The SwitchEasy Tones ($25) is one of the better-looking early iPhone 5 cases thanks to its two-tone color scheme that mimics the iPhone 5’s stylish exterior. In addition to the black and gray version I reviewed, there is a white/gray version and 5 other color combos. The Tones is a thin, hard-plastic polycarbonate case that maintains the iPhone 5’s thin and lightweight feel, and its surface is slightly textured, giving it a comfortable feel in the hand.
No Protective Lining. The one thing I’ve learned from reviewing iPhone cases over the years is that the case itself can scrape up an iPhone pretty well over time. This usually occurs with hard plastic cases that don’t include a protective lining as a buffer against the iPhone’s surface. Unfortunately, the SwitchEasy Tones lacks such a lining. Because the iPhone 5’s rim and edges are unusually susceptible to scuffs and scrapes, the SwitchEasy Tones is not an ideal case for the iPhone 5.
Lack of Shock Absorption.The SwitchEasy Tones is much too thin to take on much shock absorption, and its hard-plastic polycarbonate material doesn’t dampen shock energy from accidental drops much. Even though the iPhone 5 is a more durable phone from a shock absorption point of view, it’s definitely not invincible. The SwitchEasy Tones case won’t give you much peace of mind in the area of protection.
Buttons and Ports. It’s not all bad news with the SwitchEasy Tones—all buttons and ports of the iPhone 5 are accessible and work as expected with the case on. The lone problem area is the ringer/mute switch, which requires some finger digging to reach with the case on thanks to a narrow opening.
Art of the iPhone’s Rating:
★★★★★ (2 stars out of 5)
Review Summary: A nice looking case that unfortunately lacks a protective lining to prevent the hard-plastic case itself from scratching the iPhone 5’s delicate rim.
Reviewed by: Art of the iPhone
Fit. Another design element the SwitchEasy Tones gets right is fit. The Tones case snaps on tight and fits like a glove. There is no creaking or loose gaps. The iPhone 5 feels just as solid with the case on as without. The fit is impressive considering how fast the Tones came to market after the release of the iPhone 5.
The SwitchEasy Tones ($25) is a good-looking case that mimics the two-tone style of the iPhone 5’s exterior, but it lacks a protective lining inside, which means the hard-plastic case itself can scratch the delicate edges of the iPhone 5. A lack of shock absorption and a hard-to-access area for the iPhone’s ringer switch make this case a dud. Too bad, because it’s quite styling.
- Maintains the two-tone look of the iPhone 5 (available in 7 different color schemes).
- Tight and slim fit maintains sveltness of iPhone 5.
- Does not interfere with use of iPhone’s buttons and ports, with one exception (see Cons below)
- Not much shock absorption.
- Lack of protective lining means case itself could damage iPhone over time.
- Ringer switch is hard to access.