Fresh off my review of Marware’s sleek and thin Revolution case for the iPhone 5, I switch gears to look at a case that can be best described as its spiritual opposite. Say hello to Rokform’s extra chunky iPhone 5 case contender, the Rokshield v3. ‘Cause sometimes, sexy just ain’t gonna cut it in this rough and tumble world. Just ask Mr. Rico Suave.
Now, if the Revolution was a slick — if somewhat blingy — sports sedan, the Rokshield v3 can be best described as a honkin’ Hummer. This sucker’s rear cover has an unapologetically rugged-looking polycarbonate and rubber construction that would look more at home in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s H1 than it would in, say, Jennifer Lopez’s Maybach (I mean, like J-Lo would really be caught dead driving a Fiat 500 outside of a highly staged — and highly lucrative — commercial). Heck, even Halo’s Master Chief would probably wish metallic lime green was one of the color options for this case as it would fit in nicely with his Spartan armor.
The case is primarily constructed of two parts. You have the main inner shell that serves as the base for the Rokshield. The second piece is a rubber outer bumper that not only rhymes well but also provides added protection from falls. Although the raised rim helps prevent damage to the screen if the phone falls on a relatively flat surface, keep in mind that the display isn’t covered so it will still be exposed during falls on rocky, uneven surfaces or tabletop corners. Front protection also isn’t quite as extensive as rival case Otterbox’s Defender and is more in line with Otterbox’s Commuter series.
One thing of note is that the v3 comes with a remote mounting system, which highlights a key feature for this case: modularity. The Rokshield’s modular system allows you to attach the case to a range of optional accessories such as a magnet kit, tripod adapter, bike mount and even a golf shooter attachment.
Like many protective cases of its ilk, though, the Rokshield v3’s strengths are also the source of potential drawbacks for certain users. While the added chunk provides extra protection over your typical iPhone 5 case, it also makes your smartphone fat. You can try taking out the outer cover to reduce overall thickness but you also reduce the case’s protective properties, not to mention its overall structural stability. Meanwhile, the added thickness also makes the openings for the iPhone 5’s various controls and connectors a bit too deep. This makes it harder to reach functions such as the volume controls or the mute toggle switch. Lastly, the $49 price tag might be a bit high for some folks, though it’s right about at the same level as Otterbox’s Defender line (but higher than the Commuter).
Overall, Rokform’s Rokshield v3 is geared toward folks who value added protection for their iPhone 5 over a slimmer profile. The ability to attach all sorts of optional attachments are also another plus for people who frequently use their iPhones for photo and video or active folk who like to use apps during their bike rides. If those sort of things appeal to you, then you’ll want to give this case an extra look
Final rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
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