Hard Duty: Ballistic Hard Core iPhone5/5S Case Review

Written by Vince Pornelos. Posted in Accessories, Reviews


Published on October 09, 2014 with No Comments


Everyone wants their phone to be protected from everything from theft, hacking, theft, water and drops. This holds double in the day and age where a smartphone can cost tens of thousands of Pesos, a major purchase that fits in your pocket.


That’s the reason why we pay good money for cases, and that the reason why Ballistic developed the Hard Core case for the iPhone 5 and 5S.


Opening the package for the first time, it’s clear that the Hard Core case from Ballistic takes toughness to a different level altogether; in fact, it actually resembles the ever popular G-Shock in terms of looks.


Fitting my iPhone 5 in the Hard Core is quite easy; just unclip the front panel via the slot on the lower right portion of the case by using a small coin or screwdriver. With the panel removed, the case makes for a perfect, secure and snug fit. Afterwards just snap on the front panel and you’re good to go.


Guarding against drops is what the Hard Core case is all about. The frame of the case is made out of what appears to be high impact plastic with numerous rugged pads called “Ballistic Corners” meant to strike the ground when dropped. The lips and corners of the case also extend well beyond the dimensions of the phone thereby reducing the risk of damage. If that wasn’t enough, the case also comes with a sleeve made of soft, impact absorbing rubber for even better protection.



Examining the case even further shows many more useful features. The Ballistic Hard Core case comes with an integrated stand that allows you to prop up your iPhone horizontally for videos, browsing or reading E-books. Ballistic even included a belt holster so that your iPhone stays securely on your hip rather than having to move around in your pocket.

There’s a porthole for the camera lens so it’s not impeded from taking clear pictures as well as an an integrated clear screen protector. The speaker “grill”, the home button, earpiece, front facing camera and light sensors are all uncovered. Ballistic also used a rubber pad for the back, rubber buttons for the power and volume buttons and rubber flaps that cover up the mute switch, lightning USB port and the 3.5mm socket.


The case does feel bulky both in your hands and in your pocket, as its construction which adds several layers of protection also increases the phone’s size significantly; it’s no problem if you keep your phone in your bag, but makes significantly harder to pull it out to check messages and answer calls. Also, the Hard Core case is not water resistant, as there are several open gaps (for the home button and other ports) and has no rubber seals (much like an O-ring) as opposed to the other case model from Ballistic called Hydra; a case which offers plenty of protection from water.


Nevertheless, the Hard Core features the best drop rating in the Ballistic line up. The case can withstand a free drop from a height of 12 feet, ensuring protection against even the clumsiest of phone users. The case appears sturdy enough to withstand drops on uneven surfaces (i.e. rocky terrain when off-roading) except perhaps a a direct strike against the screen and integrated screen protector.

The Ballistic Hard Core is distributed by Digits Trading Corp. and retails for Php 2,490 at all Beyond the Box and Digital Walker stores. The Hard Core is sold in either all black as well as black and red (as in this example) though there are pink and black variants also for the ladies.

Then again, real men can rock pink, right?

TI Editor's Choice BRONZE