Sector 5 case for iPhone 5 by Element Case review

I've always likened the high-end, aluminum bumper cases for the iPhone to hypercars like the Lamborghini Reventon or Aventador because that's precisely where they seem to draw their lines from. The Sector 5 case for the iPhone 5 by Element Case is certainly no exception. In fact, it continues just exactly that tradition from Element Case, bringing their trademark quality and corners to Apple's latest iPhone.

Element Case has made two major innovations with the Sector 5. The first is in the way you put it on and take it off. With past versions of the aluminum bumper, you had to remove and replace multiple screws and deal with a fussier, two part assembly. Now it's streamlined down to the new Multilink system -- one screw, and one piece. Open, insert your iPhone 5, close, secure, and done. It's still more effort than a soft, slip on case, but as far as metal goes, it's a huge improvement.

The second is in the manufacturing. The Sector 5 is still CNC machined in the U.S. from T6061 aluminum, but the new trussed design gives it a much lighter feel; almost as unbelievably light as the iPhone 5 itself. The one negative about the trusses, however, is that there's more area for dust and lint to find purchase. It's nothing the occasional wipe-down won't fix, but the more complex the architecture, the more involved the upkeep.

There are strips to cover the sides and an Ultrasuede back plate to protect the anodized aluminum unibody of your iPhone 5. I'm a minimalist so I didn't use those, but if you want the full package, they're there for you. And as always, Element Case puts that package together beautifully, from box to bags, everything you need is there.

I used the Sector 5 for a week and had absolutely no problems with reception, including in areas with low cell signals. I don't know if its the trussed design or the polymer RF bridge components, or the different antenna system of the iPhone 5 itself, but I never dropped so much as a bar. Voice sounded the same, and LTE downloaded every bit as fast.

Overall, the Sector 5 case for the iPhone 5 by Element case looks great and feels even better. It's a premium product, made out of high-end materials, using a high-end process, and has a price-tag to match. But if you want something that makes your iPhone stand out from the crowd, that's just as high-octane as it is high-end, then check out the Sector 5 by Element Case. And buckle up.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.