219.95!

Here’s the company’s image of the case in Desert Tan and Black when sitting inside the belt pouch.

If this case system doesn’t say “Don’t mess with me!” I don’t know what does.

The rails and caps of the case are made from the machined aluminum that first made Element Case a standout in the iPhone accessory market. They are milled to perfection, look tough but feel refined. It is quite a balance to strike and the company succeeds admirably.

This image shows just how precise the case is. The corners are totally protected and although the 3.5mm headphone jack, Lighting connector, mic and speaker are recessed they remain fully accessible and fully functional. I love this design!

The side insert and backplate are made from G10 and emerge from Element Case teaming up with pistol grip manufacturer Hogue. They look and feel as solid as they are and, unsurprisingly, the material is milled using the same techniques Element Case has always employed. Here’s the quick explanation of the use of G10 and their partnership with Hogue.

We’re looking forward to seeing what else emerges from this unique partnership.

And here’s more…

The backplate includes a study metal belt clip that can point in either direction or, if you prefer, be completely removed. I honestly didn’t except to leave the belt clip on the case but have found it to be so helpful with regard to keeping my iPhone in place that I have continued to use it. Having the flexibility to reverse the direction or remove it is pretty slick!

The Element Case Sector 5 Black Ops Elite isn’t the case for everyone. If you are looking for a case and are on a budget this won’t be for you. If you are looking for a case that is simple and refined this isn’t the case for you. If you are looking for a case that won’t attract attention this isn’t the case for you. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a case that is tough, masculine, highly protective; a conversation-starter and something that you will love to look at, handle and use this may be the case for you.  It certainly is for me.

As I noted at the beginning of this review, I didn’t expect to still be using the Element Case Sector 5 Black Ops Elite a month after it arrived but I still am. And until I get my hands on one of the company’s Solace Chroma cases I don’t see that changing.


Learn more and order yours here.

MSRP: $219.95

What I Like: A system more than it is a case; Looks and feels amazing; Tough!; Protective; Includes screen protection and a belt holster; Use with or without the backplate; Use the backplate with or without the belt clip; Simply awesome!

What Needs Improvement: Pricey and won’t match everyone’s taste

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample




About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him.

1 Comment on "Element Case Sector 5 Black Ops Elite for iPhone 5S- Perhaps My Favorite Case Ever"

  1. Dan

    I had this case for my iPhone 5 and loved it. The only major issue I had was that despite the ruggedness of the case in general, the belt/pocket clip became loose within a few months of ownership. It was not a simple matter of tightening screw – it appeared that the screws had loosed within the threads which made it impossible to “tighten” up again. I eventually eliminated the clip altogether.

    Also, when using the case with the clip on a belt, this leaves the face of the iPhone facing the elements (Hah! Get it?!?) which made it prone to scuffing the screen of the iPhone. Since I had a screen protector, it was not a big deal, but it did become rather annoying to have to replace the screen protector every few weeks. Although perhaps I am a bit rough on my phones?

    Finally, the included belt pouch fastening mechanism to attach it to belts and so forth did not seem secure to me. I certainly did not feel that it was secure enough for me to rely upon when riding my motorcycle.

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