Trident Cyclops case for iPhone 5/5s – Review

Cyclops case for iPhone 5/5s
Manufacturer: Trident Case
MSRP: $39.95 (Online price: $20.30)
Trident Cyclops case

Trident makes some very strong, protective cases. Their Cyclops case for the iPhone 5/5s certainly qualifies as one of the most protective.

Remember Tim Allen, the tool guy in the Home Improvement TV show? He’d love this case. It’s not meant to be especially pretty; it’s meant to be rugged and manly.


The Cyclops case is a dual-injected Polycarbonate body with a Thermo-plastic Elastomer (TPE) layer around the exterior edges. TPE is the material that is often mistaken for silicone because it has that same grippy, rubber feel. This material around the sides assures a secure grip. The same TPE plastic forms a ring and logo on the back providing friction to keep the phone from sliding. Flexible plugs to protect the power port, audio jack, and mute switch are also made of the same TPE material.


This case is built. The base fits the iPhone 5 or the new 5s to a very close tolerance. The cover, with a built-in screen protector, snaps securely into the base with six anchor points. This case has been independently tested to meet Military Standard MIL-STD-810F for Drop, Vibration, Dust, Sand, and Rain. The fit is so close and tight that taking the case apart to remove the phone is a challenge.

I’m not a fan of screen protectors because of their rubbery feel and because it’s nearly impossible to install one without bubbles or dirt becoming trapped underneath. The snap-in cover of the Cyclops case has a built-in, rigid, clear plastic screen protector that doesn’t adhere to the screen. Instead, it is held tightly against the screen. Surprisingly, the touch feels nearly the same as the iPhone’s glass. Over time, this plastic may collect some scratches, but that’s better than damaging the screen.


Due to the high level of impact protection the Cyclops case provides, the exterior measurements of the case are considerably larger than the iPhone. Compared to the naked iPhone 5, the height increases by approximately 13/32″ (11mm), the width by approximately 7/16″ (12mm), and the thickness by approximately 1/4″ (5mm). This larger size and the friction from the TPE sides results in a trade-off; the iPhone is a little less pocketable but is considerably more secure. Because of the thickness of the case, Trident supplies an audio jack extender so that audio devices with short plugs can connect to the headphone port.

Choices in iPhone cases are very personal. Some want no case at all, some prefer minimal protection mostly to prevent cosmetic abrasion, and others insist on nuclear protection that meets military specs. The Trident Cyclops case falls firmly into the latter category. It’s a very affordable case that is available in five hot colors. It’s not for everybody, but for those wanting superior protection for their beloved iPhone, this may be a good choice.

MyMac review rating is 8 out of 10.

(Tim Allen, Home Improvement TV show)



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