Rokform's $39 RokShield V3 case has rough and tough outsides that guard your iPhone 5 against bumps, falls, and scratches, thanks to its two-piece design and screen protectors. The case comes in seven two-toned color varieties; I reviewed the black-on-gunmetal model.
The RokShield V3 has a polycarbonate interior, and is surrounded by a removable rubber bumper that gives your iPhone a little extra protection around the sides and corners. When I put both the plastic case and the rubber bumper on my iPhone, I was disappointed to see the rubber bumper lift up in a few places--I couldn't get it to sit perfectly flush with my iPhone, not matter how much I adjusted it.
Without the rubber bumper, the case did a fine job of protecting my iPhone from scratches. Adding the bumper just adds more insurance against damage if your iPhone falls and lands on one of its corners. With both pieces of the case on my iPhone, it felt well protected without being bulky. Rokform also includes two screen protectors to help shield it from nicks and scratches.
Unlike other rugged cases, such as Otterbox's collection or the Case-Mate Tank, the V3 is a good option for those who like to use their iPhone with dock-cradle accessories. You can quickly remove the rubber bumper and slide off the bottom half of the case by unclipping it from the top half. It might take you a few extra seconds, but it beats taking your phone completely out of its case.
The polycarbonate case has cutouts for the all of the iPhone's buttons, ports, and switches, and I had no trouble using any of them. The rubber bumper has overlays for the volume and Sleep/Wake buttons, and all were easy to use. The bumper makes the Ring/Silent switch a bit hard to get to, because of the added bulk around the sides, which might frustrate those with short fingernails.
A unique feature of the RokShield V3 is its mounting system. The case comes with a small round chunk of plastic that can stick to your car's dashboard, or any other hard surface, and connects to an opening in the back of the case. This is great for mounting your phone, but a flaw I found is that it's not easy to get the mounting system and the case to disconnect. Once it's clicked into place, the mount doesn't want to let go of your phone's case without some struggle.
The mounting system also includes a magnet to mount your iPhone to metal surfaces, such as a bicycle or a fridge. In testing, the magnet felt strong enough to hold your iPhone without worrying that it might fall.
Rokform's RokShield V3 offers substantial protection without the bulk that usually comes with a rugged case,, and especially since you can remove the outer rubber bumper. The mounting system comes in handy if you want to use your iPhone in the car or on your bike. If you're someone who wants to toss their phone into a bag without worrying about scratches, or just needs extra protection from clumsy hands, the RokShield V3 is a solid choice.