Incipio Atlas ID Rugged Case for iPhone 5 and 5s Review

If you’re in need of a rugged and waterproof iPhone case that doesn’t break the bank, come check out the Atlas ID from Incipio. The Atlas ID is waterproof up to 2 meters underwater for 30 minutes; it’s shockproof and dust proof. It’s also compatible with the iPhone 5s’ Touch ID fingerprint login. The Atlas ID retails for $89.99.

Incipio Atlas ID CoverOne feature that the Atlas ID comes with, that is dissimilar from other rugged cases, is that Incipio throws in a 1-year device limited warranty. First, you’ll need to register your case, using Incipio’s easy-to-use app. Then, if your phone suffers accidental water damage while in the Atlas ID, you can put in a claim to receive a repaired or replaced phone as well as a new Atlas ID case. It’s a nice feature just in case your case fails within the first year.

1-Incipio Atlas ID Gear DiaryThe outside of Incipio’s case is made out of a rigid Plextonium™ Polycarbonate, which is Incipio’s proprietary plastic material. The inside of the case is made of Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), which is a soft rubber-feeling material that cradles your phone in the case and provides shock protection. The screen is made out of tempered glass that is scratch resistant and is supposed to allow unencumbered use of your touch screen…more on that later.

2-Incipio Atlas ID Gear Diary-001The mute switch, volume buttons, as well as the power button are all easy to use while inside the Atlas ID case. The home button is also easy to use while covered by the Touch ID compatible membrane. The lightning port, headphone jack and speaker grills are all protected behind a swinging door made out of Incipio’s Plextonium™ material. In order to access the lighting port, you must squeeze the bottom of the back of the case, which will loosen the swinging door. Then you open the door with your fingernail.

3-Incipio Atlas ID Gear Diary-002The headphone jack is further protected behind a waterproof plug underneath the swinging door. Once the door is open, you can remove the waterproof plug and insert the waterproof headphone adapter that comes with the case. If you want to use the headphone adapter while underwater, you’ll want to close the door before inserting the waterproof headphone adapter that will keep your phone sealed off from the elements. Incipio also claims that the case is “acoustically engineered for maximum sound quality,” but unfortunately, I had a lot of trouble hearing through the speakers while typing or playing music.

4-Incipio Atlas ID Gear Diary-003The Atlas ID case is surprisingly small, at 0.62 inches thick, 2.67 inches wide, and 5.40 inches tall. The case only weighs 2.06 ounces, which is ideal especially for a rugged case like this. My main complaint with rugged cases has always been that they’re way too bulky and heavy to fit in my pocket comfortably. This case is definitely an improvement on all of the big, bulky rugged cases out there.

6-Incipio Atlas ID Gear Diary-005My experience with Incipio’s Atlas ID for iPhone 5 and 5s has had its highs and lows. As I mentioned above, the size and weight of the case are ideal for a rugged case, in my mind. However, there were two big things I couldn’t get past. The first was how I found the touch screen extremely desensitized to my finger; I had to touch the same icon many times to get the phone to respond to my touch. Typing on my iPhone 5 became a chore, and I couldn’t handle it. The second major issue is, as I mentioned earlier, the sound was very muffled. I could hardly hear the “tapping” sound when typing, and while playing music, I had to really turn the volume up in order to hear it.  One final, and minor, issue I had with the Atlas ID is that there is a small part of the case that covers the very bottom center of the screen that does not allow you to use that part of the touchscreen.  You can see this in the photo below.

5-Incipio Atlas ID Gear Diary-004While the size and weight of the case, its waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof properties, as well as Incipio’s one-year device limited warranty are all in the Atlas ID’s favor…I just could not get past the functional handicaps that were imposed on me while testing the Atlas ID. If the touchscreen recognition and sound quality were improved, the Atlas ID would be a top contender in my mind.

7-Incipio Atlas ID Gear Diary-006You can purchase the Atlas ID directly from Incipio, at their website.

MSRP: $89.99

What I Like: Small size; Lightweight; 1-year Device Limited Warranty; Waterproof; Dustproof; Shockproof.

What Needs Improvement: Touch screen recognition is handicapped; Sound quality is less than stellar.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the Incipio Atlas ID for iPhone 5 and 5s.

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About the Author

Perry Brauner
I'm an architect by trade, but the overarching theme of my life has always been trying to keep up with the newest, coolest technology. Ever since I picked up an NES controller, I've been hooked on the latest and greatest gadgets, gizmos, and toys. Whether it's gaming, mobile phones, and accessories, or PCs and Apple products, I'm interested. I use many Apple products in my daily life, such as the iPhone, iPad, and my MacBook Pro. I've also built a few PCs in my day, so I'd like to say that I'm a pretty well-rounded techie.