5S Case That Feels Like Stock iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by daudi81, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. daudi81 macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2013
    I'm looking for a case that keeps the original feel and adds the least amount of bulk to my 5S to keep the original shape the best - while protecting from minor drops and "oopses." All the buttons need to keep their original feel. For example the stock fake leather 5S cases covered the buttons and I hate that they were harder to press. I'd like something that feels PREMIUM as well - and won't take away from the nice premium feel of the 5S.

    I just bought the Element Case Solace (link), which was nice, BUT it added too much bulk (especially the top and sides), and the wake button on the top kept jamming. It made the phone feel too big - which was very noticeable when I took the case off. The aluminum tips were nice, but the bulk of the phone was cheap plastic. The aluminum buttons (wake and volume controls) were awesome, as they kept the original feel of the stock button and did not make them any more difficult to press. I'm going to send it back due to the wake button jamming, but I didn't really want it anyway.

    I did like the Apple stock fake leather 5S case, because it was very thin, and added very little bulk. The fact that it made the buttons harder to press was a game changer. The leather felt pretty nice, but I could tell that it was fake, and I could also tell that it was not going to last long as it rubbed off fairly easy.

    Right now I just have a cheap spiegen crystal clear case on it. It will be my backup case until I can find something good.

    I don't mind spending money to get something nice - as I know I'm not going to get what I want for $10 bucks.

    Can anyone suggest a case that:
    * feels premium (leather, aluminum, etc). no cheap plastic and won't kill reception
    * does not hamper stock buttons feel
    * adds very minimal bulk, very thin (stock Apple 5S case was acceptable for this)
    * fairly durable. I don't expect it to be unbreakable, but the Apple leather cases just weren't going to last long.

    Budget: $10 - $100+
  2. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2012
    Firstly the Apple leather case is not fake, and the buttons on mine feel better than the phone naked to push. You mud of had a dud.
    You will be forever on the case find roundabout. Just get a Black apple leather case or go naked.
    A pielframa framaslim answers the nice leather, slim and use of buttons solution, but has a front too.
  3. Haru macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2014
    Element Sector 5 or the Element Ronin. Thin frames and they feel like an extension of the phone more than a case.
  4. daudi81 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2013
    I don't like the button push 'feel' at all, totally not my style. You're talking about THIS one right?
    To me, the buttons harder to push and feel too stiff, but that's just my opinion. I don't know if it's fake leather, I just figured it was because 2 of my coworkers have the non-black leather (1 brown and 1 beige color), and the leather looks like it's coming / rubbing off after a few months (plenty of reviews say the same thing, so I know it's not isolated). The black doesn't do this nearly as bad from what I've heard though. Their buttons feels the same, so I don't think I got a dud, unless all 3 of us did.

    I've got a nice black leather wallet, and it's got a much more premium feel than the Apple leather (not to mention way more durable) - that's kind of what I'm going for if I get a leather one. I actually probably would have kept the Apple leather one if it had better button solution. The element case had a good solution by making aluminum button covers, to keep the premium feel and stock ease of pressing. Until the top wake button jammed that is. They felt just like I was pressing the stock buttons, which is what I'm going for.

    It doesn't have to be leather either, the naked iPhone feels very premium, and I want something that feels equally as premium (or at least close).

    I don't mind being on the case roundabout either - I did the same with all my previous phones so it's a bit of a weird hobby for me.
  5. daudi81 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2013
    I looked at those - are they the same dimensions as the Solace? It looks like it on the website. The materials are really nice, I just didn't like how much the sides and top stuck out. I didn't think it was a big deal when I put it on, but when I took the case off I was surprised at how much smaller the stock phone felt after I was used to the Solace case.
  6. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    I have the Spigen Ultra Hybrid too. If you like that thinness than go with the Spigen Slim Armor S. I like that a little more than the Ultra Hybrid. It gives you some protection, very thin, and have that two tone backing. The sides give you more grip than what you get if you go naked.

    Honestly I'm surprised how well it fits and feel especially for a $15 case. That's what I paid for mine.

  7. JNGold macrumors 6502a


    Aug 25, 2009
    If you want the bare minimum, thinnest case for the iPhone 5/S, there is no other choice besides the Caudabe Veil. It's the "uncase" case.

    I have had it on my 5s for a couple of weeks now and it's the closest to stock feel than any other case I have owned (and that's been quite a few).

    You can check out my review, here: http://www.techmusings.me/3/post/2014/01/review-caudabe-the-veil-frost-iphone-5s-case.html

    A little lite on the drop protection, but sufficient enough to protect against the daily bumps and bruises.
  8. Haru macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2014
    That's a tough one to answer because it sounds like you want protection for your phone but at the same time something that looks and feels like a naked iPhone. One of the members suggested the veil, which looks very slim and appealing for you but given the material used it won't feel the same.

    No case is actually the best option if you really want to preserve the original look and feel. You could get a tempered screen glass for a little extra protection with Apple care+.

    As far as the Element cases. You can't compare the Solace vs the Sector 5 or the Ronin. As you mentioned before the plastic feels cheap and gives extra depth around the phone but that's for extra protection. The Sector 5 is aluminum all around and the sleep button is very tight and responsive. Without the backplate it feels even more slim. This design sacrifices the extra protection but when I hold my phone, it feels expensive because of the cold aluminum rails running the side. The dimension is roughly about the same. I have an all black Sector 5 including the screws on a space grey 5s because I didn't want the case to stand out over the phone. Personally, it all feels like one unit to me. However it is a heavy investment, I would suggest you to do more research.
  9. Dino F macrumors 68030

    Dino F

    Sep 16, 2010
    Croydon, South London, UK
    ...sorry but I disagree!!

    The frame is certainly NOT thin (Element Sector 5)!!!

    Its quite chunky and you really need to dig your fingers into the case to use the volume buttons (if you are holding the case in your right hand, with thumb on the right and fingers on the left of the case, your forefinger cannot even feel the volume buttons because they are so recessed into the frame)
  10. Haru macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2014
    Yes, you pointed out the one unfixable design flaw in the Sector 5 that most owners know about and would agree. However, chunky is the wrong word. Any thinner and it would snap in that area when installed. Your definitely the first person I've heard in these forums claiming the Sector 5 to be chunky. The simple reason why the volume buttons is so recessed is because the frames are holding the phone as close as it can be. If you can reach the buttons easily that means the case would have to be slightly thicker to accommodate. It's not the width of the frame that is the problem but rather the thickness of the phone itself. In other words, I disagree with your view because your very reason supports the fact that it is a fitted frame case with very little leverage in space.

    Personally, it doesn't bother me because I don't often fiddle with my volume settings. Also if I do need to adjust, I simply lift my pinky behind the phone with my index holding on top at a 180 degree angle which allows my thumb to reach easily.

    The question that needs to be answered is what 5s case that feels like a stock phone. For me it does just that when compared to a Solace. I would assume protection, design and function would be secondary issues to address.
  11. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    This is tough because you want something out of aluminum or leather. It's tough to get that stock feel. The closest thing I've ever seen, and the case I use, is the Caudabe Veil. Incredibly thin and protects against scratches and oopses, as you put it. There's a long thread on here about the case. Check it out, but it works for me. I like you want the like-naked feel and this has been the best case for me for some time.
  12. Old Yeller macrumors newbie

    Old Yeller

    Dec 21, 2013
    Another good one is the Rearth Ringke Fusion. I'm using it now and the fit is perfect and buttons are better than the Spigens flat buttons. It even stops the rattling power button. Amazon black bumper color is $7.99! I love it but have only had it a week. No scratches on the clear back and haven't dropped it.
  13. Infinitewisdom macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2012
    I have both the Caudabe Veil and Ringke Fusion. For more protection, the Ringke is better. It's just a normal plastic case. I'm not too keen on the looks of it though. It's thin but they don't have a clear option. I use the Caudabe instead because it's pretty transparent and it's probably as close to naked as you can get.
  14. AppleRobert, Feb 13, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014

    AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    Longer story short, I was able to get the Apple leather case for 20% off so I jumped on it and even with the discount I still rather explore other cheaper cases (not necessarily leather) that add more protection.

    I did get the Veil and I do like it for making the 5s feel like stock BUT after trying it more and the Apple case as well, I think I would not mind trying some others that add some bulk and thickness and more protection for this beautiful phone. There are so many reasonably priced ones on Amazon that get good reviews. I just feel somewhat sorry for millions of owners who settle for cases that are so much higher priced at retail stores that I've shopped which I do dare cry rip off where applicable!! :)
  15. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2012
    Not everyone has access to Amazon, and some people prefer to go in store and try first, and some people are just tight:)
  16. Pez555 macrumors 68020


    Apr 18, 2010
  17. AppleRobert, Feb 15, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014

    AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    I do try first when possible but the more one saves, the more they have to spend on something else as well! :D
  18. viewfly macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2009
    Spigen Neo Hybrid EX Slim Vivid Bumper - Dante Red without screen and back protectors.

    There are many other colors as well. The Red looks good on black-space grey

    As thin as the original phone - no back added thickness.
    Lightest since there is no back material weight (that's a larger surface area)
    Allows proper heat transfer away from back - since metal is exposed to air.
    'rubber' silicone edge liner gives natural button resistance - feels like naked phone.

    Lip on back and front gives lay-on-table for both sides.

    polycarbonate has held up for months with no natural damage to finish. No scratches or fading.

    Bumper is going to be the lightest you can really find. If you chose, you can use protectors that are provided.
  19. JNGold macrumors 6502a


    Aug 25, 2009
    I have owned the Spigen Neo Hybrid EX Bumper and IMHO, it's not anywhere near an "original feel". The bumper, even though it's considered part of Spigen's "thin" series, does increase the width of the phone significantly. If the Op wants to consider a really thin bumper, take a look at the Caze ThinEdge (link provided above to the Zero 5 but you can navigate the site) and that, at the time I had one, was one of the thinnest bumpers available.
  20. viewfly macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2009
    I have the newer Spigen Neo Hybrid EX Slim Bumper, which replaced the one you mentioned above. Its thinner and slimmer. The new Spigen version is 9.4 mm on the bumper edge. The Caze is 8.6 mm

    Regardless, the point of a bumper is that it may be thicker along the edges, but on the thickness of the front and back is always the same dimensions of the original phone product. By definition :)

    The ThinEdge bumper you mention does look nice. IMHO, it doesn't satisfy the OP's concern for some 'protection'. Compared to the Spigen bumper, the bumper protection on the ThinEdge of 0.5mm per side doesn't leave enough front/back drop or lay-on-the-table protection for my concerns. The new Spigen EX Slim gives 0.9 mm, which is just more comfortable for me.

    But yes, if you really wish the 'thinnest' then try the Caze ThinEdge to save 0.8 mm. However I'm not 'crazy' about its recessed volume and power buttons. The recessing of those ruin the feel. The ThinEdge seems like a single material piece. The silicone interior of the Spigen 2 piece design gives more impact resistance, and has not scratched my iPhone due to trapping of dust.

    Just my opinion. Of course, the OP hasn't been heard from again....typical
  21. JNGold, Feb 19, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014

    JNGold macrumors 6502a


    Aug 25, 2009
    All good points. As a point of correction, I was referring to the the Slim version of the bumper which I reviewed on my blog.


    While I usually feel that Spigen stuff is of good quality, the bumpers have been a little to thick for my tastes and have since dumped them from my buying considerations. I'll usually now stick to the extremely slim snap on cases (ie. Incipio Feather, Elago Breathe), or now my all time favorite, the Caudabe Veil. As you can tell, all I require from protection is against the bumps and nicks of everyday use and have Applecare+ if anything catastrophic should happen. It's thin or go home. :D
  22. viewfly macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2009
    Yep, I hear what you are saying. I had a Pinlo Slice 3 for my 4S, which is similar: 350 micron or so (0.35mm) thick material that is so thin its also translucent on the back. However, I went the opposite direction from you, away from those ultra thin cases...it's just easier to go naked, with maybe a pouch if you need one.

    Here is my experience, and I'm not trying to change or convince you of my choice. But others may like to hear my take on this. I change cases often, and found that I had to be really careful removing the Pinlo. I was good at it,and never broke it, but one did get bent out of shape. I gave one to my daughter,and it broke after 2 weeks.

    I finally decided that I'd prefer to see the artful back of my naked phone ,and not through a matte but translucent plastic back. So I went back to bumpers.

    The great thing about bumpers like Spigen, is the black or white rubbery part prevents the phone from sliding on a table. Especially an inclined writing lapboard. It also covers the bottom, which was exposed on my Pinlo and the ThinEdge. I find the power cable slot very useful as a guide to connecting in the dark...with out it, I scratch up the bottom of the phone with the Lightening plug very easily.

    Again, just my experience. Never cared for the Apple Bumper, but the Spigens are nice.
  23. episcientist macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2014
    Another vote here for the Spigen Slim Armor. Although it's a TPU/polycarbonate case it looks and feels very premium. It adds a bit of heft while maintaining a thin profile (5s with case is about the same size as 4/4s).
  24. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    It's a nice case, but the problem is that it feels too sharp because of the angled edges. Doesn't feel good in the hand. Plus, it doesn't feel a darn thing like a stock iPhone, which is the purpose of this thread.

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