Element Case ION 5 Hogue Black Ops iPhone 5/5s Case Review

Element Case ION

If you are in the market for a new case for your iPhone 5S, and you love the style and protection offered by Element Case, you’ll want to check out the Element Case ION 5 Hogue Black Ops. Under $60, the ION 5 Hogue case is available in two colors, offers excellent protection and sports plenty of Element Case style.

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In recent months we have looked at a number of Element Case offerings for the iPhone 5S. (And we’ve got a bunch more to come!) Most of those cases have cost north of hundred and $150. If $150+ for an iPhone case is too rich for you, but you still want to give your iPhone some Element Case love, then you are in luck. The company’s ION 5 Hogue Black Ops iPhone 5/5s case has plenty of signature Element Case style, offers great protection, includes one of their tactical holsters and sells for $59.95.

An added benefit of the Element Case ION 5 Hogue Black Ops iPhone 5/5s Case is that, unlike many of the cases we have seen from the company, there are no parts to screwed together, no tools required to get your iPhone in or out of the case, and no little tiny pieces to be lost.

Yes, in its simplest form the Element Case ION 5 Hogue Black Ops iPhone 5/5s Case is a snap on cover into which you simply pop your phone. That description really doesn’t do it justice however, so let’s take a closer look.

Element Case ION 5 Video Look


Here’s a quick look at the two available colors. One is black with black ultrasuede on its back, while the other is a gray color with a carbon fiber backplate. Both look rugged and make a bold statement.


Here’s what element case has to say about this product line:

The Hogue Collection ION 5 Black Ops iPhone 5S case comes in two different combinations based on our ultra-popular ION 5 chassis: black TPU with an ultra suede insert bearing the Hogue logo or gray with a genuine carbon fiber backplate. The ION 5 Black Ops features substantial padding in the corners to protect from unexpected falls and looks great too. Includes tactical holster for easy carrying on your belt or backpack.

Features Include:

  • Hi shock absorption polymer construction
  • Ultra suede backplate with Hoag logo or genuine carbon fiber
  • Included tactical holster
  • Nonslip ergonomic design
  • Easy removal for docking

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As you can see, once on the iPhone there is an excellent degree of protection offered by the Element Case ION 5 Hogue Black Ops iPhone 5/5s Case. The bottom, top, sides and back are all offered abundant protection with cutouts in just the right positions. The volume buttons are covered, but the mute toggle is left exposed and is relatively easy to access.

The cutout for the camera microphone and flash is generous enough to ensure there is nothing obstructing these elements but small enough that it doesn’t leave a large exposed area. The bottom is a long run that leaves open the lightning connector, 3.5 mm headphone jack, microphone and speaker. The space around the Lightning connector should be large enough to accommodate all – but I suspect not every – charging cable and accessory.

ION 5 Hogue Black Ops iPhone 5 5s Case

What is most notable about this case is the reinforcement at each of the four corners. This is always the most vulnerable spot on a phone, and this case offers an added thickness for extra protection. The extra “padding” doesn’t look “overly done”, but it does add a ton of extra protection. I wouldn’t call this a rugged case, but I do think this is a case that offers a high degree of protection without feeling bulky.

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Because this is part of the company’s Black Ops line, it does include the tactical holster. This holster looks like it means business and is surprisingly functional. During CES 2014 I used the one that came with my Sector 5 case, and I found that by attaching it to my backpack I was able to keep my phone accessible but out of the way when I was running from one meeting to another. It’s something I didn’t expect I would use all that much, but I actually found myself appreciating.

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I prefer the refinement of the Element Case Solace Chroma we recently reviewed or the ruggedness of the Element Case Rogue we will be reviewing in the next few days, but both of those cases are, however, significantly more expensive. The Element Case ION 5 Hogue Black Ops iPhone 5/5s Case is a very nice case, and it is under $60. It is a great way to get started with Element Case. But be warned — Element Case products can be habit-forming. Learn more and order yours here.

MSRP: $59.99

What I Like: Simple design that still has plenty of interest; Nice level of protection; Decent grip; Lay on the table protection; Includes tactical pouch

What Needs Improvement: Not as refined as some other Element Case offerings; No included screen protector

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

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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. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.