STM Bags is known for, well, bags. They make some great backpacks and laptop sleeves. You may not, however, be aware that they make cases for tablets and phones as well. They only recently entered the phone case market with a line of iPhone 5 cases. I reviewed one of those cases, the arvo, last month. Today, we’re going to take a look at another case in STM Bags’ line up: the opera.
I’ve used a few “slip on” type cases in my years, and I would be lying to tell you that this one is “revolutionary” or “game changing.” This is, however, a quality-made polycarbonate case that might be a decent choice for you depending on your needs. If nothing else, it’s definitely simple, sleek, and modern.
The opera feels like a sturdy, well-made case. Its comes in a variety of colors — five to be exact. I received a black model for the purposes of this review. Its design is something that makes the case unique, but I don’t believe it sets it apart from other similar-type cases. The textured back is supposedly inspired by the Sydney Opera House, but in reality it’s just squares turned on their sides with lines going through them. It’s nice, but not exclusive by any means.
Other than that, the case does its job. As any case should, it allows convenient and unobstructed access to all of your iPhone’s functions, and the lock button feels fairly easy to press. The amount of protection it offers is about what you’d expect; I didn’t do any drop tests, but it will probably keep your phone safe in the case of a drop on carpet or shorter falls.
It does have a few obvious downsides, unfortunately. The plastic is a little tough for my liking. The case feels like it fits almost perfectly, but I think the plastic needs a little bit of time to wear in. When you’re first putting it on, it feels a little small, and the top and bottom of it stretch just a minuscule amount to get a tight fit. Over time, I’m sure this issue will resolve, but for now it bugs me a little bit.
If you’re looking for a case that will provide robust protection, this is probably not your best bet. At $30 retail, you can get much better protection for its price. Price, as a matter of fact, is what I believe is the deciding factor for this case; $30 is a little on the steep end for such a simple polycarbonate mold.
Overall, the case is definitely a nice alternative to bulky cases such as the OtterBox, but it may not worth its $30 asking price. You decide.