Posted by Neil Bennett 25 February 2014
Lego iPhone case review
This official Lego iPhone case is quite simply the coolest case you could put on your iPhone 5 or 5s right now.
Belkin’s Lego iPhone 5/5s Builder case is a simply designed open case made from Lego brick plastic, with the back covered with Lego bumps so you can personalise it, build your own scenes or full houses, or even create your own Lego stop-motion films (which of course we did and then GIFed, above). Or build a car around it and use the Makego app to turn it into an interactive toy.
The appeal of this case goes beyond the Lego Movie that’s currently in cinemas – Lego’s appeal is eternal so this case will still be cool in a month’s time, or six months, or a year, or until it’s time to upgrade to that iPhone 6 that looks identical to the iPhone 5 but will be incompatible with this case due to a minute movement of the volume buttons or headphone jack.
Chances are the case will last as long as you keep your phone – in fact, as it’s made of near-indestructable Lego plastic, it’ll probably still be in tip-top condition when your iPhone’s ready to be fully recycled.
The one connection between this case and the Lego Movie is that it’s ethos is the same as that film’s message: that Lego offers a creative space that shouldn’t be constrained by just identically replicating Lego sets by blindly following the instructions (a message that’s perhaps ironic considering Lego sells sets based on individual elements from the movie). You don’t get any additional Lego bricks or bits with this case, just a blank canvas to play, design and tell stories on. Or just to write your name or create artworks using flat tile bricks for when you’re going about your day-to-day business.
This Lego iPhone case is nicely chunky without adding more size or weight than similar 'hard’ cases. There’s a rugged level of finish around the buttons that gives a sense of polish to the design, though the Belkin logo is an unnecessary addition. There’s only one brand that matters here, and that’s the one that means ‘play’ in Swedish. The purple piping around the lower rim (or top rim if you’re building on the case) doesn’t really add much, but doesn’t detract either – though the simple black inset around the camera/flash hole is a smart choice to prevent
Otherwise, from a practical point-of-view, there isn’t much to say about this Lego iPhone 5/5s case. It fits snuggly around my iPhone 5s without blocking anything. The material makes the on/off and volume buttons harder to push than other cases, but it’s not annoyingly so – and it’s in keeping with the ‘push to click’ solidity of real Lego.
The 15x7 surface – with a 2x4 missing from the top corner for the camera – is enough space to get creative (check out the GIF at the top of this piece to see some of what we got up to with it).
If there’s one flaw to this Lego case is that there’s no iPhone 4/4S version – or for any of Samsung’s wide range of Android phones. While this might not matter to bearded 'creative types’ who own a 5 or 5S (okay, guilty as charged) – or architects who like to design huge buildings using Lego bricks – other versions would likely be more appropriate for Lego’s traditional audience of children.
One criticism level by a colleague at this case is that at £24.99, it’s expensive for an iPhone case. This would be true except that this is a Lego iPhone case: stylish, fun, creative and hardwearing – and therefore worth paying extra for.