The Edge Shine is a plastic slider style case with an aluminium finish for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s. They are available in a variety of colours and with engravings of a variety of letters.
Incipio’s packaging is worth a mention. Instead of the usual sharp plastic boxes most cases are packed in, Incipio uses an opening system much like a can of sardines. Simply pull a tab and the lid can be lifted out. The case itself is clipped into the box and simply needs to be popped out. It is a great design as it is practically impossible to accidentally cut yourself with the box.
The packaging includes the case, a screen protector, a cleaning cloth, an applicator card, and a credit card sized kickstand. The screen protector is a plain crystal style screen protector. The credit card sized kickstand clips into itself to provide two different viewing angles, while still being small enough to be stored in a wallet between uses.
Installing the case is a rather simple affair. The large top piece slides onto the phone followed by the smaller bottom piece. The inside of the case has several rubber strips that ensure the case will not accidentally come apart with use. The larger pieces fit is perfect, but the smaller piece is a little on the tight side, but it is not so tight that it becomes impossible to remove with just the bare hands. To remove the case, I had to dig my fingernails into the gap between the two pieces and give the case a good pull. The top part slipped off easily, but I would strongly recommend using a non-slip shelf liner or similar material to aid in removing the case.
Slider cases are usually plagued with problems when used with a screen protector. They often cause the screen protector to bubble and can introduce dirt underneath these bubbles. However, the Edge Shine is sized to work perfectly with the screen protector that is packaged with the case. Larger screen protectors from other manufacturers may encounter problems with the Edge Shine, especially thicker wet application screen protectors.
The case itself is made from Incipio’s proprietary blend of polycarbonate plastic known as Plextonium. It is advertised as having better drop and scratch resistance compared to traditional polycarbonate. The back of the case is finished with a extremely thin piece of brushed aluminium. The finish is actually so thin it could easily be mistaken as a piece of plastic with an aluminium style finish.
We were sent a grey monogrammed version of the case for review. These cases come in a variety of letters. Since the aluminium finish is extremely thin, the monogram is shallowly cut with a horizontal brushed finish that contrasts well compared to the case’s vertical brushed finish. The letter is bold enough to be noticed by subtle enough to not look tacky. The aluminium finish is a dark shade of grey while the case’s bumper is black. The colour scheme provides a nice classy look that will suit both formal and casual settings.
The Edge line of cases are a midsized case that sits between the Incipio DualPro and the Incipio Feather in terms of bulk and drop resistance. It is slimmer than the DualPro at the cost of lower drop resistance due to the lack of silicone. Its slim profile fits perfectly in the tight front pants pocket. The aluminium finish has been manufactured well as there is no discernable gap between the plastic and the aluminium. Since the aluminium is only located on the back of the case, it provides the visual look of the aluminium without the annoying signal degradation problems.
A large hole is cut out on the side of the case to provide access to the mute switch and volume buttons. A raised portion of the plastic covers the power button. However, half the plastic is firmly attached to the case. I found this to be really awkward to press down as naturally the desire is to put even pressure in the middle of the button. Instead, only half of the actual area of the power button is actually usable. It took quite some time to get used to and I still dislike it. The hole around half the power button has also become quite the lint trap for little balls of lint floating around in my pocket.
The bottom slot for the speakers, microphone, Lightning port, and audio port is one large cutout. There hole is slightly enlarged for audio cables. I found it was too small for the common L shaped plugs. Most larger plugs found in high end headphones will need either an adapter or some modification to fit with the Edge Shine.
The camera hole is generously sized with a large ring of black plastic. In my testing, there were no problems with the camera hole noticeably interfering with the camera or the flash, most likely due to the decision to keep the aluminium finish well away from the camera hole.
The Edge Shine feels great in the hands. It only adds 0.7 ounces to the overall weight of the iPhone. There is a ridge of plastic on top of the large cutout that is perfect for gripping onto the phone without pressing down on the volume buttons. It has a decent sized lip on the front of the case that will keep the screen away from gritty surfaces when placed screen down.
For those looking for a slimmer case or those who have a particular dislike for silicone, the Edge Shine is an excellent choice. The aluminium is used in a classy and subdued. There is a large variety of colours to choose from. Unfortunately, there is little room for larger audio cables and the power side. The biggest complaints are the design of the power button and the $34.99 price tag. Although the price tag is partly offset by the high quality manufacturing, it is still a lot of money for a polycarbonate case as the aluminium finish comes at a $5.00 premium compared to the normal Edge case.
Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here.