I preordered the Element Case Solace and it just came in. First impressions are pretty good. I have the silver/blue version. The blue is very dark and metallic, so it changes shade in the light. The case overall looks very sharp. The fit is perfect and has a slight lip so your screen stays off the table if you lay it face down. Volume buttons and mute switch are very easy to press and work well. The case material is smooth, but does provide a little extra grip. It is also very solid and does not yield easily. The case is light, but does add a slightly noticeable bit of weight to the phone. Headphones and lightning adapter fit perfectly. Overall the case feels very well made, is solid and looks great. ***Update*** I received my iPhone 5S today. Unfortunately, I can't use my T-Mobile phone on Verizon so I have to wait three more weeks until my Verizon contract ends. *sadface* I did test out the iPhone 5s in this case. First off, when I took the case off my iPhone 5 there were NO scratch marks. I looked closely because I was worried about this same thing. The fit is very tight and the phone does not move at all in the case. The softer sides seem to be primarily what touches the phone so no issues there, guards are not required IMO. One of the big questions is about the iPhone 5S flash. Fortunately the camera opening is plenty large enough and fits the new dual flash with plenty of room to spare. This case definitely works for both the iPhone 5 and 5S. The black sides do seem to be removable. Part of mine was loose when I got it, which concerned me, but once I put the phone in the case you couldn't even tell. I do not know if there is glue holding it in place or not, but if you wanted you could probably switch that part out with another color. I hope this helps answer all your questions.