Recently freed from my BlackBerry Bold, I'm a new iPhone 5 user. I've nervously been carrying around the unprotected magical device for the past week and today finally bought a case.
Despite forking over money for the iPhone 5, I'm naturally a cheapskate, so went with a middle-of-the-pack case pricewise: the $25 Xentris Wireless Hard Shell (though I actually got $10 off that via a RadioShack coupon I've been stashing). Other cases on display ranged from $7 to around $40.
[ IPHONEYS: The iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 edition
This Xentris offering is a two-piece snap-on case made of what the company calls "impact resistant polycarbonate." The inside plastic is shiny, the outside matte. It feels ever so slightly brittle and I'm sure I'll put it to the test (but no, I'm not doing any drop tests on purpose now). The case was simple to snap on and does feel snug.
Before extracting the case from its packaging, I expected it to feel a little more rubbery, but instead it is hard plastic, which I guess if fine. My wife's more rubbery case -- and sorry, I don't know the brand -- seemingly saved her device one day when she dropped it in the driveway and ran over it with the car... so I did have in mind getting a more rubbery case at first.
The Xentris iPhone 5 case has holes and cut-outs, naturally, to avoid impeding the phone's buttons, jacks, speakers and so on.
While I initially sought out the plainest design possible, I was drawn to one called "Green Quilt," which as you can see sort of looks like a chunk of down jacket.
The product comes with a limited lifetime warranty "to be free from defects in materials and workmanship," though not by damage caused by accidents, etc.