3 STM iPhone Cases Reviewed

STM Grip

The grip is the cheapest and simplest design in the range. This is a lightweight design that adds a comfortable and convenient level of ‘grip’ to the sleek iPhone 5 without compromising too much on bulk or docking compatibility – but it’s also the case that offers the least protection. It clips on and off an iPhone 5 with ease but you do need to be deliberate about it and we didn’t have it come off by accident during our road test. At the end of a month, there were basically no signs of ware.


  • Hard shell protection from bumps and scratches
  • Ridged for your carrying pleasure
  • Raised bezel to protect the screen from tabletops, etc.
  • Easy access to all ports
  • Super light weight yet protective polycarbonate plastic shell
  • Pairs well with Grip for MacBook and Grip for iPad & iPad Mini

The Grip is simple in design and execution – it does what it says, providing a level of protection, full access to all ports, raises the screen from a flat surface when placed face down due to the lip around the edge and it is very light. Basically, if you don’t really want a phone case but you still want to protect your phone, this could be the compromise that you are looking for.

STM Catch

The Catch provides the most comprehensive protection of the three cases we tested. It comes with transparent screen and back protectors and a shell that’s hard on the outside and relatively soft on the inside.


  • Convenient slots for cards, ID or some cash with an ultra slim profile
  • Full front bezel rim provides tabletop protection
  • Dual layer construction for durability and protection – soft touch TPU against your phone with hard shell outer reinforcement
  • Covered and protected volume and on/off buttons
  • Includes STM protection kit (2 x front screen protectors, 1 x back protector, cleaning cloth & applicator card)
  • Designed to fit both iPhone 5 and 5s
  • FREE RewardTag™ sticker included. To activate, visit stmbags.com/rt

The front and back ‘film’ protectors were easy enough to fit without getting air bubles and the actual case goes on without a hitch – getting the phone out of the case later can be a bit of a mission though. Once a phone is inside the Catch, it’s a secure fit which is what you want but we found that we couldn’t use any iphone docks with the case fitted.

The buttons on the phone worked fine through the case and the headphone jack was also perfectly accessible. I was expecting to see a trade off when using the Catch during speakerphone mode on the iPhone 5 but we didn’t notice any problems hearing the speaker or using the iPhone microphone. Charging the phone via a cable was trouble free but docking it was not possible with the audio docks that we tried. The camera was unobstructed and worked perfectly.

After a month of use, the case still looked brand new without any visible signs of use – despite an average of 4-5 hours use per day and constant carrying around.

Like the Harbour, the Catch adds just enough bulk to the iPhone 5 to make it easier to hold when making or taking calls and the grip is also an improvement on the smooth/slippery iPhone 5 when it’s ‘nude’. The added bulk isn’t much when you don’t have cards in the holders and when carrying on or two cards, it thicker than the Harbour but not offensively so.

The card carrying capability is good but I probably wouldn’t use the slots every day / permanently instead of using my wallet but the Catch is great when you need to ‘travel light’. For example I found the Catch really handy to carry a credit card and frequent flyer card when in transit for work and it was also good to carry a credit card and licence when making a dash to the shops.

STM Harbour 

The Harbour case was inspired by Sydney Harbour with the tile like pattern on the inside of the case – once you have it fitted to a phone, you don’t see this though. The surface does seem to resist finger prints and scratches and I noticed that it looked very clean throughout the entire road test. It doesn’t seem to hold dust or lint, even around the hinge at the bottom.


  • Dual layer construction for durability and protection – soft touch TPU against your phone with hard shell outer lining
  • Access to all ports, buttons, controls and camera lens
  • Sleek and form fitting design for a comfortable carry
  • Protective rim around edge of phone
  • Easy access to remove or dock your phone with hinged bottom
  • Satin matte finish for long term finger print and scratch resistance

The Harbour is easier to fit than the Catch and about the same in terms of build quality, the main difference is the hinged bottom which felt durable and I didn’t notice any weakening during the month that I used it. The added bulk is minimal and all buttons, the camera, speakerphone functionality and docking worked the same as an iPhone 5 would without a case. The dual layer construction means that there is a softer inner layer to cushion bumps or drops and a harder outer layer to keep everything together. This case offers the same amount of protection as a case as the Catch but you don’t get the screen protectors.

Due to the hinged base, we didn’t have any issues docking our phone in the Harbour case.


  Grip Catch Harbour
    MG 8811 admin large  DSC00821 admin large  DSC 2833 admin large
Weight 19 grams 30 grams 26 grams
Size 12.6 x 6 x 1.3 cm 12.6 x 6.0 x 1.3 cm 12.6 x 6 x 1.3 cm
Construction Material moulded tactical plastic TPU & polycarbonate polycarbonate & TPU
Package Contents Grip Phone Case Catch Phone Case
2xFront and rear protectors, cloth and applicator card
Reward Tag Sticker
Harbour Phone Case
Price $12.95 $34.95 $19.95

These cases come in a variety of colours – check out the STM website for more details.


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