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Exovault Case Review

nbphone4

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About a month ago an article on the exovault machined iPhone case popped up on Engadget, and I instantly fell in love with it. I searched around everywhere to find some kind of article from someone that actually had one to hear some opinions on it, but could find nothing. So having some poker winnings burning a whole in my pocket, I decided to just bite the bullet and shell out the 100 bucks and order one. I decided to have mine custom annodized black, it took about a month to arrive since they are machined when you order them. Now I know this case isn't exactly for everyone, after all it looks like a machined aluminum brick, apple products usually being curvy and sleek, I can see why they haven't seemed too popular among the iphone crowd. I however am a fan of everything billet, and a huge fan of lian li pc cases and the like. So a boxy brushed aluminum case annodized black looked perfect to me.

So I received the case a few days ago and got my phone installed. I can honestly say the quality of the machine work is excellent, and exactly what you'd expect from a small custom machine shop. The annodizing also looks great. I had some concerns about signal strength dying since it's enclosed in an aluminum box now, however, the milled slots in the back where the main antennas are work great, I've noticed no loss of bars since installing the case.


Unfortunately, this is pretty much where the good things I have to say about it ends. buy autocad To start out, when I went to install the phone... I had expected to see some silicon inserts inside it to prevent the phone from touching the aluminum directly as the website said. Instead what I saw was more like a piece of wide scotch tape where the back of the iphone would go. I didn't find this to be a huge deal, I just got out a roll of electrical tape and lined the contact points with that, put the phone in and tightened down the screws, seems to be working very well, no signs of wear at all, but for 100 dollars, you think they'd put a little more padding in there to prevent the phone from being scratched.

Moving on, the biggest issue with this case is how difficult it makes pressing the volume, lock and vibrate switch. They are all but impossible to hit with one hand. You pretty much have to hold the phone with one hand and maneuver a finger nail into the case with the other hand to press any of the buttons. The vibrate switch is especially difficult to flip from the vibrate position into the speaker position. I feel they really should have milled these sections out farther to give you more room to get you finger in there with more ease. Perhaps it wouldn't look quite as nice with bigger holes for the buttons, but it would be much more practical and easy to use. Even the home button is somewhat annoying to press. I think that too should have been milled out slightly larger than the diameter of the home button. Which brings me to my next issue. Even pressing things very close to the edge of the screen can be difficult because your finger hits the aluminum of the case instead of the screen. Once again, the area milled for the screen should have been milled slightly larger than the screen itself to make some room for your fingers.

The next issue is really a matter of opinion. cheap autocad The case is actually very slim, it adds only 2mm to the thickness of the iPhone, but I am surprised to find out just how much I miss that curved back of the phone or the curved edges of my silicrylic case. Even though it's only a tiny amount thicker, it's much thicker at the edges of the phone obviously, which makes it feel very uncomfortable in your hand, even somewhat hard to hold. On top of that... since it is so boxy and the edges are 90 degrees, it's somewhat sharp, holding it up to your ear can be very uncomfortable, talking for more than a minute or two, my ear starts to hurt. You have to learn to not hold the phone directly against your ear.

Another thing about it, which I knew was going to be a problem when I bought it, is that when I had my old silicrylic case, I wasn't afraid to throw it down on the table or sit it on a piece of concrete or whatever. Now I find myself afraid to set my phone down on rough surfaces for fear it my hurt the finish of my case. I suppose this is a concern whenever you spend a ton of money on a case. Again, that's completely not Exovault's fault, I knew it would be an issue when I bought it.

So the conclusion is the case is absolutely beautiful, and is machined to outstanding quality and does not seem to affect signal strength at all. However, it's uncomfortable to use, difficult to press the buttons, and you spend a lot of time worrying about protecting your case rather than having your case protecting your iPhone.

I hope you find my amateur review useful if you were thinking about buying one of these, and that it was worth sitting through the typos and spelling errors. Here's some eye candy, unfortunately they're a little grainy do to low light.
IMG_0896.jpg

IMG_0899.jpg

IMG_0902.jpg

IMG_0893.jpg

IMG_0904.jpg
 
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wiimama

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About a month ago an article on the exovault machined iPhone case popped up on Engadget, and I instantly fell in love with it. I searched around everywhere to find some kind of article from someone that actually had one to hear some opinions on it, but could find nothing. So having some poker winnings burning a whole in my pocket, I decided to just bite the bullet and shell out the 100 bucks and order one. I decided to have mine custom annodized black, it took about a month to arrive since they are machined when you order them. Now I know this case isn't exactly for everyone, after all it looks like a machined aluminum brick, apple products usually being curvy and sleek, I can see why they haven't seemed too popular among the iphone crowd. I however am a fan of everything billet, and a huge fan of lian li pc cases and the like. So a boxy brushed aluminum case annodized black looked perfect to me.

So I received the case a few days ago and got my phone installed. I can honestly say the quality of the machine work is excellent, and exactly what you'd expect from a small custom machine shop. The annodizing also looks great. I had some concerns about signal strength dying since it's enclosed in an aluminum box now, however, the milled slots in the back where the main antennas are work great, I've noticed no loss of bars since installing the case.


Unfortunately, this is pretty much where the good things I have to say about it ends. To start out, when I went to install the phone... I had expected to see some silicon inserts inside it to prevent the phone from touching the aluminum directly as the website said. Instead what I saw was more like a piece of wide scotch tape where the back of the iphone would go. I didn't find this to be a huge deal, I just got out a roll of electrical tape and lined the contact points with that, put the phone in and tightened down the screws, seems to be working very well, no signs of wear at all, but for 100 dollars, you think they'd put a little more padding in there to prevent the phone from being scratched.

Moving on, the biggest issue with this case is how difficult it makes pressing the volume, lock and vibrate switch. They are all but impossible to hit with one hand. You pretty much have to hold the phone with one hand and maneuver a finger nail into the case with the other hand to press any of the buttons. The vibrate switch is especially difficult to flip from the vibrate position into the speaker position. I feel they really should have milled these sections out farther to give you more room to get you finger in there with more ease. Perhaps it wouldn't look quite as nice with bigger holes for the buttons, but it would be much more practical and easy to use. Even the home button is somewhat annoying to press. I think that too should have been milled out slightly larger than the diameter of the home button. Which brings me to my next issue. Even pressing things very close to the edge of the screen can be difficult because your finger hits the aluminum of the case instead of the screen. Once again, the area milled for the screen should have been milled slightly larger than the screen itself to make some room for your fingers.

The next issue is really a matter of opinion. The case is actually very slim, it adds only 2mm to the thickness of the iPhone, but I am surprised to find out just how much I miss that curved back of the phone or the curved edges of my silicrylic case. Even though it's only a tiny amount thicker, it's much thicker at the edges of the phone obviously, which makes it feel very uncomfortable in your hand, even somewhat hard to hold. On top of that... since it is so boxy and the edges are 90 degrees, it's somewhat sharp, holding it up to your ear can be very uncomfortable, talking for more than a minute or two, my ear starts to hurt. You have to learn to not hold the phone directly against your ear.

Another thing about it, which I knew was going to be a problem when I bought it, is that when I had my old silicrylic case, I wasn't afraid to throw it down on the table or sit it on a piece of concrete or whatever. Now I find myself afraid to set my phone down on rough surfaces for fear it my hurt the finish of my case. I suppose this is a concern whenever you spend a ton of money on a case. Again, that's completely not Exovault's fault, I knew it would be an issue when I bought it.

So the conclusion is the case is absolutely beautiful, and is machined to outstanding quality and does not seem to affect signal strength at all. However, it's uncomfortable to use, difficult to press the buttons, and you spend a lot of time worrying about protecting your case rather than having your case protecting your iPhone.

I hope you find my amateur review useful if you were thinking about buying one of these, and that it was worth sitting through the typos and spelling errors. Here's some eye candy, unfortunately they're a little grainy do to low light.
IMG_0896.jpg

IMG_0899.jpg

IMG_0902.jpg

IMG_0893.jpg

IMG_0904.jpg

the case looks ugly.
it makes the iphone look like a vintage piece of hardware.
would i buy it?
no.
 

WeeklyAppUpdates

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[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNkYeayUqNM]YouTube - ‪Best Free Apps For iPhone - 25 May 2011‬‏[/ame]
 

bab2010

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it's not a joke, i'm serious, my grandpa will find it awesome. :)
 

honleye

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Pretty funny. This reminds me of a funny fictitious character in a famous Chinese Kongfu book by Jing Yong: "Tian Long Ba Bu". A great book. If you know Chinese, you should read it.

OK, I kind of agree with bab2010. I think that older people may fall in love with it. It does look quite ugly to many, especially younger people, but it could be your best in terms of protection. I guess that I'm still a little too young for this case. Mine is a slider case I bought from ecoover-covers on ebay. A great case, pretty, lean, light, strong, and very high quality. I bought the red one which matched my new white iphone perfectly.
 
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