Element Vapor4 Case arrived! High Tech Metal version of the iPhone 4 ‘Bumper’

Sometimes giving a company your name and promising to order pays off. The folks at Element Cases promised that if you let them know who you are, they would tell you when their new iPhone 4 case Vapor4 was available. They are well known for their iPhone 3 cases already. A few weeks ago an email showed and I went to the site. It still showed as ‘pre-order’ but I put the code in and was able to order.

A week later, the case order showed up… days before Christmas so some friends are going to have pleasant surprises.

The back of the packaging shows the nice variety of color combinations that are available. Right now the combos are limited but the mix-n-match list will grow.

Inside of the box is a card holding the new case, an allen wrench tool and two extra screws.

Say… they are some seriously small screws. Very cool!

The Vapor4 case can be bent pretty easily when not wrapped around the iPhone so some caution should be used while installing. Take your time at this point to notice the very nice workman ship of the metal work. Corners have additional rubber bits to add a bit of extra pressure when installed. Assembly is best done on a table, things like to move around if your trying to put it all together standing. It is recommended to start all of the four screws before tightening any all the way so alignment is correct.

The case wraps around the metal edge of the iPhone 4 so it wont move and holds on tight. Since I have had it installed, I have had zero antenna issues!

This side shows the two features I like the best of the Element Case. While the metal is relatively smooth, the slight lip on the right side upper and lower edge makes it feel good in my hand. It is very natural to rest my right hand thumb against the upper lip, or to put my four fingers on my left hand between depending on which hand I’m holding the device with. The second ‘hit’ feature is the very slight raised lip on the front and back means that my iPhone is no longer sitting on it’s faces when I set it down on a table. The lip is just enough to hold the face up without having a big edge causing the device to grow in size.

The smooth side of the case is only broken by the opening for the ringer and volume buttons. Since these are not used a lot, accessing through the hole is no problem.

The top of the has an opening for the headphone out, which worked fine with the four different headphones we have to test with. The button on top is covered with a ‘button’ in the case so you don’t have to try and push down through an opening. If feels good and has yet to get bumped accidentally through a couple days of use.

Opening on the bottom of the Vapor4 allows access to the sync plug and leaves the speakers open. Sitting the iPhone 4 with the case, on my desk, the audio out was a bit more directional but very clean.

Below is the case I purchased for my wife, pink, to replace her Bumper ring. Color on the metal of the Element Case makes the pink ‘pop’ a lot more.

She had previously have to remove her iPhone 4 from the Bumper to charge via our CallPod Chargepod since it has a slightly thicker than Apple stock plug. Sadly, it doesn’t fit in the end of the Element Case end either… have asked Callpod if they plan on a thinner adapter, will let you know how they answer. Meanwhile, she likes the new case to remove it and do without.