The Incipio Atlas case for iPhone 5 is a ruggedized case and based on our usage, using our Eh? Rating System we give this case 3.4 Eh?’s out of 5. It is light weight, slim in design, provides mediocre access to all the ports and functions but provides exceptional impact/drop protection as well as ensuring that your iPhone 5 is completely water/dustproof. But, unfortunately there is a catch! We did manage to break it. Never had this happen to us before. Details below. At this time, the Incipio Atlas is not a 100% compatible with the iPhone 5S given that the hole for the flash covers part of the 2-tone flash and it is not TouchID compatible. For more information about how we rate our cases, check out our Eh? Rating System here – Eh? Rating System – click here. PROS – Slim and light weight – Full access to the front screen – Lightweight – Tempered glass screen protector – Great build quality – Raised edges for additional front protection CONS – Difficult to access lightning port connector, the case is unwieldy to pry apart – Latch mechanism at the bottom of the case is clumsy – Touch screen sensitivity is unpredictable – “Slippery” plastic type material
ABOUT THE CASE MANUFACTURER
Incipio Technologies provide accessories for all Apple mobile products as well as Blackberry, Android and Windows phones. In addition to designing cases, Incipio also manufactures covers, holsters, pouches, audio products and chargers – external batteries. For the iPhone 5 and 5S, they have a variety of cases for different uses including Ultra-rugged cases, credit card cases, cases with kickstands and general everyday protection cases.
The Incipio Atlas case for the iPhone 5 is a ruggedized case that provides muli-layer protection from water, dirt and impact from drops. It is a slim and lightweight case and comes with a limited water damage warranty valid in the U.S only. The first case we received had a hole in one of the speaker grills and Incipio was kind enough to replace it. The case comes in two pieces that snap together around the iPhone 5 and with an headphone extender attachment. All of the ports and button are fully covered by the case. Dimensions: – 5.37” (136.34mm) Length – 2.66” (67.56mm) Width – 0.62” (15.75mm) Depth Weight: – 2.24 oz. (63.5 gr)
The case is quite slim and does not add a lot of bulk to the iPhone 5. The two pieces snap together easily and form a snug fit around the device.
As mentioned above the Incipio Atlas case adds very little bulk and weight to the iPhone 5. This is a great design feature since it is usually difficult to manufacture a lightweight/slim case that is ruggedized and provides full protection for your device. The bulk is more noticeable then the weight with the majority of the bulk coming from the edges of the case and the large latch that covers the headphone jack and lightning port of the iPhone 5.
We broke the back piece of the Incipio Atlas case for the iPhone 5! Yep, we actually snapped the back piece in half while trying to take out the iPhone 5 from the case. In order to install the this iPhone 5 case first the device has to be inserted into the bottom part of the front piece then the top of the iPhone snaps into the case. The back piece is then overlaid and it snaps together with the front piece. There is a wide latch at the bottom of the front piece that then can be closed to cover the bottom ports of the iPhone 5. There is no O-Ring to mess with, since there are 7 connectors or snaps that clip the two pieces together tightly making the case water and dust proof.
In order to uninstall the case you need to use your finger and put in between a small gap that is located at the top left corner of the case. This does not work most of time and in the process of opening up the case, we’ve incurred a couple of painful detached fingernails. Since the gap is very small and the device material is a very hard plastic it is difficult to prey apart the two pieces from each other. You can use a coin to disconnect the two pieces in the corner first, by placing the coin into the small gap and slowly twisting it in order to pull apart that corner. Then you still need to pry the two case pieces apart which, as we’ve mentioned above is quite difficult and has not gotten easier over the multiple installations that we’ve done. This is understandable due to the lack of an O-Ring, and therefore the two pieces need to be snapped and connected very well, yet it makes for a very awkward un-installation of the case. Here at Mobile Reviews Eh?, we continuously swap cases on our iPhones and iPads. We believe that this is the only way to provide you with a truthful review, by using the case in our everyday lives. It is also the only way to determine how the cases fare overtime; do they loose their shape, do they withstand daily usage and how they are affected and do they show wear and tear. The Incipio Atlas case usage was no different then any other case. After continues use and repeated installations, we actually managed to break the back piece of this case! It was always extremely difficult to pull the two pieces apart, and over time we have noticed that the back piece was becoming bent in the direction that we pulled on the case. We filmed a close up shoot of the case, for a full review video (click here), that would show our viewers the actual un-installation process, and that is when the back piece cracked. While filming the update video (click here) the crack turned into a split and now the back piece is in two pieces. 🙁
The two pieces of the Incipio Atlas case fit together perfectly, there are no gaps, sharp edges or angles. The material called Plextonium (it is Incipio’s proprietary blend of Polycarbonate-very hard plastic) is tough and very rigid, and maybe it is too rigid. The inability of the case materials to bend more easily possibly led to the destruction of the back piece. Therefore the material used to manufacture this case is great, strong and will deliver in terms of protecting your iPhone 5 from drops and scratches. The overall build design of this case should have accounted for this inflexibility and take into consideration the hardness of the material when designing the installation process. Most of the other component of the case are well fitted and designed. The bottom latch and the headphone jack nub is attached to the case by a softer material that feels more rubbery. Those pieces, even though are more playable, still feel very tough.
Ruggedized cases are the most fun to test as we go out our way to drop the case with a device as well as submerging the cases (sometimes with the device) in buckets of water and other bodies of water. Depending on how tough we think the iPhone 5 case is, we’ll increase the intensity of the test to see if the manufacture claims are true. (Provide link to the Hitcase Pro vibration test) The Incipio Altas provides four types of protection for your iPhone 5 and it meets the MIL-STD-810G specs. – Transit Drop: you can drop it from up to 3 meters (~9.8 ft) – Waterproof: you can submerge it up to the depth of 2 meters (~6.5ft) for 1 hour – Vibration: Frequency Range: 20Hz – 2000Hz, Vibration Level: 7.7 gRMS. 60 minutes x 3 axes. – Dust Proof: Blowing Dust 1.5 m/s to 8.9m/s The following are two tests that we subjected the Incipio Atlas iPhone 5 case through.
The Incipio Atlas case for the iPhone 5 is made from Plextonium type of material. It is a hard-shell plastic that will protect your device from drops and impacts. The inner layer of the back piece is made of a shock and impact absorbing rubbery feel type of material called Flex2O. The front of the case contains clear Tempered Glass screen protector. This type of glass is four to five times stronger then a standard glass and therefore it does not break into sharp pieces if it fails. The drop test we performed on the Atlas Incipio Case were quite extreme as they exceeded what we believe is normal everyday use. The case with an iPhone 5 was dropped several times on a gravel covered parking lot. The test heights we used were: waist or desk height, chest or “texting” height and above a persons head, which is around 6 feet. We actually dropped the entire device face first onto the gravel parking lot and the tempered glass screen protector did not break. It did receive a pretty big scratch though. Since this cases meets Ingress Protection (IP68) and Military Standard 810G for drop protection we decided to do a session of “skeet shooting” with it. We chose the biggest Nerf gun that we have and attempted to shoot the Incipio Atlas case while being thrown in the air across a concrete parking lot. The iPhone 5 and the Incipio Atlas case survived all of the drops and the impacts with the rough terrain. There are some small scuff marks on the case itself but overall, the Incipio Atlas Case meets all expectation and it will definitely protect your iPhone. All the drops and fun Nerf shooting was captured in the video above.
The iPhone 5 inside this case can be submerged up to 2 meters (~6.5 ft) in depth. It is safe to go swimming with it, leave it in the rain or splash water on the case. We have performed the initial test for the case without iPhone 5 inside. The case passed the initial test and was ready for us to throw it into a river with the iPhone 5 inside. That test also passed, the iPhone 5 was submerged in the river’s cold water and no water seeped inside. Both results and testing can be reviewed in the video above.
During our drop testing we did manage to drop the case straight onto the glass front screen which resulted in a dent. The screen stayed intact and the iPhone 5 front screen sustained no damage. In addition the edges on the Incipio Atlas are raised a little bit providing additional protection for the front of the iPhone 5. We were pleasantly pleased with the protection of the Tempered Glass Screen protector of the Incipio Atlas.
The Incipio Atlas case for iPhone 5 handles well. It adds minimal amount of bulk and it barely adds any weight to the naked iPhone 5.
However, the buttons are very rigid and hard and the mute button has an edge which can scratch your hand and leave a mark. The mute switch is also reversed which is not unusual, since most ruggedized cases have a very similar looking switch that works in the reverse when compared to the default mute switch on the iPhone 5.
The hard plastic that covers the plus/minus and power button also feels very sharp, but do not protrude far from the edge of the case. We didn’t scratch ourselves on the any of the volume buttons :). The bottom ports are covered with a latch. This plastic latch covers not only all the ports but also the mic and speaker. We have been using this case for several weeks, and it is still difficult to pry apart the latch from the rest of the case. The headphone jack is accessible only after the latch is opened. This latch has to remain open when charging the iPhone. The latching mechanism of the Incipio Atlas is the most cumbersome/annoying thing from our point of view and is a reason why the handling score of this case is quite low.
In regards to the sound and volume, from our usage we have not encountered any problems. There is no need to increase the volume or speak louder while talking on the phone.
The screen protector is a tempered glass, it covers most of the front screen. Since it is a glass screen the touch-ability and sensitivity should not have diminished when using this case but during our review period, we noticed that the screen sensitivity was quite lacking. The rest of the front screen is raised minimally to provide additional protection. Even tough you can feel the edges while typing or swiping, they do not interfere with the ability to access the very edges of the front screen.
Fingerprints and cheek-prints on Incipio’s Atlas glass screen protector are very apparent. It almost seems like they attract these types of greasy prints and the only saving grace is that you can easily wipe down the case (since it’s waterproof). This smear factor diminishes the view-ability of the iPhone front screen. One of the benefits of the glass screen protector is that it doesn’t add glare/reflections to the iPhone’s touchscreen which is nice given that many plastic screen protectors severely diminish the view-ability of the device. This screen protector, coupled with the slimness of the case allows you to use the iPhone like you would if the case wasn’t there.
The Incipio Atlas case for iPhone 5 comes with one attachment, a headphone adapter that allows you to use headphones in wet, or dusty environments which allows for the phone to be remain water/dust proof. We have performed a couple of waterproof tests with the headphone attached to the case. The first test did allow small amount of water to seep in through the opening. This was surprising so we tried it again and really jammed the adapter into the case and that test kept the water out.
In conclusion: the headphone jack adapter can be used with this case safely if installed very carefully and pushed in as much as possible. If there was a bit of water spilled onto the case with the adapter attached, the iPhone 5 would have been protected. If going swimming, we would recommend leave the adapter out of the equation. And really who swims with headphones?
Incipio Atlas case for the iPhone 5
Based on our Eh? Rating system, we give the Atlas Incipio case for iPhone 5 a score of 3.75 Eh? out of 5. From our usage, we feel quite confident that this case would protect your iPhone 5 from daily abuse, normal drop heights and it will maintain its shape over time. Slim design and light weight make this product one of the unique ruggedized case that can be slipped into a suit jacket or you can go dancing in the rain.
Comparable Case to the Lifeproof Fre
Some comparable cases in terms of protection and functionality are: – Lifeproof Fre case for the iPhone 5 – Lifeproof Nuud case for the iPhone 5 – Sedio Obex case for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S Looking for a different Brand? Click here-> iPhone cases