Element Case Sector 5 Au iPhone 5s Case Review


With the introduction of the gold iPhone 5s, a plethora of golden-colored accessories have made their way to market, if only to compliment the existance of the gold iPhone 5s. Because chances are that if you're an owner of a gold iPhone, you sure as hell don't want to cover it up with yet another muted color case should you seek appropriete protection or maybe a different type of an accessory. Worry not, Element Case has a new Gold Collection out that consists of its hottest accessories in honor of Apple's gold iPhone 5s.

The Sector 5 Au is one of a number of cases belonging to Element Case's charming Au Gold Collection, and it's pretty much the same hybrid aluminum bumper case we all arguably know and like - only anodized in a gold color to naturally compliment the gold iPhone 5s. If there's one luxury case brand worth considering as far as premium metal materials are concerned, it's Element Case. So be sure to make your way down below for our full, in-depth review of the Sector 5 Au.


Element Case is known to be the harbinger of what can be referred to as high-performance cases. There's no question the company is ahead of the curve when it comes to aluminum machined iPhone cases. And the latest case to come out of the American brand is a case in point. The Sector 5 Au for the iPhone 5s remains to be one of the most sophisticatedly designed CNC machined aluminum cases we have had the pleasure of reviewing.

Maybe you want to make it perfectly clear to everyone that you in fact do own the latest iPhone 5s model by going for gold, and not an iPhone 5. Whatever it may be, you can't go wrong pairing it with a matching case like the Sector 5 Au. It's one of the very few hybrid aluminum bumper cases we know of that ticks off ultra high quality and design, while also giving you the option to switch from a fully protective case or back to a bumper-style case when you feel like enjoying that beautiful rear side view of your iPhone.


While the Sector 5 is an impressive creation, what we aren't very keen on is the price. Compared to normal case offerings, iPhone 5s and iPhone 5 users alike looking to score an aluminum made Element Case will have to set foot on a much higher step. The Sector 5 Au will set you back $150, which is $10 more than what you'll pay for the standard Sector 5 version - although you are getting a much more practical protective case accessory with the Au version as you shall soon find out. Nevertheless, we thank our awesome friends at Tekcases.com for letting us have the opportunity to indulge in such greatness.

Like with many things in life, there are some people who don't get the idea or the reasoning behind such extravagant, and expensive cases when there are tons of great plastic cases at reasonable or more appropriately referred to as - economy prices. But we get it. Like you, we are adrenaline junkies. And we can't think of any other case that is able to provide us with such thrill as the Sector 5 Au can. The $150 price tag becomes all the more reasonable when you experience the Sector 5 Au first hand. It's a brilliantly designed piece of engineering; from fit to finish.


While I may not be using the Sector 5 Au as it was intended, you know with a gold iPhone 5s, and still sure does look good with a Space Gray iPhone 5s. Black and gold compliment each other I think just as well. And to be more specific, the gold color of the Sector 5 Au is more of a champagne gold than anything else so it definitely closely matches the gold aluminum of the iPhone 5s. It's a lighter, more fizzy shade of yellow gold in case you had any doubts.


While the Sector 5 Au comes in a all-gold color, there are other flavors available as well like black, silver and gray. But if you want to mix things up a bit whilst keeping an elegant look that will best compliment your iPhone 5s, you can design your own Sector 5 case with a mixture of accented gold parts from the Au line. I think gold and silver really look sharp together.


Design wise, the Sector 5 and all of its numerous editions such as the Au – is a totally original and never before attempted CNC machined aluminum bumper case concept which is unique to Element Case that utilizes a unique multi-link frame which is constructed using a total of 4 white, clear or black jointed links made from an aerospace polymer (plastic for short), that are designed to give the case its flexibility, unhindered signal reception, modular reparability - meaning you could purchase every individual part to fix or replace your damaged/dinged up "sectors" - and ease of use.


All you have to do is remove one screw from the top right hand corner, and the Sector 5 Au will flip wide open like a butterfly watch clasp. This saves time and requires no piece reassembly which is an outstanding feature. One that I'd like to see implemented in all metal cases. The Sector 5 Au is made up from 8 individual parts that interlink and can be customized with various colors through Element Case's website.

The white polymer segments are also part of the Sector 5 Au's RF bridge sectors which help reduce reception degradation to an insignificant amount. My iPhone 5s' signal strength is barely affected by the Sector 5 Au bumper case and its brilliant hybrid construction. You will notice a tiny hint of a drop in signal strength that isn't even displayed thru the reception bars near your carrier's logo.


When you come to install the Sector 5 Au onto your iPhone, you will notice that Element Case took care in ensuring that the beautifully chamfered edges including the anodized aluminum finish of your iPhone 5s or iPhone 5 will not come to hard by the Sector 5 Au's aluminum body. The interior is covered with plenty of soft padding made from the amazing Ultrasuede material.


In fact, there's so much of this stuff in our review unit that is literally overflows and creeps near the edges of the case and visibly appearing in-between the iPhone and the rest of the case. Whether that's a good or bad thing is up to you, but we think Element Case should have at least tried to perfectly trim these excess edges of the padding. The great thing is that your iPhone is safely protected within the Sector 5 Au, and in the event of a drop, that interior lining  combines with the durability of the aluminum construction should provide ample amount of protection.


The beautiful side "trussed" rail design is CNC machined to reveal the iPhone 5s' gold or native contrasting gray or natural silver aluminum color while also creating a very rigid construction that's extremely lightweight. It also lets the iPhone breath in reception. This is the most sophisticated hybrid designs we've seen in aluminum cases. Element Case was able to retain as much metal to plastic ratio as possible thru the Sector 5's brilliant design.


Since we reviewed the original Sector 5, Element Case has added another little detail that fills that side truss with a transparent, albeit frosted TPU side rail grip detail similar to that of the Rogue Al and Au cases by Element Case. This does help in providing additional grip for your thumb, but it can also be removed should you want a more clear visible opening instead. And if you're building your own custom Sector 5 case on Element Case, this small grip detail can also be had in black. You can also purchase these parts separately too.


The fit and finish are all there as one would expect from Element Case. The Sector 5 Au features the same amazingly unique Flux finish that's epic in its smooth, almost soft-touch feeling and incredible satin appearance. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Element Case is the one and only company that creates the most amazing, refined aluminum finishes for its cases. And the Sector 5 Au is no exception. The special Flux finish on the aluminum creates an amazing grip and tactile sensation. And if you look closely, a subtle brushed metal texture can be seen on the aluminum parts as they are meticulously machined.


When Element Case makes a case, it reeks of quality. And you really feel that when holding your iPhone encased inside a Sector 5 Au case. It is the kind of case that first requires handling in order to understand its true value.


While I will still fear to call any other Sector 5 case sexy looking knowing that it'll most likely bitch slap me and call me a fool for saying so, this time it's a bit different. And that's because the Sector 5 Au is like an ex-navy seals thug dressed up in disguise as a princess. Granted it's still one of the meanest, most kickass looking aluminum iPhone 5s and iPhone 5 case ever created, I can't help the fact that its gold paint job has feminized its appearance in a way. There's no hiding the fact that the Sector 5 in its true self is the sort of protective case you'd expect to receive as standard issued gear when joining an elite team of a super secretive military sector. The kind of case a Seal team member would be rocking. And I'd still go as far as saying that it's the best, most thought-out case Element Case has ever made. 


Holding it definitely gives you that very industrial, cold raw metal feel in your hand. While there are some edgy corners to it, the Sector 5's is actually the most comfortable aluminum case Element Case has put out. Greatly due to its incredibly thin nature and the amazing curved edges that slightly taper to the exact size of the iPhone 5s. So suffice to say that this isn't a bulky case at all. It does however, add a bit of extra width to the device. Putting it up against the Draco Ventare A in terms of usability, the Sector 5 Au is a tad more comfortable to use as an every day case. But it's nothing like the Solace and Solace Au cases, which are more comfortable to hold but offer a different type of hybrid aluminum and polycarbonate construction. 


As always, the included supple Ultrasuede back skin, which is color matched to the Au's golden hue – also adds a lot of comfort and warmth to the overall case. Plus it adds protection if you don't care to cover up your iPhone 5s or iPhone 5s iconic back design. The Ultrasuede backing can be easily removed and reapplied when needed. There's also a special place for you to stick it to when it's not in use.


Inside the packaging, the Sector 5 Au comes with a Quick-Drew sleeve pouch which is essentially a protective case with a pull tab that let's you easily pull out your Sector 5 Au-encased iPhone. You'll also find a redesigned and more basic plastic Speed Wrench screw tool that you can attach onto your keychain, spare stainless steel screws, a screen protector, a spare white plastic multi-link link, one gold Ultrasuede back skin and a set of silver and black "Rash Guards". These are Element Case's ridiculous skins that are designed to wrap around your iPhone's aluminum perimeter in order to avoid potential scuffage. 

The rash guards are perhaps Element Case's most pointless decision ever. You don't need them because there's already plenty of interior padding, and they don't even work properly either. While they are supposed to stick and wrap around the chamfered edges of the iPhone 5/s, the vinyl material which these are made from can't seem to hold still and simply lift up.


The micro-textured sleeve pouch is made out of the same type of synthetic material Element Case uses for its Soft-Tec line of cases. Most importantly however, it also doubles as a credit card wallet case so it's actually a useful addition to the Sector 5 Au. You can store two cards on the back, and that's about it. 


If I had one gripe to point out it would have to be the uncomfortable to reach volume buttons. The cutout is too narrow and deep, with sharp edges. Element Case - if you could integrate an easy to operate built-in sleep/wake button, why didn't you take the time to design the same for the rest of the iPhone's buttons? It seems that EC didn't learn from its previous bad habits with the Vapor Pro.


One a more positive side, the Sector 5 Au's single bottom cutout is openly wide and offers accommodating port access for most third party Lightning and 3.5mm audio connectors despite having a harsh recessed clearance. And even though it will easily fit into Element Case's Vapor Dock as well as Twelve South's HiRise dock, we can't say that it'll fit most other Lightning docks due its flared design and recessed bottom port opening.


On that note, we think the Sector 5 Au is a jaw droppingly awesome hybrid bumper case that exists to please – largely those who have Apple's gold iPhone 5s. It's different, much easier to install than previous nearly all-metal iterations and best of all, the Sector 5 Au answers to quality of design and finish without flinching. If you're looking to get a case that's worthy of the iPhone 5s' unique, golden industrial design and premium materials, then we can definitely recommend the Sector 5 Au as a high-end, albeit pricy yet elegantly tactical statement. We liked the Sector 5 Au so much, that we've awarded it with our coveted Editors' Choice Award.