The iPhone 5C has launched at last, and we’ve rounded up a selection of cases that will make the new phone look a lot better than Apple’s case. See also: iPhone 5C review.
The official iPhone 5C case costs £25, comes in various colours and has a grid of holes on the back so you can see the underlying colour (and – awkwardly - some of the text printed on the back of the iPhone).
Apple's cases are made from soft-touch silicone, and have a soft micro-fibre lining to protect the iPhone's plastic body from scratches. It's a case that tends to divide opinions and if you don't like it there are plenty of cheaper alternatives.
Unlike the iPhone 5S, which will fit into many existing iPhone 5 cases, the 5C’s new design means it will fit only into cases designed specifically for the new plastic body.
See also: iPhone 5C hands-on review
Whatever your taste or style, here's a selection of 5C cases:
CaseMate naked tough for iPhone 5C
Available with either black or white rubber bumper, the naked tough is a brilliant case for protecting your 5C. First, you attach the bumper, then clip on the clear polycarbonate shell.
Individual silver plastic buttons within the bumper mean your iPhone’s buttons still feel and work just like they do without a case, but you need to be careful you don’t lose them when taking the bumper off.
The bumper covers the top and bottom of the phone, with a generous cutout for the lightning cable and accessories.
Snugg iPhone 5C pouch
The best thing about the iPhone 5C is how smooth it feels in the hand. Protecting that polished plastic back is of critical importance for some owners, but a clip-on case means you don’t get to feel that premium finish.
A pouch such as this from Snugg is a good alternative, especially as it’s available in a variety of colours. We tried the blue and pink versions and found they were well made and a perfect fit.
A small magnetic tab on the back is attached to an elastic strip which you pull to ‘eject’ the phone from the pouch. It works well, and there’s a pocket at the front for a credit card or ID card.
Beware that this isn’t a leather case in the traditional sense: it’s PU leather (search Wikipedia for a full description). Still, if you’re after a pouch for your iPhone 5C you could do a lot worse.
IPL004 Crystal Ultra-Light case for iPhone 5C
Price: £15 delivered
We’re fans of iChic’s Tweed cases for the iPad and iPhone, but for the colourful iPhone 5C, transparent plastic cases are needed. This basic clip-on case is practically invisible once on, allowing the colour to glow through.
There are big cutouts for the buttons and camera, and raised edges to help protect the screen. The material is fairly thick and sturdy, but £15 seems a lot for what is essentially a piece of clear plastic (and that’s a criticism that can be levelled at other simple, transparent iPhone cases).
QDOS Intaglio case for iPhone 5C
Because the 5C is colourful, we think transparent cases will be one of the most popular options. After all, you've just carefully chosen which colour iPhone you want, so to cover it up with something else would be a shame.
QDOS's Intaglio is a see-through plastic case which costs £15 and allows you to protect your shiny iPhone and still let its colour shine through. Unfortunately, QDOS also decided to emblazon each case with one of four corny slogans.
Incipio feather Clear for iPhone 5C
Price: Around £20
Incipio has got it right where QDOS probably hasn't: it's transparent case doesn't have any slogans to ruin the clean lines of the iPhone 5C. If you don't want a completely clear case, there are also six transparent colour options available in the feather Clear range.
Belkin View Case for iPhone 5C
As the name suggests, the View Case allows you to see your iPhone 5C's rear colour through a transparent window on the back. The bumper is made from soft TPU so it's easy to take on and off, and is available in black, topaz and purple.
Proporta iPhone 5C Splatter Paint case
Ignore the iPhone 5 inside the Splatter Paint case - Proporta was unable to mock up a real 5C for the photo. Continuing the transparent theme seen on other 5C cases, the Splatter Paint case injects a little fun into the equation.
You'll still be able to see the iPhone 5C's colour underneath, but it will mix with the colourful gobs of paint on the case. Definitely one to watch out for.
Griffin Survivor Clear for iPhone 5C
Price: Around £20
We were pleased to see Griffin announce a Survivor case for the iPhone 5C as some people want the reassuarance of extra protection above a traditional plastic shell. Thanks to rubber corners, even those with butter-fingers shouldn't be able to damage their new iPhone. The back of the Survivor Clear is see though, so you'll still see your 5C's colour glowing.
Otterbox Defender for iPhone 5C
Price: Around £40
Otterbox is well-known for its rugged cases, and has expanded its Defender series to include the new iPhone 5C. Unlike Griffin's, the Defender is a two-part case and has a belt clip and built-in screen protector for total protection. You'll be able to mix and match layer colours to personalise the case.
It isn't cheap, but if you want to make your 5C child-friendly, it's a wise investment.
iChic IPL005 Crystal Shock Absorbing case for iPhone 5C
Price: £20 delivered
If you’re after all-round protection for your 5C, this ‘Shock Absorbing’ case from iChic aims to do the job. A rim made from rubbery TPU protects your screen when placed facedown, and all the buttons are covered, too.
Ridges on the back help prevent slippage on smooth surfaces, and the transparent polycarbonate body means you’ll still see your 5C’s colour shine through.
In use, we found the case didn’t fit too well, with the main issue being that the TPU covering the sleep/wake button would press it if you held the case in a certain way, causing the phone to display the ‘slide to power off’ button.
Case-mate’s ‘naked tough’ manages to pull off the great-protection-while-remaining-stylish challenge much better.
Cygnett Crystal case for iPhone 5C
One of the cheaper options, Cygnett's Crystal iPhone 5C case is a more affordable way to protect your smartphone without disguising its colour. As you can probably guess, this photo is a mock-up of what it will look like: there's no black iPhone 5C.
Incipio Watson folio case for iPhone 5C
Price: Around £30
If you like a flip-style case that protects your phone's screen as well as the rest of it, you might like Incipio's Watson Folio Wallet for iPhone 5C. it has three credit card slots inside the flap, while a removable "Plextonium" inner case means you can still keep the iPhone protected event when the wallet isn't needed.
Cate-Mate Hula iPhone 5C case
Case-Mate's Hula case is basically a bumper for the iPhone 5C. It leaves the screen and back of the phone unprotected, but it helps to prevent either getting scratched thanks to its raised edges, and will also protect against drops on the corners or sides.
Available in various colours, the Hula is made from silicone and TPR plastic.