If you’re in the market for a new case for your iPhone 5 or 5s, you’re probably having a hard time choosing. There are so many options out there that you can easily find yourself wanting one of everything. One style of case keeps the metallic quality of the iPhone 5 and 5s while protecting your expensive device. The Element Case Solace is just such a case. It combines polycarbonate with aircraft grade aluminum to make it strong and light, but that aluminum will cost you a pretty penny. Is it worth it?
The Solace is fairly thin. The top and bottom edges of the case are made of T6061 aircraft grade aluminum. The polycarbonate is lightweight and durable (which is why basically every case on the market is made out of the stuff), while the aluminum makes the case feel even slightly more sturdy.
Unfortunately, the Solace might be the most difficult case to install. First you attach the polycarbonate case to your phone. This is actually the vast majority of the case’s surface area. Then you’ll have to attach the top and bottom edges (the aluminum parts). These are held onto the polycarbonate case with four tiny little screws. I had considerable difficulty getting these screws to line up with the case. The included screwdriver isn’t much help either. It, too, is very small and seems to be designed to not be easily twirled in your fingers to drive the screws in with two flat edges instead of a nice barrel. The upside to this difficult installation is that it’s equally hard to get off. In terms of protecting your device, that’s good.
Overall, I found the ElementCase Solace to not live up to its price. Although functional, it’s expensive, hard to install, and doesn’t feel much sturdier than a fully plastic case. Even worse is that the it doesn’t really feel premium like it’s price would suggest. There’s very little metal on the case, which is what makes these metal cases seem like higher quality cases to begin with. If you’re looking for an aluminum case for your iPhone, you’d be well advised to bump up to Element Case’s Sector 5, or look elsewhere.