Perhaps leather cases just aren’t your style – maybe because you want added drop protection without adding too much bulk, or maybe because you just happen to enjoy hard-edged industrial design. Well for whatever reason, when you want tougher than leather and clear cases aren’t going to cut it, the best option is a metal case such as this one by USB Fever, their iPhone Aluminum Case.
Available in either black or silver, this stout little case has cutouts and openings everywhere they need to be. A hinge is on the right, and the case opens from the left – but once your iPhone is installed it shouldn’t really need to be removed…unless you just want to.
On the back is the receptacle for the removable metal belt clip nub, which works in tandem with a black plastic universal belt clip.
As you can see, there is a large open cutout for the screen and no coverage included, so it would be wise to add a good screen protector.
The Aluminum Case fits the iPhone like a glove, and although it is relatively slim – it does add a bit of bulk, mostly due to the hinge and clasp on each side. I really wish that there had been a more svelte way to join the front to the back – even if it meant just snapping two halves together, similar to the way the crystal cases connect. The Aluminum Case measures 4.63″ tall x 2.75″ wide x 0.69″ thick; it only weighs 1.4 ounces (sans clip and nub), but when installed it makes the iPhone seem incredibly solid and darn near invincible…except for the screen area, of course.
The only caveat for me, and it wound up being a pretty big one, was that the ear cutouts were uncomfortable against my ear during marathon phone conversations. I also didn’t like juxtaposition of the oval home button cutout over the round home button…but that’s just me. I like symmetry.
As much as I wanted to really like the Aluminum Case, in the end I would up removing it from my iPhone because it felt too wide (the hinge and clasp are just too obtrusive) and the slots on the speaker hurt my ear. I guess if I worked somewhere where I was more worried about dropping my iPhone those quibbles would seem silly, though. There is no doubt that the case is protective, and even though it adds a bit of bulk it still leaves the iPhone pocketable. If you need metal protection, then you might want to check out this case.
The iPhone Aluminum Case is available directly from USB Fever.
What I Like: Solid, industrial design; cushiony neoprene interioir
What Needs Improvement: The hinge and clasp made it feel too wide in my hand; the ear speaker slots were uncomfortable