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A look at cover and case options for protecting the iPhone 5c

With its steel-backed, polycarbonate chassis, Apple's new iPhone 5c will likely stand up to a good deal of stress, but that's no reason to take chances, so AppleInsider has taken a look at what cases are on the market to let you wrap your colorful new iPhone in something that will protect that luster.

iSkin's exo and flex cases

First up is iSkin, a premium accessory brand producing iPhone covers, gadget bags, and more. For the iPhone 5c, iSkin has two new cases on offer for the iPhone 5c, the exo and the flex.

The exo for iPhone 5c is a more protective case, composed of BPA-free, lead-free, phthalates-free thermopolymer. It sports a design both rugged and understated, with impact ridges meant to absorb shocks should a user drop the 5c. It also has a screen edge bumper to keep the device's display from cracking should it be dropped. The whole case is washable, and it of course is designed to allow access to all of the iPhone 5c's ports and controls.

The exo is available in Galaxy Black and in translucent Ice Frost. iSkin sells the case for $30 in its online store.

iSkin also offers the flex for iPhone 5c. Composed of a shock-absorbing thermoplastic with a hard, clear-coated back, the flex is available in three looks. The first is a patterned surface that gives the case a three-dimensional look when paired with the colorful casing of an iPhone 5c. It is also available in an opaque Black Diamond edition, patterned with glossy and matte accents in a checkered fashion. For the more simplicity-oriented, the flex is also available without a pattern, giving users a smooth, translucent finish that protects the 5c while giving a clear view of the device.

The flex is also available at iSkin's online store. It comes with four pattern options: Carbon Fiber, Black Diamonds, Hearts, and Clear. iSkin sells the case for $25.

TwelveSouth's SurfacePad for iPhone

TwelveSouth bills itself not only as not just Mac friendly, but Mac only. The firm supplies accessories for Macs, iPads, iPods, and iPhones, most with a minimalist aesthetic that compliments the design language of Apple's products. TwelveSouth's SurfacePad continues in that tradition, giving the iPhone 5c an ultra-slim luxury leather cover. The cover is billed as an iPhone 5/5s accessory, but TwelveSouth notes it is also compatible with the iPhone 5c.

The SurfacePad isn't built to protect an iPhone from steep falls. Rather, TwelveSouth designed the cover to protect the 5c from more common dangers like keys in a pocket. It is composed of napa-leather, and it has a built-in stand to allow for hands-free use. The SurfacePad is less than one-tenth of an inch thick and it weighs less than one ounce. The cover adheres to the iPhone 5c, but it is easily removable when necessary, leaving no residue behind.

The SurfacePad for iPhone retails for $35. It is available in Red Pop, Modern White, and Jet Black.

Obliq's SkyLine Pro

Obliq's SkyLine Pro line pairs a tough outer shell with a range of colors suited to complement Apple's vibrant iPhone 5c offerings. The SkyLine cases cover the 5c's curves in a more angular design, with its polycarbonate hard shell balanced out by a soft, impact-absorbing layer inside.

At three ounces, the SkyLine Pro won't add too much weight to the 5c, and its semi-glossy coating makes for a comfortable grip. The case also has a a cutout in the back that, when a card is inserted, allows it to hold the iPhone upright for viewing.

The SkyLine Pro is also a low-cost option, retailing for just $15. It is available in black, pink, white, emerald blue, gunmetal, metallic navy, orange, blue, yellow, lime green, mint, and gold.

Case-Mate's Studio Print cases

If the iPhone 5c's spectrum isn't quite wild enough for you, there's always the option of Case-Mate's Studio Prints line. These ultra-slim cases feature a range of patterns that add an even more colorful flare to Apple's colorful phones.

The Studio Print line puts a lay-flat bezel all around the display of the iPhone 5c. That bezel keeps the screen from directly contacting any surface when the device is laid face-down, helping to prevent scratches and scuffs. It weighs 0.64 ounces, and it is built to provide access to all of the 5c's ports and controls.

The Studio Prints line comes in Ziggy Zag and Painted Cheetah. The cases retail for $25.

Hard Candy Cases' HarvestCraft Slider

Hard Candy makes an array of cases and covers designed to protect Apple products, from MacBooks to iPads to iPhones. Their HarvestCraft Slider case is in the same vein, with a lightweight polycarbonate shell that is still rigid enough to protect an iPhone. That tough exterior is soft to the touch, though, and the inside of the case has rubber slide strips to help it better fit and protect the 5c.

As its name implies, the HarvestCraft Slider has a sliding component that allows one to get the 5c in and out of the case. The accessory is composed of two parts: the top slider component and the bottom slider component. Hard Candy sends along three bottom components in each order, each of those in a different color to allow users to switch up the look of their devices when they want.

The HarvestCraft Slider is available from Hard Candy's site. The case comes in nine color variants, each a somewhat subdued autumn tone. It retails for $40.

Tylt's Band and Ruggd protective cases

Tylt has released two new protective cases for the iPhone 5c, the Band and the Ruggd. The two cases are aimed at protecting an iPhone while still keeping it stylish, and they feature a range of neon color highlights to catch the eye.

The Tylt Band features a double-injection of soft TPE and matte polycarbonate, giving it a flexible and absorbent inner liner. That liner protects the 5c from scratches and mars on the inside, and the polycarbonate outer shell is impact-resistant enough to protect the device should it fall. It also features a raised edge, protecting the screen from scratches on flat surfaces. The Tylt Band is available in pink, lime green, and blue for $35.

The Tylt Ruggd is the more shock-resistant of the two cases, with a triple-reinforced shell consisting of a hard outer shell, premium energy-absorbing inner layer, reinforced corners, and raised edges to protect the display. The Tylt Ruggd is available for $35 as well on Tylt's web site.

Incipio's DualPro Shine

The DualPro Shine iPhone 5c case from Incipio appears to cut against the vibrant colors of the 5c with its understated outer shell. The case, though, will give the 5c a sleek and minimalist profile, with just a bit of color peeking through around the camera lens and flash.

Weighing in at 3.2 ounces, the DualPro Shine has a hybrid design combining a plextonium hard shell and a shock absorbing silicone core. Its brushed aluminum finish allows for easy insertion and removal from pockets. Incipio's DualPro Shine models range in price from $24 to $41. The case comes in Silver/Black, Black/Black, White/Neon, and Gold/Gray.

Apple's own offerings

Of course, one could always stick with the home team in choosing a case, in which case Apple's own offerings might prove quite satisfactory. AppleInsider went hands-on with Apple's colorful iPhone 5c cases after the unveiling of the new iPhones, finding them to be high quality accessories typical of the Cupertino company.

Apple's 5c cases have a quirky, polka-dottish design, with circular cutouts showing the colors of the iPhones they protect. The exterior has a rubberized matte finish, contrasting with the shiny look of the 5c. The interior of the case has a soft, felt-like microfiber lining, keeping the chassis of the 5c safe from scratches.

Apple's in-house iPhone 5c cases come in six colors: black, white, red, yellow, blue, and green. They're available for $29 from Apple's site.