iPhone Case Review: Mrked Empress iPhone 5s Case Review
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4
What's Hot: Protective case, interesting design, for a good cause.
What's Not: A bit slippery, ports sit too deep in the case.
Reviewed by Tong Zhang
Very rarely when you buy a tech product you're contributing to a good cause. Mrked gives us that opportunity to contribute our passion for gadgets for a good cause. Working with Room to Read whose mission is to help provide education for girls in Asian and African countries, Mrked offers some of their profit to work with the organization. Mrked currently sells cases for the iPhone 4/4s and the iPhone 5/5s in many collections with different design themes. The Mrked Empress iPhone 5s Case comes from their new Varsity collection.
The Mrked iPhone cases include several design themes that range from solid colors to big cat skin designs and more. Each of their cases has a solid colored stripe on the back, symbolizing the "Mark" we leave when we buy the case. The Mrked iPhone cases come in two layers of protection: a scratch resistant TPU inner case and a plastic hard shell. The inner case doesn't cover any part of the front glass; the nice part about this design is that it doesn't get in the way of your using the touch display but the downside is the case can trap dirt and particles on the edges of the front display, which is easy to clean when you take off the case. The outer shell is molded to fit with the inner case nicely, and it's easy to install and take off the case. The outer hard shell feels a little slippery in hand, but the TPU parts that show outside of the hard shell help provide a better grip.
The Mrked Empress iPhone 5s Case has an attractive design, as every other case in the Varsity Collection. The designs and colors on the outer shell match or play well with the inner TPU case, creating either interesting contrast or nice harmony. The color of the "Mrked" stripe varies based on the design of the case and it adds a nice touch to remind you why you purchased this case.
The Mrked Empress is a reasonably functional case. The TPU layer covers the control buttons, including the volume buttons and the power button, to protect them from wear and tear; while the volume buttons are easy to use thanks to the tactile feedback and clicking sound, the power button doesn't offer very good feedback nor sound. The TPU case is also quite thick, which means the ports and the silence slider sit deep inside the case through the cutouts. The cutouts provide access to every port, including the Lightning port, mics and speaker as well as the 3.5mm audio jack. Since the ports are far inside the cutouts, you might have trouble using audio and docking accessories that don't have particularly long connectors. You shouldn't have any trouble using syncing/charging cables or wired headphones though.
The Mrked Empress iPhone 5s Case has a generous cutout for the rear camera/flash cluster and rings the cutout with a dark rim to prevent any flash distortion. The camera lens should have a full view and the flash should have enough room to fully illuminate. The case doesn't come with any screen protector but it works with any film protector of your own.
The Mrked Empress iPhone 5s Case is a competent case to protect your iPhone from scratches, bumps and nicks in your bag, and the design is very attractive. The case keeps the phone's profile slim and weighs only an ounce. It comes with a small cleaning cloth in bookmark shape and size, and it's easy to use. We like the look of the case but we love the idea of creating and selling tech products for a good cause.