Case-Mate are pretty high up on our list of good case makers, with crafted, well-designed cases. We just got hold of their Torque case ($24.99) and took the automobile-influenced sleeve for a spin. While not a bad case by any stretch of the imagination, we felt the stylings and quality didn’t justify the price for what turns out to be a very simple case.
When I first spied the Torque on Case-Mate’s website, I assumed that because it was two-toned in design, it would be a two-piece case along the lines of the Incipio Silcrylic, with a hard outer layer and soft inner layer. Turns out I was wrong. The Torque is merely a single layer of silicone. A flexible, soft, rubber-like case. For $25. It only comes in black, but you can chose what color accents it has: black, grey, yellow, green, or red. Only the first three are in stock presently, so the model we reviewed is black and grey. It does ship with a freebie screen protector and cleaner. Free stuff, always good.
The Torque has a fair amount going for it. It’s pretty light, and the tread pattern on the back makes it great to grip. Because it’s all silicone, it does tend to stick to lint in your pockets, but that’s often the price you pay for having silicone outer layers.
The case offers nice, wide-open port holes for the camera, headphones, dock, and mute switch. One advantage to having it completely silicone is that you can bend and twist it a bit to get any reluctant parts into the right place. The sleep button and volume controls are both covered with the case’s own raised areas of silicone that simulate buttons, but they are easily and accurately interacted with.
Phone protection is so-so. It’s a relatively thick sheath of silicone, especially on the back. It’ll handle minor tumbles well, but it’s not going to survive a collapsing building in this thing.
What it boils down to, is that this is a completely adequate case. It looks pretty good, it protects well enough, but for $25? That’s pushing your luck for just silicon. $10 more will get you a Case-Mate Tough, $5 more will get you the aforementioned Silcrylic, and you’ll actually save money if you get the SwitchEasy Color, Speck Fitted, Case-Mate Vroom, or Cellet Jelly. The only real reason I could see to choose the Torque over these is if you’re absolutely in love with the look of the thing.
The Case-Mate Torque ($24.99) is a perfectly capable case, but with all due diligence, we can’t recommend it at that price. For $25 you expect something more, even if it is pretty cool looking. We don’t recommend this case, 5.9 out of 10