Used to be if you wanted a hand crafted Element Case for your iPhone you had to be prepared to spend upwards of $100 or more. At CES 2013 the company introduced a line of more affordable cases. The all new Soft-Tec line is now ready for ordering. The Soft-Tec line is made up of three different cases. One for the iPhone 5, another for the iPad Mini and a third for the Samsung Galaxy S3. The Soft-Tec cases are made from a non-slip synthetic material and each features a protective folding design. Inside the case you’ll find a plush suede material meant to keep your mobile device safe. Ready to see the Soft-Tec up close?
Click on through for my full review.
Let’s start with the iPhone 5 version, called the Soft-Tec Mobile Wallet. Inside the packaging you’ll find the case and a wrist lanyard.
Here’s what Element Case has to say about the Soft-Tec Cases for iPhone 5 & iPad Mini.
With rave reviews from its debut at CES, the new Soft-Tec line is here. This new category of protective cases from Element Case represents portability, functionality and exclusive high tech materials in sleek folding designs. The outer Tech Grip™ material features a non-slip synthetic coating to ensure a firm grip and an overall enhanced ergonomic experience with your portable device. The inside is lined with plush synthetic suede to protect the touchscreen. A high impact polycarbonate shell holds the device in the case and is coated in a black rubber tone satin finish to enhance the high tech look and feel. The Soft-Tec cases for the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3 include card slots, a safety lanyard, and a magnetic closure.
This new category of protective cases from Element Case represents portability, functionality and exclusive high tech materials in sleek folding designs.
The outer Tech Grip™ material features a non-slip synthetic coating to ensure a firm grip and an overall enhanced ergonomic experience with your portable device. The inside is lined with plush synthetic suede to protect the touchscreen. A high impact polycarbonate shell holds the device in the case and is coated in a black rubber tone satin finish to enhance the high tech look and feel.
The exterior of the Soft-Tec cases are crafted and coating with a synthetic material. This material offers a tremendous amount of grip in the hand. On the iPhone version a magnetic clasp helps keep the front flap of the case closed when you’re not using your phone. This insures the screen of your phone stays safe.
Inside the case you’ll find a red, suede microfiber material. This material is soft and you’ll recognize right away that it’s meant to safeguard your iPhone or iPad against scratches. There are two pockets on the inside of the front flap for credit cards, ID, debit cards or cash.
The case uses a snap on the back style system for securing your device inside. Simply place your iPhone 5 into the case, button side first, then click the opposite in. The inside of the snap on the back portion of the case is coated in soft touch material so that your device won’t be scratched.
Once inside the case you’ll still have access to your phone’s ports and controls. Since this is, in essence, a folio style case, the top and the bottom are fully exposed. To get to the vibrate buttons and mute switch however, you must open the case up. Like the flip cover cases for the Galaxy S3 and Note 2 phones the Soft-Tec case features a cutout for the earpiece so that you can use the phone to make/receive calls without keeping the flap open.
On the back of the case you’ll find a pill shaped cutout for the iPhone 5′s rear facing camera, secondary microphone and LED flash. A magnetic clasp, branded with the Element Case logo, keeps the front flap shut.
The front flap of the case can get in the way of using the phone at times. Thankfully it’s very easy to simply flip it all the way around the secure it open with the magnetic clasp.
You can choose to install the optional wrist lanyard for a more secure hold on your phone. The lanyard is just long enough to make it possible to continue to use the phone while it’s tethered to your wrist.
If you like to watch movies on your iPhone 5 you’ll be pleased to know that the case allows you to prop up your phone in landscape mode creating the perfect viewing angle.
The iPad Mini Case features the same exterior finish as the iPhone 5 case.
Like the iPhone 5 case the inside of the iPad Mini case is lined with suede micro fiber. This time however, it extends the entire inside of the case. There is a small amount of soft touch material at the edge of the interior of the case.
The case uses a snap on the back style system for securing your device inside. Simply place your iPad Mini into the case, button side first, then click the opposite in. The red material found on the the inside of the snap on the back portion of the case feels great. You can rest easy knowing that your device won’t be scratched by the case.
Once inside the case you’ll still have access to your iPad’s ports and controls. Since this is folio style case, the top, bottom and side are fully exposed. This leaves the iPad’s speakers, lightning port, volume buttons, mute/orientation switch, sleep/awake button and headset jack all fully accessible with the case open or closed. The iPad version of the Soft-Tec does work with the iPad’s automatic sleep/awake feature. When you close the front flap the iPad goes to sleep and when you open it the iPad wakes up. A must have as far as I’m concerned in any iPad case.
On the back of the case a perfect circle shaped cutout allows the iPad’s rear facing camera to remain free and clear. The small lip of soft touch material found on the inside of the case also extends to the outside. A boarder of soft touch runs the entire edge of the back of the case giving you a hybrid style look and feel for added grip.
The iPad Mini Case allows you to stand the device up in several different angles. Simply prop up the iPad and rest it on the red surface of the inside of the front flap and whatever angle works best for you. There isn’t a real good typing angle however.
Check out my full video review below…
If you avoided Element Case in the past because you couldn’t afford their asking price now’s your chance to experience the quality of a case made by a true case master. The Soft-Tec line of cases fit great and are fully functional. The black and red color combination is modern and eye catching. I’ve had the same case on my iPad Mini since CES. I just replaced it with the Soft-Tec iPad Mini Case. Yeah, that’s a ringing endorsement if there ever was one.
You can learn more about the Element Case Soft-Tec line by visiting this page on the company’s web site.
MSRP: iPhone - $49.95, iPad Mini – $64.95
PROS: Grippy material. Red and black colors look great. Unique. Stylish. Modern.
CONS: iPad Mini case doesn’t have a typing angle.