One of my all-time favorite iPhone 4 cases was the HoverCoat from monCarbone. Its carbon fiber material made it light as a feather yet durable with steel like strength. With the release of the iPhone 5 and now iPhone 5S, monCarbone has introduced the HoverCoat Plus. This improved version adds Basalt fiber along with carbon fiber to enhance both signal reception and to boost durability.

Basalt fibers are commonly used in aircraft, high-end automobiles, watercraft and other accessories that require extreme durability and tear resistance. Adding it to the Hovercraft case seems like a no-brainer.

If you are looking for a handsome case that does not take away from the aesthetic of the iPhone 5/5S while providing proper protection, then the Hovercoat Plus may be just what you are looking for.

 

Unboxing

 

The HoverCoat Plus arrives in a thick plastic clamshell as opposed to their previous cardboard packaging; definitely not a step in the environmentally friendly packaging direction. In the plastic box we see the iPhone 5/5S case along with the cardboard insert listing its carbon fiber and Basalt fiber composition. On the back we see a listing of features along with the five color options.

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monCarbone offers a case in Midnight Black, Luminous Silver, Arctic White and Victorian Gold all of which have a gloss mirror finish. For those who prefer a matte like finish there is a Mystery Black option to choose.

In the package we find the case by itself. For today’s review we will look at the gloss finish version of Midnight Black.

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Like its predecessor the HoverCoat Plus weighs less than a feather. The case is thin and feels plastic-like in its composition. However, it’s carbon and Basalt fiber construction makes it stronger than steel, which is what you want in an iPhone case.

The inside has a soft texture with the monCarbone logo on the lower portion.

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Large openings are found on the left side for the volume and mute switch, on the top for the power button and on the bottom for the speakers, Lightning connector and headphone jack.

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On the back of the HoverCoat Plus we find an opening for the camera and flash. monCarbone has a patterned design on the back and sides of the case.

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Specifications and Features


Hovercoat Plus – Midnight Black

BASALT ENHANCED!
* SIGNAL RECEPTION
* DURABILITY
● iPhone 5 and 5s compatible!
● New Carbon-Basalt hybrid case offers classic Hovercoat with improved durability
● Strategically positioned Basalt fiber improves antenna reception
● Soft-touch internal lining prevents minor scratching on iPhone

Upgrade your classic carbon fiber HoverCoat with Basalt fiber to enhance signal reception and boost durability.

New weaving technology breakthrough unveils Basalt fiber enhanced carbon fiber creating extraordinary durability and protection.

Strategically placed Basalt fiber improves signal reception

Interior soft touch feature protects the iPhone from minor scratching

Carbon-Basalt characteristics:

Lightweight, high tenacity and high performance combination offers tremendous versatility and protection

Precision engineering provides high tensile strength and durability more than properties of steel

Easy snap on quality ensures glove tight fit

Price: $59.99

 

Usage and Testing

 

Application and removal of the HoverCoat Plus is simple as it snaps on readily and can be easily pried off from the bottom or top. Once in place the cases holds the iPhone securely while adding minimal bulk or mass. Numerous people did not realize I had the HoverCoat Plus on until I pointed it out.

Like the iPhone 4 version, the new Hovercoat Plus case does not wrap all the way up the sides of the iPhone 5/5S nor cover the front screen edge. This exposes more of the iPhone 5/5S to accidental damage from a fall as I have nicked the corners of my iPhone 4S in the past with an ill placed fall with the original HoverCoat in place.

All of the controls and ports were easily accessible. Although I understand why the left side and bottom have wide openings, monCarbone probably could have covered more of the top to protect that area while leaving access for the power button.

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The camera has plenty of clearance and pictures were not affected by the case being in place.

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The HoverCoat Plus fit on the new iPhone 5S just like it did on the iPhone 5.

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After a few weeks of use, the glossy finish of the HoverCoat Plus did pick up some scratches, but that’s the job of the case – to keep the iPhone safe.

The reception of my iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S was excellent. In the past there has been concern about signal attenuation with carbon however this was not the case with the monCarbone HoverCoat Plus.

 

 

 

 

Conclusion


monCarbone’s newest HoverCoat iteration is pretty much a bigger version of its iPhone 4 predecessor. The Basalt fibers help with the signal attenuation issue caused by the carbon fiber while also increasing the tensile strength of the material. This case has similar flaws to the iPhone 4 version the most notable being the sides of the case not reaching the front screen to protect the phone when laid face down.

That being said, I personally love the aesthetic of the HoverCoat Plus with its lightweight, low profile design and high tensile strength. The original HoverCoat for the iPhone 4 was probably the case I used most with my older iPhone. As long as the user is aware of the screen protection issues, it is a great case for the latest iPhone 5/5S.

 

 

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Pros:
+Lightweight
+Stronger than steel
+Controls easily accessible
+Carbon and Basalt Fiber composition

Cons:
-Price
-Does not protect the front screen

Grades:
Overall score 8 10 thumb1 Review of monCarbone Hovercoat Plus Case for iPhone 5/5S
Design / Aesthetic score 8 10 thumb1 Review of monCarbone Hovercoat Plus Case for iPhone 5/5S
Value / Price score 8 10 thumb1 Review of monCarbone Hovercoat Plus Case for iPhone 5/5S
Performance / Usage score 9 10 thumb1 Review of monCarbone Hovercoat Plus Case for iPhone 5/5S

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