The Mist: a minimal and lightweight iPhone case for people who don’t like cases

By , Mar 23, 2013

Mist case iPhone 5

If you follow me on Twitter or listen to our podcast, you know I’m not a big fan of cases. There are two main reasons why I’d rather go for a naked iPhone. One, I consider myself a minimalist when it comes to design and aesthetics, and using a case goes against that. Two, and maybe the most important reason, is that I think the white iPhone 5 is such a beautiful device that it should be considered a criminal offense to slap a case around it.

This being said, I quickly changed my mind when I dropped my iPhone a few weeks ago as I was walking through the door. It appeared it had fallen face flat on the tiles. As I picked it up, I was preparing myself for the worst as I was pretty sure the screen was cracked. It was not. As a matter of fact, it just had what most people would consider a tiny dent right on the chamfer, but that was enough to make me reconsider my “no case” policy…

Mist id America

So I became opened to the idea of using a case for my beloved iPhone 5, but I was not going to settle for just any case. No, forget about putting an OtterBox Defender case on my iPhone. I need something thin. Something light. And most importantly, something that would compliment the beauty of my iPhone.

Then I remembered my friend Dom‘s iPhone 5 case. I first saw it when we met at MacWorld back in January. I was immediately drawn to this case because you could barely tell it was there. I found out that the case was the white Mist, by id America.

We have a pretty good relationship with the folks at id America so when they heard I was in the market for an iPhone 5 case, they were kind enough to send me the Mist for review.

Mist back

The good

The white Mist is made of a clear 0.6mm thin hard shell. Because it’s clear, you can see through it, which really preserves the look of the white iPhone 5 – something very important to me. I immediately fell in love with the Mist because as I noted above, it doesn’t take anything away from the design of the iPhone 5, it is very slim and light. The minimal design is such that it took my wife a couple weeks to even figure out I was using a case. No kidding.

Once in your hand, it feels just as good as it looks. Due to its thin shell, it’s incredibly light. So light that you can hardly tell it’s there – and believe me, I am very picky when it comes to these things.

Something I really like about the Mist is that because the edges of the case go slightly above the screen of the iPhone (see image below), your screen would very likely be left uninjured if it was to fall perfectly face flat on a flat surface. When does that happen though? More realistically, if you were to put your iPhone face down on a flat surface (ie. a table), the screen wouldn’t be in contact with the table.

Mist iPhone 5 lightning
The Mist goes over the edge of the screen by about 0.20mm

The not so good

As you can see on the photos, the case doesn’t cover every inch of the device. As a matter of fact, there is plenty of spots left vulnerable in case of a drop. For example, the dent that I made when dropping my iPhone a few weeks ago probably wouldn’t have been prevented by this case. Those looking for good protection all around will definitely have to look elsewhere.

Finally, something I really don’t like about this case is the “Born in New York” branding on the back. Although it’s not a deal breaker, it kind of ruins the whole minimalism of the case to me, but you probably won’t be as nitpicky as I am.

Mist iPhone 5 back

The verdict

To me, the white Mist by id America is as close as it gets to perfect when it comes to minimal cases because it has everything I’m looking for in a case: it’s thin, light, and doesn’t compromise the beauty of the iPhone 5. Of course, we all have different needs when it comes to cases, and I don’t expect all of you to be on the same page as me. If you need some serious protection for your iPhone, this is not the case for you.

But for those of you who are looking for a minimal case that will compliment the design of the iPhone 5, I think the Mist is a good bet. It sure won’t protect your iPhone as well as many other cases will, but this is not the point of the Mist. The Mist is a case for people who don’t like cases. And for those people, it will do the job just fine.

The Mist is available in various colors for $14.99 from id America’s website.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/hamza.alg.9 Hamza Alg

    You know, this is not new
    I already bought many of them from eBay only £1 plus free delivery, they are cheap and they hardly break.

    • http://www.facebook.com/hamza.alg.9 Hamza Alg

      A quick search on eBay for (0.2mm iPhone 5 case)

    • http://www.idownloadblog.com Sebastien

      I never said it was new

      • seyss

        he didn’t say you did :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/hamza.alg.9 Hamza Alg

        I just got used to seeing posts here about new tweaks, new gadgets and new upcoming products. That’s why I said its not new

      • http://www.idownloadblog.com Sebastien

        Got it :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002114901878 Dor Rokah

    can you make video on this case ?

  • batongxue

    Gotta be kidding, some plastic for 15 bucks

    • http://twitter.com/jonpinkerton Jonathan Pinkerton

      Shipping isn’t actually free, they just say it is and add it to the cost of the case. That logo could probably be removed with a light solvent like acetone without damaging the finish.

      • batongxue

        Anyway, too too too much expensive for no quality.

  • http://twitter.com/HeitorStifler Heitor Castro 

    I own one like this.
    The good: really thin and light, feels like I’m not using a case.
    The bad: accumulate some dust or kind of. So I have to take it off everyday to clean, and it caused some little scratches on my iPhone.

  • maurid

    Don’t really see anything special about it. Just a fancy name. 14 bucks, my ass.

  • http://twitter.com/salzamani sal zamani

    I love clear cases for white iPhones but I wish they would find a way to make them as grippy as the colored cases….. Is this one slick?

    • http://www.idownloadblog.com Sebastien

      It definitely feels good in your hand and doesn’t feel as slippery as a naked iPhone, if that’s what you’re asking.

      • http://twitter.com/salzamani sal zamani

        Yeah a naked iPhone is hard to pickup from a table. I’m referring to clear cases being slipperrier than colored cases that have a grippy feal to them. I’ve never seen a clear hard case that has a grippy feal to it…. Has anyone?

  • http://twitter.com/Choorel Casey Hoorelbeke

    I have been using a case since day 1 but I hate it. Can anyone tell me how the chamfered edges hold up to daily use? That’s really my only concern.

  • http://twitter.com/S_Lacertosa Stefano

    I wonder if it will discolor over a few weeks like most clear/chute cases.

  • ehi

    I’ve got the Caze Zero 5 case 0.5mm available in clear & matte, no obtrusive branding, i like it.

  • Jerry

    You can buy 5 of these without that ugly born in New York thing for 10$ on eBay I use them and throw them out like underwear because is so cheap lol. The case I have now you guys should review is a bumper with a hard plastic mist back that adds zero bulk. Got 5 for 12$ it’s amazing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kenrick88 Kenrick Fernandes

      premature ejaculation mate ?use the start stop control method. You won’t have to throw your underwear out everytime then

    • http://www.facebook.com/CyberNimbus Brian IObserve Create

      Do you think amazon will have them listed also?

      • Jerry

        Yessir

  • http://twitter.com/BestCydiaTweaks BestCydiaTweaks

    I was just about the get the case and then I got to the last pic of the article with Born in new york…

    • Jerry

      Go on ebay and search clear snap back iphone 5 case you find a bunch for 1-2$ max

    • AppleBits

      Yea…..hell NO will I run around with any New York anything on anything I can possibly avoid!!! Sorry. I’ll stick to my ifrogz luxe lean.

    • http://twitter.com/igno7um ignotum nomen

      same here

    • syldd

      i wouldn’t let the born in new york be a dealbreaker for you or anyone for that matter. i’m sure it’s easily removed with acetone or a similar product. however, you can definitely find a super slim case on ebay similar to that. no word on the quality, but for around 3 bucks including shipping, its for your own judgement.

  • sambuzzlight

    sebastien can i have your lockscreen wallpaper?

    • kamocho

      It comes with the Ayecon theme. If you don’t have it you should, it’s awesome!

    • Kiyashi Shizoku

      It is one of the wallpapers included with iOS 6.1 and above

      • Farbod

        no its not, its from AYECON THEME

      • http://www.facebook.com/CyberNimbus Brian IObserve Create

        I thought I saw the difference after the update from iOS 6

      • http://www.facebook.com/CyberNimbus Brian IObserve Create

        But for those who doesn’t have Ayecon, its worth the time to dl lol :0

      • Kiyashi Shizoku

        Oops. Since I’ve had ayecon on 6.1 and above on evasi0n I didn’t see.
        Apologies.

  • Bob

    You can get similar cases for 0.99 off eBay. These don’t protect the top nor do they protect the bottom. It also says Born in New York, wtf, who wants that on the back of their case. I use a aluminium bumper, protection for all the edges, yet it still allows you to enjoy and show off the beauty of the iPhone 5 ;)

    • http://www.facebook.com/0xSean Sean Ellis

      Can you post a link to this case? Sounds interesting… I’d love to have a look!

  • kamocho

    I’d like to see another review after a couple of months. I used to have a similar one for my previous iPhone and after 3 months or so it began to turn yellowish. I really really hated it.

    • http://twitter.com/_MitchellPetrie Mitchell Petrie

      i had the same issue with the one i had for my 4S

  • Manvir Singh

    Does it really accumulate dust? I had old cases that I had to always take off to clean it out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/soto619 David Soto

    I had one since my iPhone 4, this cases are awesome if you are careful with your expensive iToys. They don’t hide the beauty of the iPhone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/CyberNimbus Brian IObserve Create

      Where did you find the case for the 4?

      • http://www.facebook.com/soto619 David Soto

        good ol’ Amazon.

  • mhchehade

    To be true all we need now is mophie cases

  • Joe Leonardo

    Try the Elago S5 slim fit. I own 2, one for the iPhone 5 and the 4S. If your a minimalist, this the the case for you and they are $10.

    • Donald

      The slim fit for 4/4S was perfect. Durable service for a year and still going.

      The slim fit for 5 was a disappointment, the polyurethane coating started to peel within a week, and both corners on the bottom cracked from internal stresses by week 2.

      I guess I am still partial to Elago because I then got the Outfit, so far it is good. I feel it has the same quality if not more than the slim fit, but time will tell.

      And I got the Flex. I usually don’t go for the TPU cases, but Elago did it right. It will be my backup if the Outfit fails.

      But man, I really wished that slim fit S5 was better. How is it holding up for you?

  • http://changroy.tumblr.com Roy Chang

    I’m using 0.3mm thin case since the day i bought my iPhone5 :) yes 0.3mm, loving it !

  • Antzboogie

    I prefer the Bumper case with the front and back screen protectors. Not a bad case though since I was born and raised in New York!

  • Fahad Mahmood

    Born in New York? D-D-DEAL BREAKER!!!

    • AppleBits

      ^5 to that!

  • LeoNgo

    U should try the Ozaki Jelly. Its only .3mm thick! And i love it

  • http://www.facebook.com/arturo.a.trejo El Arqui Tecto

    Bah! I recommend wrapsol shield feels and protect like a case but is really thin

  • http://twitter.com/shutupayouface chuck

    no https on their store? nope.

  • 4p0c4lyps3

    Be nice to see one on a black iP5.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tony.lonsway Tony Lonsway

    i use an otter box defender and i really like it. It’s a bit bulky but i never have to worry cuz i know its protected. but sometimes, when I know I don’t have to leave home, I’ll take the case off and run naked for a while.

    • http://www.facebook.com/L.Tempris Leviscus Tempris

      I’d say something but won’t here! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/L.Tempris Leviscus Tempris

    An idea here would be to make a case that has a hard clear plastic shell, that holds on place a clear rubber case. The latter would cover more of the outside if the phone. This would allow for a bouncy phone rather than it bitting the concrete and suffering more damage than need be. In cases like this if you drop your phone and it hits a hard surface then the initial shock travels throughout the phone and can crack the screen. If using rubber than it absorbs more of the impact, leaving the initial damage small.

  • http://twitter.com/YzMENTALzY YzMENTALzY

    Im using a tech21 D30 clear case its abit bulky but boy does it protect my phone absorbes all sorts of shocks and falls and still not a single scratch on my phone check the youtube review of it its brilliant and a bargain for what it does as expensive doesnt always mean good ;) dropped mine so many times and bot a single scratch its got this d30 substance gel around the sides which holds up very well its soft when played with but when hit it goes hard its brilliant.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1786485417 Daniel Hernández

    I use a bumper case a back screen protector a front anti glare screen protector, I spend less than 10$ @ebay to accomplish this and I love it.
    I try all kinds of deferent configurations and at least for me it’s being the best of them all, it allows me to enjoy my iPhone 5 to the fullest of it’s beauty without having to worry about it getting damage from every day use, because to me using a bulky case on a iPhone is like having the most beautiful woman on a corporate suit or any type of suit or dress which you can debate that some maybe very sexy but nothing compares to a thong swim suit (exempt naked) which is how I like to compare how I dress my iPhone 5 sort of speak. ;-)

  • PwnHkr

    Why even bother getting that case? Ecept for design purposes, it does nothing to protect your phone. Cover the thing in Zagg’s shield or Invisashield, at least they work. that seriously wont do anything…

  • http://twitter.com/SamuelNystrom ✝ Samuel Nyström

    HELP! in the 2nd picture above, does anyone know what the name of the tweak is that makes the top and bottom lockscreen bar transparent?
    I’d be forever thankful to the person who can name it.

  • http://twitter.com/SamuelNystrom ✝ Samuel Nyström

    HELP! in the 2nd picture above, does anyone know what the name of the tweak is that makes the top and bottom lockscreen bar transparent?
    I’d be forever thankful to the person who can name it.

  • get jiggly

    your penis is both small and angry. Not good for you.