With case options for Apple devices such as the iPad and new iPhone 5 being a dime a dozen, it’s important for any product to set itself apart. For some, that means adding features like card holders, stands or a big chunk of plastic for extra protection. In the case of Marware’s Revolution, the company is essentially banking on three things: design, lightness and the use of carbon fiber. Did the company succeed with its goal? As with any product, it’s time to bring out the proverbial magnifying glass and take a closer look.
The Revolution, which comes in black or white, sports a diamond grid design with raised grooves on its rear carbon fiber panel. The pattern, which covers most of the back and also wraps around the sides, serves as its main visual element. It’s also the main component of the Revolution’s three-piece design, which includes detachable pieces that attach to the top and the bottom. Installation is actually quite easy, provided you do it the right way. You’ll need to slide in the top and bottom pieces first and then attach the main middle piece by aligning its slots with the volume controls and then snapping it into place. Removal is also easy. You basically reverse the installation process and push out the right side of the middle cover (i.e. the side without the slots for the volume controls) with both thumbs to take the middle piece out. Once the middle part is out, you then take out the top and bottom pieces.
Once installed, the Revolution provides a pretty tight, snug fit. In fact, one of the key advantages of this Marware case is that it doesn’t add a lot of bulk and helps maintain the iPhone 5’s nice, slim profile. This is good news for folks who want a case that doesn’t make their sleek Apple smartphone look and feel extra chunky. It also provides openings for the requisite slots such as the rear camera, Lightning port, headphone jack and the mute toggle switch. Nubs on the left side allow access to the volume up and down buttons as well as the power button on the upper right side of the case. The nubs are a bit stiff, though, so you’ll need to press hard for them to work (hard to tell whether the buttons end up having more give after long-term use).
Although the design looks nice, there are some things that potential buyers need to keep in mind. One is that the glossy finish on the middle section of the Revolution makes it a bit slippery, which can be an issue for folks who have concerns about dropping their phone. The case also looks a lot glossier and plasticky than its product shots online. The middle section is metallic-looking, not metal, so that’s something consumers may want to note.
The Revolution’s sides are raised a bit relative to the screen so it does offer limited protection against drops. This applies to just flat surfaces, though, so the iPhone 5 screen is still exposed if it hits the corner of a table or some other uneven surface. On the plus side, the case also comes with a screen protector so that offers some added protection from scrapes and scratches.
Overall, the Revolution is a solid case but not exactly revolutionary — no pun intended. If you dig the design and have no issues with its slippery, glossy surface, then this case is worth looking into, especially if you’re in the market for a case that helps maintain the iPhone 5’s slim profile and doesn't add a lot of extra weight.
- For:Apple iPhone 5
- Cost: $35
- Final rating: 3 stars out of 5