Magpul, a company that's not as known for its iPhone cases as it is for its tactical and military-grade gear, has successfully managed to rank amongst the best case brands as far as we see it without having a greedy outlook on iPhone users whilst still producing its cases in the USA - with what we think is a more experienced and thoughtful process. Anyone who's had the pleasure of using Magpul's Field Case and Executive Field Case for the iPhone knows very well that the company's new Field Case V2 for the iPhone 5 is going to be incredibly awesome and then some.
I know that we're really enthusiastic about Magpul's new Field Case for the iPhone 5, and we patiently awaited the release of a slightly slimmer and longer version of Magpul's Gadgetmac Editors' Choice Award-winning case to hit the market, or should I say our hands. After having used the company's iPhone 4/S iterations, I can confidently say that there's no other non-premium style cases I would rather wait months for than Magpul's extraordinary Field Case. Our full review is one click, or scroll away!
If you remember our earlier review of Magpul's Executive Field case for the iPhone 4, it was one of the very few cases to ever receive a perfect rating including our Editors' Choice Award which we award to products that we personally love to use and think are worth buying on the spot.
Magpul's iPhone 5 Field Case is the most awesome low-cost case we've ever reviewed. And at just $13, it's practically a steal. Don't tell that to Magpul though.
In a crowded marketplace where expensive cases typically offer better quality and durability, while bargain cases are considered to be a "you get what you pay for" type of deal, Magpul's $13 Field Case is anything but these two different categories. Without increasing the original price one bit, Magpul was also able to up the official-ness of its Field Case packaging you'd expect to find in retail stores. You'll find the Field Case in its appropriate color attire of tactical and camouflage themed colors including a bright orange flavor as well. As much as I love the current color options, it would have been to see some new vibrant colors added to the mix this time around.
Ribbed for maximum pleasure
In case you were wondering, the Field Case shares the same style of design with Magpul's popular PMAG weapon magazines that are designed to offer unprecedented crucial traction and grip for flawless operation with or without tactical gloves - which is what inspired the tremendously grippy surface and ribbed pattern featured on the Field Case for the iPhone. The Field Case for the iPhone 5 shares the same semi-rigid, snap-on design as its predecessors but with an improved constructed body that fits and hugs the iPhone 5 as if it were a latex glove. It fits flawlessly in such a way that it kind of feels like it becomes one with the iPhone in that there's no give or flex whatsoever. The fit is solid as a rock and that's one of the great aspects about Magpul's arguably innovative design.
What is that? I'll tell you. It's what happens when a case such as this takes a heap of bath salts, and the outcome is this crazy fine texture you won't find on any other TPU case. TPU cases are known to have a not so unique characteristic, however, Magpul's concoction of experience resulted in something that is more special than your average TPU-made case.
The amount of grip being provided by the Field Case is borderline insane. I'd go as far as saying it's as grippy as rough sand paper, but that just comes out as seeming like an uncomfortable thing to be holding. Magpul's expertise in manufacturing some of the most popular tactical accessories certainly transferred over to its iPhone 5 case in a big way. The textured TPU rubber seems to me like some type of proprietary granular texture I've yet to see on a case of this kind. Notice the pill-shaped camera cutout reveals no part of the iPhone 5's aluminum in case you're picky like that. It's also worth noting that there's no flashback issues at all because of this - at least with our black Field Case that is.
The texture and the slim profile of the new Field Case define exactly why it's an amazing case to use even if you could care less about tactical gear and the whole industry behind it. You have to feel it to believe it, and understand why we're raving about it so much. Because photos and a few words can't express the sensational feeling of using the iPhone 5 Field Case. The side ribbing, slim yet protective profile and that extremely grippy durable material makes the Field Case a pleasure to use and hold more than ever before. One of the small details that come with the Field Case's unique textured polymer is that lint and fingerprints fear it even if you pick up a black colored Field Case.
Magpul's Field Case is purposely designed to have a low profile so that it won't interfere with how you use your iPhone whilst still featuring a minimal, and well rounded lay-on-the-table designed rim along the edge. And while I love using Urban Armor Gear's UAG composite case, the Field Case by comparison is slightly slimmer, more refined with its form-fitting and a whole lot more agile to hold. It doesn't feel bulky like the UAG respectably does, and that's appreciated especially when the iPhone 5 is one of the thinnest handsets on the market. What's more is that any tempered glass screen protector will fit with the Field case without any issues.
The Field Case features uniquely designed integrated volume and sleep/wake buttons which compliment the grip-enthused styling, and offer superb tactile feedback when pressed.
Cutouts for the iPhone 5's 3.5mm audio and Lightning connector ports are designed to support the Field Case's form-fitting rigid construction without impeding on the functionality of using the iPhone 5's ports. You'll be able to easily plug in any modern 3.5mm audio jack, however, there are obvious limitations as to which type of additional accessories you might be able to use with this case on. We haven't seen a case that can accommodate large adapters without sacrificing its rigidity support around the bottom end of the case where usual flexing or sagging of the case would otherwise occur. With this rigid individual cutout design, Magpul improved the Field Case compared to previous iPhone 4/S versions.
If you drop your iPhone 5 inside this case, chances are it'll be safe from a waist height drop because of the shock- absorbing polymer and ribbed design. I wouldn't recommend it as a tough case, but instead as a very protective case that'll keep your iPhone 5 safe from the occasional drop, scuffs and scratches without imposing any bulk whatsoever.
Magpul's Field Case is currently my ultimate favorite iPhone 5 case to use and I've got a good feeling that it will continue to be such for a long time to come. You'll be hard pressed to find a similar case that'll offer you as much good-feel grip at such a low profile and overall quality at such a low-ball price.
If you love a grippy case you can pull out of your pocket or have a good purchase on with your hand and fingers, the Field Case for the iPhone 5 is the only case I know of that can achieve an amazing type of grip that's like a new rubber tire melted down on the track by an F1 car. It's that grippy. The Field Case is such a great case worth more than its price suggests, and because of that it once again wins our Editors' Choice Award and perfect rating. There's no faulting the iPhone 5 Field Case. And I can't help but feel a little sympathetic towards Android users, and I strongly think Magpul should consider creating a version for Samsung's Galaxy S3 and its forthcoming Galaxy S4 handsets; and perhaps even other popular handsets. But for right now, it's another terrific case made available to iPhone users.
Update: We got our hands on more Field Case flavors: