Lunatik burst onto the Apple accessory market in 2010 in one of the early successful uses of Kickstarter, coming out with a pair of iPod nano watch cases called the TikTok and LunaTik. Now the company is introducing a line of iPhone 5 cases that feature rugged designs to protect your investment.
Lunatik designs are the brainchildren of Chicago-based designer Scott Wilson and his design firm Minimal. The company has more than just a handful of Kickstarter projects behind it; Minimal has been involved with design work for Microsoft, Nike and other big-name corporations.
Lunatik provided TUAW with four of their latest iPhone 5 case designs. We##Q##ll take a close look at all four, then give you a chance to win one of the cases to keep your iPhone 5 safe and stylish.
Flak (US$34.95) looks like a fairly minimalist iPhone 5 case, but uses a deceptively simple dual-layer interlock construction method to protect your phone from impact with a tough outer impact shell and a shock absorbing inner core.
That external impact shell is made of a glossy polycarbonate that comes in either white, black, red or pink, while the inner core uses soft TPU to cradle your iPhone 5 without scratching it. The Flak flexes just enough to make inserting the iPhone a piece of cake. The Flak has pass-through buttons for volume control and sleep/wake/on/off, while the mute button is left open for easy access.
If I have one complaint about the design of the Flak, it##Q##s that the polycarbonate really attracts dust, fingerprints and smears easily. After a bit of handling to try it out, I had to wipe the Flak down before taking photos and still ended up with a lot of dust speckles…
I started my professional career a few centuries ago as a civil engineer, so I understand the power of the truss to stiffen structures. In the Siesmik($34.95), Lunatik is using a truss design to stiffen a flexible TPU material. The result is a case that can use the cells in the flexible truss to cushion drops, but it##Q##s stiff enough to not feel like the typical “gummy” TPU case.
The Seismik comes in five different color schemes: all black, gray and cyan, gray and yellow, gray and clear, and gray and magenta. If you##Q##re looking for a case with a good grippy surface, the Seismik is it. This would be perfect for carrying a phone around in your hand on a hot, sweaty day; it##Q##s not going to slide out of your hand unless you deliberately drop it.
Now we##Q##re getting into the amazing cases. The Taktik Strike ($79.95) has been designed to provide protection against shocks and drops, and it is built like a tank — literally. The Taktik Strike takes the truss design of the Siesmik and wraps it in thick polymer bezels held together with steel and aluminum hardware.
Anyone who is a fan of minimalist iPhone cases won##Q##t be thrilled with the Taktik Strike, as it is definitely chunky and built for rugged protection of your phone investment. The bezels come in black, gray, green, white and pink to match your personal preference.
If you##Q##ve made it this far, you##Q##ll notice a theme — these cases are getting more and more protective as we go along. The Taktik Extreme ($124.95) is the ultimate in iPhone 5 protection. There##Q##s seriously no case like it around, as it takes the Taktik Strike##Q##s design even further with a cover over the iPhone##Q##s lower bezel and Home button and Corning Gorilla Glass over the entire screen.
That Gorilla Glass provides shatter protection for the screen in those rare cases where you drop the iPhone right onto a hard edge. All of this protection does come at a price, and I##Q##m not talking about the $125 price tag. The Taktik Extreme weighs in at 4.1 ounces, significantly more than the lightweight (1.3 ounce) Seismik.
Lunatik has brought a nice combination of savvy design and rugged engineering to the crowded iPhone case market, and the products will go far in attracting fans. The two Taktik cases, Strike and Extreme, could be fierce competitors to the likes of OtterBox and LifeProof
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