Let’s be clear, ElementCase’s offerings aren’t for everyone. No, if you don’t like superb industrial design the products in ElementCase’s line-up aren’t for you. And if you are cheap, ElementCase’s offerings aren’t for you. And if you like iPhone cases that don’t draw attention, ElementCase’s design are CERTAINLY not for you. But if you like great industrial designs that turn heads, and you don’t mind paying for it, the various products in ElementCase’s lineup are just the thing. The company recently rolled out their “Design Studio”; let’s take a closer look.
The Design Studio lets you design a customized iPhone case by mixing and matching colors and finishes. The result is exactly the case and ElementCase kit you want. Let’s walk through the process.
The first step is to decide which case you want. The Vapor Comp is a combination of CNC machined aluminum high impact polycarbonate. It has a starting price of $99.99. The Vapor Pro is all aluminum and has a starting price of $129.99. Both look and feel awesome!
I selected the Vapor Pro. The design engine then asked whether my phone is black or white. This doesn’t impact the case you design but it does let you see what your case will look like on one or the other phone.
Next, I selected the color for the main aluminum frame. The frame of the Vapor Pro covers about 2/3 of the iPhone.
Next up is selecting the cap color. I tried a variety of different combinations and ended up with one that was a bit more understated than I initially planned.
The next selection was the power button.It is definitely worth checking out how each of the four colors look since it is amazing how something so small can have such a large visual impact.
Next up is the polymer insert. Only three choices here but, again, it is worth check all three out.
Every detail matters and the next choice is the color of the screws. There are three options here as well and each provides a slightly different look.
The final option is the back plate. This one of the areas that will have the greatest impact in both the look AND feel of the case. There is a soft ultra suede back available but the company also offers a hard, more industrial, carbon fiber plate. I went soft.
This case isn’t for the faint of heart or the cheap. Mine came to over $135. That is pretty pricey, especially since the iPhone 5 is likely just six months away.
But… The case is gorgeous.
It comes nicely packaged.
It presents the case in an impressive manner.
And if comes with all the trimmings. There the case, the back plate, a matching ear piece cover, a screen protector, a transit case for storing the iPhone and giving it 360 degree protection and the screw utility for tightening and loosening the screws.
This last item is my only small complaint about the case. You see, the utility includes two extra screws. The only problem is, the included screws are not the same color as the ones I choice. That means using them throws offer the refinement over the overall case. Not good in a $135 case!
The frame goes around the phone.
And the cap gets screwed into place. The phone’s frame is now completely protected.
The ear piece cover actually makes the phone a bit nicer to hold to your ear!
And the back plate softens the look quite nicely.
ElementCase’s claim to fame is their precision workmanship. In this photo you can see just how good they are!
The refinement comes all the way down to the precision, laser-etched logo and name on the side.
The case I created using ElementCase’s Design Studio may be pricey but it is one gorgeous, head-turning case. You can design your own here on the Design Studio page. You can go to the page and design your own just for fun. There’s no obligation to purchase the case you design, but trust me, if you do design a case you are going to want to have it made. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
MSRP: Prices start at $99.99 for the Vapor Comp.
What I Like: Gorgeous; Precise; Turns Heads; Lots of design options; The result is a unique AND impressive case
What Needs Improvement: Pricey!; The extra screws are the wrong color.