Ballistic Shell Gel SG Case for the iPhone 5 / iPhone 5S

The Ballistic Shell GEL SG Series case for the iPhone 5 is a great slim case. We rated the case against our Eh? Rating System and give it 3.9 Eh?’s out of 5. This case does well in the terms of protection, providing more protective features then an average slim case that just protects the outside of iPhone 5 or iPhone 5S from scratches.


Ballistic has an assortment of all different cases for the iPhone, iPad, as well as other mobile devices. The company seems to be geared toward cases that are rugged, focusing on drop protection, and shock absorbing features. As their motto is “Designed to Survive Life”, their products seems to have several layers of protection. With that being said, Ballistic is very vague on the website regarding the level of protection as they fail to mention how high you can drop your case as well as the Military Specifications that the case meets. The packaging is also deceiving, and it seems to be reused from case to case. We have noticed that the verbiage on the cases and on their website are different for the same cases.


The Ballistic Shell Gel SG case for iPhone 5 is a slim case and out of all the different cases that Ballistic produces, it provides the least amount of protection in comparison to the rest of the products. There are two parts to this iPhone 5 case: a rubber piece that contains extra silicon for the corners and a polycarbonate piece (basically hard plastic) as the outer most layer.

There are seven different colour combinations to chose from for this case.

In the Design category in our Eh? Rating System we scored the Ballistic Shell Gel SG as 3.5 Eh? out of 5. The case feels very nice in your hand, and the materials seem solid and of good quality.

The Ballistic Shell Gel SG adds a bit of bulk, mostly due to the protection added to the corners, and therefore would will be tougher to get into pockets. The installation requires that you put the first layer, rubber piece, onto the iPhone and then snap the second plastic layer on top. It requires a little bit more effort to uninstall the case.

We also noticed that while uninstalling the case, a small piece around the camera opening got loose and fall out. This is not a big deal, as the piece snaps back in easily but we just wanted to make you aware that this might happen.

Usually with rubber, silicone cases there is a tendency for the rugger to stretch out and the case will not keep its shape over a longer period of use. So far we have not noticed this to be happening. The polycarbonate corners are quite thick and the rest of the rubber part of this piece is quite tough. Every edge and corner is rounded and has a smooth feel. However, with the exterior of the case being made out of hard polycarbonate, the case has the potential to easily slide off a smooth surface.

Ballistic Shell Gel case for iPhone 5

The Ballistic Shel Gel SG case for the iPhone 5 provides three layers of protection:

  • Inside – shock absorbing polymer
  • Outside – polycarbonate shell
  • Corners – soft silicone for corners

This case will definitely protect the outside of your phone from scratches. It completely covers the iPhone 5 on the outside, and all sides. It is important to note that there is no screen protector for the front screen but another 3rd party screen protector can be installed. Despite the lack of a screen protector, the edges of the case come far enough off the iPhone 5/5S that it provides a gap between any surface and the touchscreen if it is put facedown. The home button is not covered so TouchID is usable with this case.

The case comes to the top of the front portion of the phone on both sides. Be careful when installing a screen protector as the case lips that cover the front portion of the phone may rub the edges of the screen protector which may result in the case peeling off the screen protector.

The extra soft silicon that is found in the corners is a great feature of the Ballistic case. It does add a bit of bulk, yet it will protect the corners of the iPhone where it is most sensitive to drops and bumps. Most cracked screen are results from the iPhone fall that resulted of an corner impact.

The Ballistic Shell Gel SG case for the iPhone 5 does not interfere with any native iPhone 5 functions. All the buttons and ports are easily accessible, and since there is no screen protector the Touch ID function of the iPhone 5S is accessible. It is easy to install and uninstall, access to the screen is not hindered and even though it is a bulkier case in comparison to other slim cases, it still fits easily in your hand.

The power and volume buttons are covered, all the other ports are open and easily accessible. The mic, speaker, headphone jack and charger port are all open as well letting the sound flow as if would from a naked device. Since the case provides a bit of bulk it actually makes it easier to hold in any position, providing a good grip on your device.

Since there is not screen protector, there is no additional glare or pixel diffusion. The case can be felt on the front side edges, but it does not interfere with the touch ability of the front iPhone screen. The edges are quite raised but do not interfere, they are soft and rounded, giving the case a good feel when touching the screen.

The Ballistic Shell GEL SG Series case for the iPhone 5

The Ballistic Shell Gel SG case for the iPhone 5 or iPhone 5S is a slim case with added protection. It is a bit bigger then what you would expect from a slim case. Yet this provides you with the added safety features, and along with the different options of colour combinations it is money well spent.

Suggestion case:

Speck Candyshell Case for the iPhone 5 / iPhone 5S – this case provides dual layer protection and some protection for the front screen due to raised edges.

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