It’s been over four months since we’ve reviewed the iPhone 5. Since then, I’ve been using it on and off, but mostly on. I haven’t kept in a case (where’s the fun in that?), but I’ve treated it relatively well by keeping it away from keys and other sharp objects when in my pocket, and by making sure that the iPhone 5 has never taken a fall to a hard surface. So with a medium/average level of care, how has the iPhone 5 stood up to the test of life? Is it durable?

The answer is: not really. In fact, if we were to give the iPhone 5 a durability rating, it would be C. As you can see in the photos and video below, the iPhone 5’s anodized aluminum both along the back and the sides, is prone to scratching and chipping. In fact, every iPhone 5 I’ve ever seen, after some period of use, has exhibited these chips. And it’s much worse on the black iPhone 5, where the black paint chips off to reveal a contrasting silver color below. And the glass, despite being scratch resistant, has also become blemished with a several surface scratches, and several deeper wounds.

The tragedy is that the iPhone 5 is one of the most beautiful pieces of consumer technology ever released, that is, for the few moments when it’s brand new. If you’re getting an iPhone 5 and you care about resell value, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor if you get a case. One of my favorite (and most minimal) is by Rocketfish.

 

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