The toughest iPhone cases are often the bulkiest, but Crimson's Aluminum case bucks that trend. Cladding your iPhone in a rigid frame of aircraft-grade aluminum, the case's minimal design offers protection from everyday scrapes.
The Dillocase website describes the company's products as "no-frills, minimalistic iPhone cases," and we can't imagine a more apt description. The Dillocase is a standard two-piece hardshell design. Slide the top half over your phone, and the smaller bottom piece slides into place. The inside is lined in soft material to protect your phone from scratches.
The Engage Bamboo has a lot to like. The snap-on case's silver plastic looks like metal. It adds very little bulk to your iPhone 5. The etched logo on the bottom-left is unobtrusive and its texture actually adds just the tiniest bit of grip.
When it's time to hit the town, sometimes there's no room in your fancy coat's pockets or your sequined clutch for a bulky wallet and your iPhone 5. Speck says its SmartFlex Card case can hold 3 cards, but we got 3 thick credit cards plus a slightly thinner driver's license in there, and the fit was snug but didn't stretch the case past its limits -- and the cards were still easy to remove, thanks to the thumb-sized hole opposite the in/out slot.
The RokShield v3 isn't just a case, it's the core of a mounting system: Rokform offers attachments from a tripod adapter ($29) to a suction mount ($49), and a sturdy bike mount ($69) to clips ($29) and a simple lanyard ($9). It all works with this burly, three-part case with optional screen protector.
Sometimes a silicone sleeve is all you need, and Moshi's Origo is one of our favorites. It adds very little bulk, but the honeycomb pattern on the inside is raised ever so slightly to give you a bit of extra shock protection, and the pattern is visible from the outside too.
If you're on the fence about covering the handsome aluminum back of your iPhone 5 with a case, Moshi's iGlaze Armour is a polycarbonate snap-on case with an aluminum back panel that mimics the look of a naked iPhone 5, in black on black, white with a silver backplate, or gray with a bronze backplate.
The Stashback case from Incipio isn't totally flat on the back; the bottom two-thirds or so bulge out a little. That's because there's a hidden compartment between the case and your phone that can hold up to 3 cards: ID and credit cards.