Lucky for us, you don’t actually have to be a black ops agent or a special double-O-agent to own one of these bad boys. We present to you the most covert, the stealthiest, and dare we say it, the most badda$$ iPhone 5 case this world has ever seen: ElementCase’s Limited Edition Sector 5 Black Ops Case. Yes, it makes iPhone look like a sleek slab of top secret military technology, and Yes it’s an amazing feeling to use one.
This limited edition ElementCase includes more than just the ultra high-end aircraft-grade and ridiculously-strong aluminum bumper for iPhone 5, it has everything else iPhone 5 needs to virtually become a military-grade device
Just like the predecessor ElementCases we’ve reviewed for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, the Sector 5 case for iPhone 5 is yet another aircraft-grade aluminum bumper that becomes one with iPhone, offering better protection, a better grip, and a more distinguished design. While they always sport outstanding qualities of engineering, we’ve noticed year-on-year the designs become even more usable and practical.
The Sector 5 Black Ops Bumper frame is essentially the element case, everything else are just accoutrements. The bumper is jet black with translucent amber corner link hinges that look like they’re glowing if the light is bright behind them. There are 8 hex screws that keep these links of aluminum securely wrapped around iPhone. It’s now easier than ever to get iPhone in and out, it takes just one screw using the included hex key screwdriver keychain. In all, there’s 8 screws, 4 sides, and 4 corner links. The interesting part of the modular design is that you’ll be able to upgrade and replace components of the case.
The Black Ops bumper frame is ultra-light and protective enough as-is. It exceeds passed iPhone’s rear faceplate a bit more than the front, so we’d recommend the screen protector. We’re not normally fans of screen protectors but the included matte anti-glare privacy screen protector is superior to anything else we’ve used. It’s amazing: it doesn’t show smudges or fingerprints, on-lookers can’t snoop, it goes on quick and easy, no air bubbles, and it’s just as smooth as using iPhone’s screen. The only downside is that iPhone’s brightness has to be a tad higher.
The bumper frame isn’t completely solid the whole way around iPhone. There are cutouts for all of iPhone’s ports and buttons including the sim card, then there’s also a couple cosmetic cutouts which help improve the weight and grip of the case. The lock button has a knurled button overlay for easy access. The volume buttons and vibrate toggle require a bit of digging.
This is where choices become tricky… you can show off iPhone’s beautiful back faceplate, or you can use a comfortable ultrasuede backplate, or you can use the tactical CNC G10 backplate made by a company that produces custom handgun grips. And then you have to decide if you want to pocket this beautiful piece of technology or use it in the included black ops tactical holster. You can’t go wrong either way, it just depends on your personal taste and how much protective you want iPhone.
We keep things minimalistic: black ops bumper and anti-glare privacy screen protector. Nice and light, plus it still feels very protective with a really nice ergonomic grip. In-hand, it’s a bit gruff, kind of similar to the feeling of a bare iPhone 4 or 5. The design is really just the coolest. People don’t understand what they’re looking at exactly since it looks like its some sort of extension to the iPhone 5 design. We say it and we mean it: the ElementCase becomes one with iPhone.
There you have it, the stealthiest iPhone 5 case in all the land. While it’s supposedly popular among law enforcement and military personnel, it’s a great everyday case that’s sure to get you a lot of looks. At $199.95, The Sector 5 Limited Edition Black Ops is most definitely a premium iPhone case. If you’re looking for something similar and don’t care about all of the extras, then the regular ElementCase Sector 5 is a great alternative, available in flux gunmetal, silver, or black for $139.95.
The Good: Sleek and Stealthy, Light, Ergonomic, Unique Design, Lots of Extras, Non-Glare Matte Privacy Screen Protector, Easiest ElementCase yet for inserting and removing iPhone, Uses modular links soon available for upgrade and replacement, High quality
The Bad: Requires (included) Hex screwdriver to insert and remove iPhone, Volume buttons and toggle are deep inset, Collects lint around sides, Falls flush with iPhone’s face instead of exceeding it