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on March 20, 2013
I've tried four cases for my iPhone 5, the Tough Xtreme, the Otterbox Defender, a Body Glove, and some other...can't remember. ALL were disappointing in some way...except for the Case Mate Tough Xtreme. This thing is EXACTLY what I wanted. It's what the Otterbox Defender tries to be, but fails.

The Xtreme is less bulky, yet the phone is very well protected. The screen protector doesn't have a clicky gap between it and the phone's screen. The screen protectors that stick directly to the screen are never right. You can't get 'em on straight. They always have bubbles underneath, and the edge always peels up somewhere on the screen. The Xtreme's screen protector is perfect, totally invisible, and has no effect on the feel.

The material is not sticky, but also grips a table top quite well. It's not going to slide around easily.

It has beveled corners that feel good in the hand, even when holding it for a long time, as in reading a Kindle book. The buttons are easy to push, very much unlike the Otterbox which had a VERY hard to press home button. My teenage daughter simply could not press that button hard enough to make it register the push.

The Xtreme easily slips into a pocket without sticking to the cloth, and its belt clip works well, though I tend to be a bit wary of those things when the phone is not totally encapsulated.

Only thing that bugs me just a little is the presence of little doors that cover the charging port, mute button, and headphone plug. They're a pain to use, as they are on any case I've seen that has 'em, and I may snip them off. They do protect from dirt and dust, but that's not an issue for me. Their absence would not compromise drop protection at all.

This is the one if you're looking for big time protection while minimizing bulk and compromised function.

Get it.
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on February 28, 2014
This this will protect against drops, scratches, dings, and probably even STDs. The soft rubber inner shell and the hard plastic outer shell are a great combination. The two colors compliment each other well.
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on June 17, 2013
I bought one of these cases for a mere $18. I was looking for an alternate to both the Griffin and Otterbox cases, which add a lot of thickness to the phone. I had the Griffin Survivor case on my 4S and the clip was the weakest link - pretty flimsy compared to the case itself; I eventually broke the clip: it was a pain from the get go.

Pros:

- The belt clip with the Casemate case is very robust, and is unlikely to fail, and it holds the phone in place securely. This is all good.
- As noted in other reviews, the case doesn't add a lot of bulk to the phone.
- The case forms a pretty airtight enclosure around the phone, except for significant openings at the front and back for the cameras and ear speaker.
- Comes with built-in screen protection
- Good construction
- Home button and volume controls still quite workable despite the case

Cons:

- Doesn't provide complete protection for the phone. Parts of the phone are exposed to the elements: rear camera and flash, front camera and ear speaker. The Otterbox and Griffin cases provide rubber flaps or coverings with small holes for these areas for added protection when not in use. Not so with this case. If you're looking for total protection for your phone, this isn't going to do it. If I had noticed this beforehand, I might have chosen another product. I'm concerned that the exposed areas will get scuffed or soiled over time.
- Flaps are a bit hard to open, and as noted by other reviewers, the flap for the charge port doesn't stay closed nicely if you've been charging the phone for some time. It's also a bit hard to switch to/from silent mode.

On the whole, probably still the case to get for those looking for semi-rugged protection for their phone. For those wondering how easy it to get the case off for cleaning - it's quite easy. Start at a corner, and with your index finger behind the case, push the rubber surround off the back of the phone. It will easily separate from the front cover of the case.
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on March 19, 2013
This is a quality product that functions well for its purpose. It protects the iPhone in every way conceivable, except for dropping into water (which is a bad idea in any case). It fits firmly around the phone and provides a superb grip to avoid dropping in the first place. But there is little to worry about if the phone is dropped onto a hard surface. There are tiny covers for various orifices on the phone for protection. They are rubbery flaps that generally stay shut went closed. My only criticism on this front is the flap for the digital socket, as it needs to be improved for staying closed after an overnight charging stint. It would also be nice if an exact version without the clear plastic screen cover were available, to give us a choice. Actually, I would prefer to not have the clear plastic, because its collecting scratches over time, and may eventually remove it by carefully cutting with a fine, sharp instrument. I was concerned before buying this case and holster because I thought that its pictures on the web made it look clunky. Such is not true. It looks fairly elegant while serving its main purposes, and the holster is very functional and easy to deploy. The holster sits better on larger belts (2-3"), where it does not rock much as on thinner belts.

3-Month follow-up: The case and holder were working fine until today (8 Jun 13). The clip that holds the iPhone5 in the holster broke. I was concerned about this feature at the outset because of it being thin plastic, but it seemed to hold up well ... that is, until now. This clip is a weak point of the item and is very likely to break within a few months of continuous use. Not good! The holster is now basically useless. So, I just lowered my rating from 5 to 3 stars. Another issue has to do with using an iPhone4 to iPhone5 power adapter. Given the configuration of the socket within the case, it is not possible to use a simple adapter with a compact housing; rather, one needs to use an adapter in which a wire connects the two connectors, to space them apart.
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on April 20, 2013
I had previously purchased the SF Matte Black - Apple iPhone 5 Ringke SLIM SF Premium Hard Case AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Unlocked , ECO Package. It was slim and nice, but 1) did not offer as much protection as this Tough Xtreme, and 2) could not be worn on my belt. I got tired of having to reach into a pocket to get to my phone. I use many different apps a lot, and was constantly having to retrieve the phone from my pants pocket. Also, the surface of that other shell was slick and would NOT keep the phone in place while driving.

Update 1: I purchased this 6 weeks ago for my iPhone 5. I already had Tech Armor screen protector on the phone, and was able to leave that on. I like the belt clip. It holds the phone securely and ratchet-rotates at 15 degree increments from vertical to horizontal to give you flexibility, such as when wearing it in the car. I wear it with 1 1/2 wide and 1 3/8 inch wide belts. It is too bad that they don't show the belt clip, too.
I also use the phone off the belt clip. The phone can, with one hand, be easily but not inadvertently released from the belt-clipped
single-side hard shell. The phone out of the hard shell is then protected by a two-piece shell which is substantial, but not bulky. I have dropped it on a hard tile floor twice without the phone being damaged. I can carry it in my workout pants or dress trousers front pocket without it bulging noticeably I have not had the clear part of the two-piece shell mar yet. You can clip the phone into the belt clip such that the clear part faces in and is protected by the single side of the belt clip. I would do it that way if I were hiking on a trail. The touch screen and push button controls work well through the shell. I like the access plug for the charger connection. I use the microphone a lot, and that works well through the shell. The surface of this shell is amazing. It prevents sliding without being sticky. It keeps the phone from sliding around on my jeans or the passenger seat while driving, but does not attract dust and has not tended to lose its non-slide characteristic.

Update 2: On 6/26/13, slightly over 2 months of use, I caught the phone on something as I was sitting down in the car, and the case popped off of the clip (with some force). The release parts of the clip and catch were in perfect shape; so I fixed it. How: Take the phone out of the hard shell. You will see the round back of the catch. The "front" side has square prongs. Examine the prongs to see if they look undamaged. Get something to fill the space between the jaw part of the clip and the part of the clip that has the square hole for the catch. I used a few large "fender" washers. They will keep the hinge of the jaw part of the clip from taking the force of the next step. Put the clip and case, clip side down on something sturdy and solid. I used my workbench. Align the male square of the catch with the female square hole in the clip. Ensure the "washers" are in place, and give the round inside part of the catch a whack with a regular hammer. Mine didn't insert on the first strike. So I ensured the catch and the square hole were aligned and the washers were in place, and I hit it a little harder, and it popped right back in. It works fine now. I still give this a 5-star because you do want a release for safety, and it took a reasonable amount of force for it to pop off. Someone could possibly grab the phone and pull it off your belt clip, but it takes enough force that you would know it was happening.

Update 3: July 26, 2013 One side of the teeth on the swivel finally broke last week. Through the Amazon link I was able to establish contact with Casemate. They merely requested a photograph of the damaged part and within one week have mailed me a replacement case. The agent did say to try to have the phone in the vertical position when you get into your car. The attachment is rated at 25 pounds breakaway force. (They do not sell or have available just the swivels; so if this happens outside the 1 year warranty, you are stuck. I'd still give their customer service 5 stars, both in email and on the phone.) And I'll be more careful.
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on June 20, 2013
I like this case for the most part. It adds a little bulk, but still fits in a pocket nicely. Seems nicely protected. I wanted something to protect it while out and about with my kids at the beach, park and the like. Since I use my phone as my camera most of the time, I wanted to be able to keep it handy and not worry too much about sand and water drops. So far it's been great for that.

A couple of issues I have with the case are that the front camera area was miscut and is not centered. It does not hinder the use of the camera or ear speaker, but looks off and that bugs me. The other issue is that the tab covering the charging port is loose after just a few uses and no longer stays in place protecting the port well. I can tell that after more use it will stop closing all together.
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on July 30, 2014
I was hesitant to buy this case because I didn't want something that would be too bulky to slide into my pocket. To be honest, the cost of some of the Otterbox products sent me looking at other brands, but my teen insisted that this case would be right for what I wanted (protection, not too bulky, smooth plastic, not rubber, something attractive and a little feminine.) I ended up picking this one, in part because I reasoned that the $17 price wasn't much to risk. I am pretty careful with my phone and it was going to be either this or a snap-on slim case. (but my last snap on-case, eventually stopped snapping on, which annoyed me)

I am very happy that I tried this one. The smooth plastic on the case slides right into the back pocket of my jeans or the side pocket of my purse without issue. It allows enough bulk to make the phone easier to grip, without being too big. (Some of my friend's iphone cases are enormous and I didn't want that!)

The case IS difficult to get on. It took some persistence and we found that you have to put the buttons in first. I can see how someone might try to force it in and break the plastic. Be gentle and take your time. Once I got it in the rubber seemed a little off, but I just gently kept working at it and over a couple days it seems to have found it's place. I don't imagine this will be truly waterproof, because while the rubber does cover the holes, the seal isn't perfect. Also the bottom strip of the rubber, near the button, is the one part that still isn't seated exactly right and I wonder if water could slip in. But for me that is not a big issue as I am pretty careful with my phone. I have not dropped one in water yet, so I had no reason to look for that as a feature.

I did, however, drop it on the sidewalk when I took a walk with it to make a phone call. The phone crashed and rolled, but there is not a scratch on it. In fact, the Otterbox, itself is so lightly marked that I won't even replace it.

The color is a little more vibrant than in the picture. It falls more in the category of turquoise than teal, IMO, though I had feared it would be seafoam from the photo. Its a nice color and the pink of my phone shows through just a little in the cutout, so it has a little bit of personality. :)
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on April 15, 2015
I purchased this case two years ago and decided to write a review now because of how well it has lasted and protected my phone. Of note, I have never used the belt clip. Last week, I did a very dumb thing and left my phone on the top of my car as I was driving. I was driving 45 mph when my phone went flying off my car. When I came back to find it, the case was beat up, but the phone was untouched. There was no damage to the phone either functionally or cosmetically. I've also dropped my phone plenty of times in the past two years and same thing - no damage to the phone.

I like the built in screen protector that wraps around the sides of the phone. It does not make the touch screen difficult to use at all. There are rubber covers over the phone ports to keep dirt out when not in use. When you use the ports, you fold back the rubber and insert the cord. I thought that eventually the covers would rip off from being bent back and forth so often, but two years later, there is no tearing and they've done a great job of keeping dirt out. The sound from the phone is also not affected by the cover.

This case does a fantastic job of protecting my phone. This was a great purchase in 2013, and it still is now.
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on July 20, 2013
This cover is not bulky, does not feel too horrible and seems to be very protective - both camera lenses front and back, screen, the little covers for the charger, etc. It may muffled the sound a bit, but not bad for the protection. It came with a clip which can be handy at times (I don't use it a lot), it feels safe in the hands (it "clings" to it avoiding slips) and stays in pockets - it can be a bit hard to slip it in a tight pocket for the same reason. The small covers are not hard to deal with except the first day, when they are stiff and were not used yet. Small fingers and fine motor skill probably helps.
How good is the protection I'm not sure because the phone has never been dropped yet, maybe because it stays so well in the hand. Had it for 2 months only and no scratches on screen or any damage, but I do tend to be careful. It has been exposed to light rain with no harm, and I felt confident it would hold just fine.
I would rather have my iPhone naked and beautiful, but realistically, this gave the level of protection it needed.
Recommended.
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on November 12, 2013
The tiny rubber flap that must be pulled out to insert the Lightning cable does not secure itself properly when finished charging. A deal breaker because the "Hanging Rubber Tab" looks terrible. This company should take lessons from OtterBox Defender, as their case's charging flap snaps back in place flawlessly. Not recommended.
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