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REVIEW: Apex Armor v3 iPhone 4 Aluminium Bumper


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Jan 11, 2011
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REVIEW: Apex Armor v3 iPhone 4 Aluminium Bumper

Aluminium cases for the iPhone 4 are in high demand and Apex Armor is trying to put their design on the map. Apex Armor has designed a two piece case that is slightly different then other aluminum case designs. It comes in a very nice but simply clear plastic package with the case, two screws, and a allen wrench for installation. These cases cost $79.99 and come in a few colors.
black matte
bare metal
gunmetal grey

Protection in most aluminum cases like this bumper is pretty minimal. The Apex Armor case does have a some cushioning pads around the inside that will absorb some shock if dropped. The case itself will keep you from dinging up you iPhone for the most part. You will want to put a front and back screen shield or even a skin of some type on the back of the iPhone for a little added protection. There is a nice lip on the front and back to provide lay on table design to keep you from scratching up the glass while the phone is laying on surfaces. The Apex Armor case is designed to be a minimal protection case so it is only going to provide just that which it does well.

Apex Armor released previous versions to this case and after some feed back they went back to the drawing board and tweaked the design to make it more functional. To start off the 30 pin dock connector and the speaker/mic all share one large cutout, it will allow cables with slightly wider design but if the height is to much bigger then the stock apple cable then it might not squeeze in there. All the cables I tested fit but I know there are a few car cables that are very thick and you would have to use a dock extender for those. The volume button and silent switch also share one large cutout so it will work with verizon and att models, the buttons are very easy to reach due to the slim design. The headphone jack is a medium sized cutout but due to the slim design I dint have problems plugging any of my headphones into the cutout, some larger headphones not designed for mobile device use might not fit and require a extender. The home button cutout is a nice pill shape and the home button is easy to reach. The simcard even gets its own cutout on the case to give access to some who need to change their simcards out. Overall the case is pretty functional, the slim design lets the case slide in and out of your pockets easily and the cutouts give you options to use third party connectors with the case installed.

Like I mentioned Previously this is version three of the case, Apex Armor went back to redesign certain features on the case to make it more functional and overall a better case. I give Apex Armor a ton of credit for doing this as many cases have huge flaws that are never addressed. The design of the case is different then most aluminum bumpers, it is only screwed in by two screws and the break points are in the top right corner and bottom left corner. The case is very sturdy and is very smooth at the points of contact. The design is one of the slimmest of all aluminum bumpers I have tested, the top and bottom part are very slim while the sides have a bit more thickness to keep the case sturdy. The quality is pretty good, I think that the finish on the cases is a little rough looking(fells very smooth) but that is part of the design not a defect in the case. The logo on the side is nice and small and adds a small bit of style to the case. Overall the design and quality of the case is great, thin design along with functionality works for me.

As with all aluminum cases the question is how does is effect the reception of the phone? I will break it down for you here. I tested this case over and over and over and over again to make sure to get a consistent reading for my area, keep in mind that different areas with different signal strengths might be effected differently.
Decibels- I tested this case on my micro-cell as well as on normal cell towers all across town. On my micro-cell I would lose 6 to 10 decibel with a occasional spike to 15 decibels but it would recover rather quickly.
On the normal att cell towers I would lose 8 to 12 decibels of signal strength with a occasional spike of 18 decibels.

What does this mean? I am sure some of you are thinking. This means you will lose about one bar of reception, I live in a pretty low reception area so in some cases it would put my phone in searching mode because I would only have one bar to begin with. Also being that I live in this area testing decibel reading can be hard as they tend to fluctuate, I have put some serious testing in and feel I have a good hold on the reception degradation of this case. I tested the 3g speeds with case installed and saw pretty inconsistent numbers leading me to believe that it could effect the 3g speed slightly. I didn't have problems at all with the gps or wifi, they stayed fast and true to the results without the case installed.

Overall this is a great case design, quality, and functionally wise, the receptions issues I encountered with the case make it a problem for me as I live in the lowest of att reception areas. If you live in a area where you get 3 to 5 bars of reception everywhere this case is one you should check out. Its sleek and slim design sets it apart from other aluminum case designs and if you can handle one bar or signal degradation then check it out. Apex Armor