Macally has got a really cool lineup for the iPhone 5, and I have tried five of these designs. Without further ado I jump straight onto the first.
The RimPlus is at heart a bumper, and goes around the edges of the phone. It fully protects the sides, and to some extent the front and back of the iPhone 5. What makes the RimPlus special is the fabric that is placed inside the polycarbonate frame. This fabric not only looks really cool in the pattern of carbon fibre, but also gives added grip. There is a cut-out for the mute switch, and the silent and volume buttons are covered with polycarbonate. The volume controls are slightly hard to press, and takes some getting used to. The silent button on the other hand works really well. There is a large cut-out at the bottom for headphones, charging and speakers. Without a lightning to 30-pin adapter at hand I can’t speak for compatibility. Overall the RimPlus is a really neat bumper that offers an ok amount of protection without adding too much bulk.
The Weave is a series of snap-on cases with fabric on the back much like the Fitted from Speck. Available in three colours I have tried the green version with a quite abstract pattern. Actually it reminds me slightly of some of the computer sequences in the Matrix. The fabric is made from faux leather that has been highly processed, and worked hard into a pattern. There is not much telling that the origin has anything to do with leather when touching the back. The rest of the case is your basic snap-on wit opening around the volume controls, top and bottom. For protection it offers great back, and side impact protection as well as a slight screen protection due to the case extending slightly on the front. Overall a really nice case although the fabric feels a bit too worked to retain any of the organic feel.
The Curve is a another snap-on design, and this time the focal point is the see-through hard plastic. As with all the snap-on designs I have tried from Macally for the iPhone 5 the case extends on the front giving the screen some protection. For protection the Curve also adds excellent protection having rubberized lines going around the edges, and across where the iPhone 5 has different surfaces on the back. These lines are actually brilliant in both adding that extra grip, but also showing that it houses an iPhone 5. The see-through plastic is more like frosted glass than clear, and that is also something I find appealing. The volume controls are covered in soft pleasant buttons that work really well. Overall the Curve is a great snap-on case that can appeal to a lot of customers.
Now this is truly an interesting case where ideas, and experience from creating iPad cases seem to have influenced the design. The iPhone 5 is fastened using four borders at the sides, and left corners. The front flap opens to the right, which is kind of weird to me. Most cases open to the left, and that is what I consider standard. Having the opening to the right does however give you easy access to the volume controls, which is handy when watching movies. Once closed the case offers full protection, as well as a good cleaning of the screen due to the soft lining of the flap. There is nothing holding the case shut, but if you have it in a pocket that is not an issue, neither is it if you place it on a table with the front down. What makes the SlimCase cool is that it also doubles as a small stand if you want to watch videos, or type at an angle. This is done by removing the phone from the bottom hold, and then the back of the case can be folded. Perhaps overkill, and the fact that you get excellent protection is a better sale pitch than the stand function. The front flap can’t be folded to the back, which means that you have a large flap in the way when playing games. On the other hand it is great to hold it like a book when texting so it is a two-sided issue. One thing worth noting is that this case looks really sleek, and the contrast between the leather and plastic is cool.
By far the coolest case in the Macally lineup for the iPhone 5 is the Jazz. It is a snap-on case offering good back, side and slight screen protection. What makes the Jazz special is the back piano where a section can be folded out to act as a stand when viewing movies. The piano keys are all moulded to give you the sensation of a small piano. This also gives added grip. Even the inside that can’t be seen has some piano patterns going on. The entire case is done in black and white do further enhance the theme. I completely adore the design, but there are some issues such as the case not being able to lay completely flat on the back. Another issue is the white around the camera cut-out that should have been black to completely avoid lens flare. I have not had any issues, but then one should always be safe than sorry and that is a general advice to case designers to have a black border around the camera cut-out. The Jazz is still the coolest case on the block, and I hope to see Macally going more into variety of design in this way.
Finally I have to conclude that Macally has really pushed it when it comes to iPhone 5 designing a wide variety of cases straight out of the gate.