There is the question amongst many smartphone users as to WHY anyone would want to ‘ruin’ the design of a phone by making it bulkier and/or dress it up? At the end of the day the designers made the phone to fit a certain form-factor and to try and improve on that seems counterintuitive. The Sector 5 from Element hopes to allay those frustration with an aluminum bumper that sells for $145. Does it turn the trick?
Basically this is the next generation Vapor case that was lauded in review circles and was priced at $79 so the bar has already been set high. That device was intended to resolve the iPhone 4 antennae issues, but iPhone 5 benefits from substantial improvements in this department that were already integrated in the 4S. The iPhone 5 is quite slippery though, and a case makes some sense because of that aluminum casing on the rear. For those who desire a firmer grip on their hands, the question becomes what fits best (and what am I willing to pay).
Snapping the Sector 5 into place is a simple exercise of putting some guards around the antennae and unscrewing the case to open the case. Place the iPhone 5 into the form-fitting slot and replace the screw. The phone fits firmly into the Sector 5. All that’s left is placing a suede rear cover tha gives it more traction when gripping the device.
The ‘smart’ optics of the bumper gives it a secret agent look and gets a fair amount of attention if you like that sort of thing. That the sides of the bumper protrude makes it fit easy in your hand without it adding to much to the girth of the phone. To add, if you (inevitably) drop the iPhone, aside from a few smudges on the bumper the phone experiences no damage. It wont stop a bullet to the display, but it can handle a hefty fall; with scratches and scrapes. Keep in mind that your $145 cae is going to serve it’s purpose and take it on the chin for your iPhone 5.
The only major disappointment is that the volume button slot might have been better designed. It’s a bit unwieldy when adjusting the volume in regards to how close it is to the mute button. Another peeve is that debris gets in-between the bumper and iPhone. Pocket lint and dust gets in there pretty easily and you will find that you need to clean it off a little too frequently.
For a price of $145 you wont find many who will be preordering a Sector 5. Its something that is essentially for those who wont mind scratching up what amounts to a luxury item. That said it doesn’t feel cheap and it feels and looks good. If it had a better price point they would be a must-have, but as it is that wont be the case (no pun intended). If you have the cash, go ahead and get one but for most users it’s attractiveness doesn’t make up for the expensive price.