I loved playing with Legos when I was a kid. I can remember obsessively begging my parents to buy me Star Wars sets, racing home, and tearing the boxes open to create my new masterpiece. It’s a piece of my childhood I value dearly; I felt like an artist, a creative. Belkin has attempted to bring out that nostalgia with the Builder Case. Read on for my thoughts.
The Builder case is a snap on case that brings protection and unique Lego functionality to your iPhone 5. Simply insert your phone, button-side first and work the rest of the phone around. The result is a feel that is slighty more bulky than your traditional snap-on case (more on that later). The Builder case is composed of three distinct layers: a shock absoprtion TPU-like material, a scratch-resistance plastic, and a Lego base.
The front of the case features a tiny amount of lay-on-the table design, and still plays nice with screen shields. The front of the case features a red border, which is a nice contrast to the black iPhone 5.
The top of the case features a covered sleep/wake button. The button is fairly hard to press, and I found myself having to press the button several times before actually triggering it. Of course, this is a tradeoff between protection and functionality, and one that shouldn’t have to exist.
The side of the case features covered volume up/down buttons that are far easier to press than the sleep/wake button. There’s also a cutout for the ring/vibrate switch, which is easily accessible. On the opposite side of the case, there’s the Belkin logo, which looks nice.
The bottom of the case features a large, single cutout for the speaker, microphone, Lightning port, and the 3.5mm headphone jack. Because of the large cutout, docking your iPhone 5 with the Builder case is easy.
The back of the Builder case is it’s differentiator: it’s a base for building Legos! The Builder case is officially licensed by Lego, so it’s guaranteed to work with any official Lego building block. There’s also a cutout for the camera and flash, which works fine.
The Builder case works great as both a protective iPhone 5 case and as a base for all your Lego creations. The case does add a little bit of bulk, thanks to the Lego base, but you can hardly notice the difference between it and other snap-on cases. While I don’t view the Builder case as something I’d use every day, it reminds me of a great time during my childhood.
The Belkin Builder Case succeeds on a ton of levels, save for the frustrating covered sleep/wake button. The Builder is certainly unique, and in a way that doesn’t seem cheap. Lego is a legendary company, and Belkin’s partnership with them was a brilliant move to capture the nostalgia many of us feel for Lego. The Builder case comes in three different color variations, and can be purchased for $39.99 on Belkin’s website.
Pros: Great protection, Lego functionality works perfectly and is awesome.
Cons: Covered sleep/wake button doesn’t respond consistently.