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Poetic Atmosphere iPhone 5/5s Case Review

In Reviews, Tech by Brandon

Here we are, another day, another iPhone case review. At least this time it’s for the iPhone 5. I have a confession: I hate iPhone cases. I have not successfully kept a case on my phone since the 3GS, and even then, that case lasted only a couple of months. For any case to be successful, it needs to fit into my life seamlessly. This is one of the main reasons I returned the Apple Bumper Case for the iPhone 4, while I loved the design and minimalism, the phone got stuck in my pocket due to the silicone outer material. Did the Poetic Atmosphere pass my test? Click below to find out.

Design

Camera Cutout

The Poetic Atmosphere is quite a nice case. There are four versions available, a clear backed version with grey sides, a clear gray backed version with white sides, and they also have one with orange sides and a clear back, as well as a version that has red sides. For this review I am using the grey version. This case is the first iPhone 5 case I have really used, and I think it is a nice concept that I have a feeling a lot of manufacturers will follow. The case is simply a shell that you press the iPhone 5 into. This means that it behaves much like a Bumper case, but with back protection. This also means that the phone is held nicely in the case. The manufacturer even added a chamfer to the leading edge to mimic the aesthetic of the iPhone 5.

             

The case layout is pretty standard, a cut-out for the bottom (in this case the entire bottom, see close up) and mute switch with some raised buttons matching the volume buttons and lock/unlock button. One area of the case that bothers me a bit is the camera cut-out. Apple’s design documents for case designers specify a certain radius of the cutout to allow for ample light transmission from the Flash, but this case goes far beyond that limit, and that isn’t even the worst part, the cutout is not symmetric around the camera. Admittedly this may not bother everyone, but this lack of symmetry bothers me to no end.

One really nice inclusion in this case, is the use of silicone pads on the back of the case, these pads help keep the back of the case off of whatever flat surface you put it on, adding a small amount of  protection for your device.

Build Quality/Protection

Let me start this off by saying that I did not have high hopes for this case, I really didn’t expect a relatively inexpensive case to provide much protection for my device, and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. The Atmosphere case is plenty sturdy, but keep in mind, I did not drop my phone and see how the case performed. I have, however, repeatedly tossed my phone across my desk, and the case has not even been scuffed in this process. This case is well designed, I cannot emphasize enough how well the phone fits in this case, but this is a double-edged sword. I can’t get the phone out of the case. This is a MAJOR issue. I simply want to clean out the back of the case to make sure no debris got back there, and alas, I can’t. The build quality of this case is stellar. Every edge is smooth and all the seams are tightly connected. I do have an issue with the strip of silicone that crosses the bottom of the case, and this is an overall gripe with cases of this style, the silicone is just not strong enough, so you end up with a floppy, sagging mess of a connection point. I understand that it is not structural, but still, but some stronger material across this gap, or at least reinforce what you have put there.

Wrap-up

Overall, this is a nice case. I would say that at $9.00 you will be hard-pressed to find a better one. Now, regarding my gripes with cases, is this my next case? I think so, at least for the next month or so. This case actually passes the “pocket Test’ and does not get stuck at all. Plus, as I said before, I can’t get the damn thing off of my phone, so I am kind of stuck with it.

UPDATE: This case is also compatible with the iPhone 5s