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  • SmartyPants - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Maybe it's just me but I don't think $140 for any cell phone case is a very good use of your money. Reply
  • Connoisseur - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Come on. That argument gets used so much it should be taken out back and shot. It's a luxury item. They all cost money. For the people who are willing to pay for it, it's definitely a pretty conversation piece. Reply
  • Mayuyu - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    $140 is insane, for something that costs 10 cents to make. Reply
  • shabby - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Which company will machine 4 aluminum pieces for 10 cents? Reply
  • Mayuyu - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Factories in China Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    As long as we're just pulling numbers out of hats, I'd estimate you're off by an order of magnitude for the pure cost of materials, and the initial design work and the complexity probably would make it two orders of magnitude. So yeah, we're looking at more like $10 to manufacture the case made to exact specifications, and then you need to recuperate all of your other expenses and still turn a profit. $140 is too high for me for sure, but considering crap plastic cases typically go for $30 or more, it's hardly out of line with the market. Reply
  • althaz - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    I have no idea about manufacturing costs, but 10c is actually fairly close to the actual cost of the aluminium in this case. If the case was pure aluminium you'd be looking at a maximum cost of 21-31 cents with that number decreasing for larger orders (I can order one kg of aluminum for $1-1.5ish, if you are building tens of thousands of these things, you should be able to get a discount).

    $140 is WAY out of line with the market, it's a nice-looking case, but even high-quality poly-carb plasic cases are well under $40. Cheap cases might have a suggested retail of $30, but they are readily available for $2-6.

    That said, for some people it'll still be worth it, because this case does appear to be excellent (but as a Lumia owner, it's obviously not for me).
  • ImSpartacus - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    Mr Walton, I suggest that you refrain from stooping to the level of these commenters. Be a role model. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - link

    Its hard to keep quiet when so many people say such stupid things Reply
  • chrnochime - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    I would think the bulk of the cost is to either machine aluminum blocks down to actual case pieces or use cast method. The assembling costs are miniscule compared to the cost of the machines needed to manufacture the aluminum pieces. And like not the machines need to be exotic to process materials like carbon fiber, so it shouldn't be extremely expensive to obtain(or even rent) these machines... Reply
  • JeffFlanagan - Monday, January 28, 2013 - link

    Doesn't matter. The target audience is known to overspend on toys, so selling them an overpriced item that you can get them to view as a luxury is good business.

    Pricing things insanely high is a viable strategy in luxury markets.
  • yannigr - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    This argument is ignored so much from consumers unfortunately. $140 is not a price for a case, it is more like an exam for stupidity. Reply
  • yojacko88 - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    Ditto! Reply
  • iPhone Case - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    yup after reading the case review i also thought that i used to buy iPhone Cases from Amanda iPhone Case Review Website it's mostly good price's and cases there but i don't think anyone will give 140 bucks for a iPhone Case Unless it's real something but the Overall case review was good and kudo's for the author. Reply
  • mevans336 - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Especially since (to me) it totally ruins the look of the phone. The iPhone has smooth flowing lines and that case is industrial. It totally clashes. But it definitely stands out, sort of like a 3-tier wing on a Honda Civic. Reply
  • NotunBazar - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    The price is probably bit higher than what many people would have expected. However, from our experience in the Mobile phone exteriors business, we know that, if you want to get good quality and lucrative products like this one, you need to pay the amount. There are variety of products with different quality. Some of those products are to be of top quality and price would be high for those.

  • zebrax2 - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    I would agree that it is too expensive. For a case that $140 i would have expected it to protect the phone from front drops as well as providing support for third party connectors. The case itself is prone to dents and maybe scratches Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Definitely a case I'd sport. Like it, a lot. Reply
  • Chris82aus - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Brian, you stated "I won’t say that the Sector 5 doesn’t affect the antennas at all, adding conductors this close to the device clearly does". I'm curious why you chose to use another iP5 with a different case and not just a bare phone to illustrate your results? I'm aware this is a case review, so we need to know how it compares to other cases, but I'd be really interested to see how it would compare to an iP5 without any case on it at all as a baseline / reference. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Well, the other case (Incipio Dual Pro) is the one I'd be using in stead of the Element one, and the Dual Pro is entirely polymer and nonconductive, so there's no reason it should affect antenna tuning. I guess you could argue there might be carbon in the case (I've heard that one before) but it's minimal in most consumer electronics cases.

    In any case the other phone is equivalent to no case, basically.

  • smitty123 - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link


    yeah 140$ seriously?

    you can get cases for 5$ on amazon.

    some people just have too much money !
  • chucknelson - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Wow, ugly case *and* ridiculously expensive. Interesting to see what's out there, though. Reply
  • StormyParis - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    That thing is:
    - expensive
    - fragile
    - a pain to assemble
    - bad for reception
    - screams "I need to be noticed !"

    I understand the need of ego-challenged males to show they're packing, but $140 seems very stiff for an ugly ego crutch that works less well than a $2 silicone case.

    See what I did with "stiff", "crutch", "packing"... ? :-p
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Maybe I am just blind again, but I didn't see any mention of how well this case would protect against falls. It seems to me that it would be inferior to most cheap polymer cases in this regard since it cannot absorb the shock as easily as other cases.
    Other than that, it looks like a fun product. I would never buy one, but if it were a gift I'd probably use it. :D
  • Red Storm - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Really AT? As we continue to wait for reviews on the Android flagships, we instead get a recommendation for a $140 iPhone case? I expect more/better from the writers of this site. Reply
  • mevans336 - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Brian probably banged this out while waiting for the dozens of benchmarks to complete on a flagship Android phone up for review. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Pretty much, battery life testing takes forever :/

  • lukewayne - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Brian, does the suede sticker leave anything nasty behind when you remove it? i don't like the idea of a sticker on a phone after months of warming cycles. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    No, I've removed it probably 4 times to do a case swap and it hasn't left any residue at all on the back side.

  • Guspaz - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    When you have a rubber or plastic case, and you drop the phone, the case can absorb a lot of the force of the impact by deforming. If you have a metal case, it will absorb none of the force, instead transmitting it all into the phone.

    The end result is that you get no protection from the sudden deceleration...
  • noblemo - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    It depends on the design and the impact force. Metal absorbs energy through both elastic and plastic deformation, and also transfers energy around the phone. Silicon acts as a buffer to cushion the blow--the rubber inserts in this case perform a similar function--but a silicon case will also transfer part of the force to the phone. By analogy, automobiles have composite bumpers to absorb low impact collisions, and metal crumple zones to absorb high impact forces.

    It would be interesting to see some comparative drop test results. As others have mentioned, though, the case is a luxury item primarily focused on design aesthetics.
  • Guspaz - Monday, January 28, 2013 - link

    It's not obvious from this review that this case features rubber inserts. I'm not saying it doesn't, mind you, just that reading this review gives the impression that the case is entirely metal segments joined by "polymer links". Reply
  • noblemo - Monday, January 28, 2013 - link

    "the case includes a soft rubber material around its inner perimeter to prevent aluminum from touching aluminum."

    "the case is insulated from the aluminum exterior of the iPhone 5 with a rubber material"
  • Guspaz - Monday, January 28, 2013 - link

    Ah, missed that. Reply
  • zlandar - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    $140 for a smartphone case? Lol.

    i'm having a hard time seeing how this case offers more protection than a slim TPU case. Granted it looks nice.
  • Shadowmage - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

    (Why is this marked as a spam comment?)
  • Fx1 - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    So let me get this right...

    Your putting a 140$ case which looks crap on a crap phone that also is over priced.

    Well the people who made this case have got some things wrong.

    1) People who use iphones really care about how they look. Because thats the only reason you would buy an iPhone against android today. So making a case that makes the phone uglier than your average Android is kind of pointless.

    2) charging $140 is clever because everyone knows iPhone customers really have no idea the value of things. They think 64GB cost £200 more than 16GB. But the problem is that phone insurance costs less than $140 so whats the point in protecting something which you can fully insure against damage.

    3) The average iPhone customer is pretty stupid. Thats why they use iOS. So anything that looks remotely complex will most likely short circuit their brains and they will never figure out how that case works.

    4) Sending it to Anandtech is not a great idea. Because we all know Anand is a Apple Fanboi but what Anand refuses to accept is that most his readers dislike Apple and everything they make. So its kind of lost on everyone.
  • vastac13 - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link


    I know what you did there :P
  • eanazag - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    I would not want to see a phone case reviews on here unless it is unique. That being said. I love the case and am glad it was reviewed. I wanted it till I got to the price tag. I'd throw $40 to $50 at it. $140 is a new video card or SSD. That price ventures too far into the "what else could I spend my money on" realm. Reply
  • volant165 - Monday, January 28, 2013 - link

    Yes, smart phones and tablets are all priced a bit insane. Moving on from cost of ownership, I own several Element cases, previous iPhones. Really like the design, variety, and added protection. However, the Sector 5 case for my iPhone 5 seems to be expanding and losing it's grip after about two months of use. (The side where the sim card goes in.) Have written to Element case to see what they say. Reply
  • Das_Bo - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    Hi Brian,

    how much could you take of the adapter by filing? From the look of the case I'd say it should be at least 2-3mm to make it fit. Can that be done without damaging the interior of the adapter?
  • haseebahmad220 - Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - link

    This White Shark Keyboard Case for Apple iPhone 5 is detachable. Therefore,we are not just offering only a keyboard to you,nor only a case to you,but instead both to you. You will get a keyboard and a case at a time. When you only need the case,detach the case to hold and protect your iPhone 5 and carry it around,the keyboard won't bore you any more. When you need the keyboard,put your iPhone 5 inside the case and attach it to the keyboard,type with it. This design brings you big convenience and flexibility in your life with iPhone Reply
  • Nick51b - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - link

    Nice case, but I would recommend the Pong Research <a href="">iPhone case</a> over this. I read that cell phones emit wireless energy a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, which can be absorbed by the tissue closest to where the phone is held. That's why I did research and found a case that can reduce radiation exposure. In the end though, I found a couple of reviews of Pong Research 's cases, that convinced me to give it a try. This case is built with an antenna in between layers of the back cover, which reduce exposure to radiation. Because Pong is the only technology proven in FCC-certified laboratories to reduce the exposure to mobile device radiation by up to 95% below the FCC limit without compromising the device’s ability to communicate. Reply
  • seandsouza - Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - link

    Is this the same case? I like this color: Reply
  • doylesav11 - Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - link

    If any of you people would look on Elements website and watch how they are made, and see the quality and heart&soul the CEO has put into making the best phone and tablet cases in the world you would not say anything about the price cost of this fine product!! If its too much for you to have the best."A".dont buy one..."B" get a 2nd job on get one! You will be soo happy your phone has an "ELEMENT" CASE! PEACE OUT--"D" Reply
  • livetorideca - Sunday, January 19, 2014 - link

    Beautifully crafted, very unique case.
    "If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up" - Ferris Bueller
  • mogourt - Tuesday, June 03, 2014 - link New high quality Carbon Fiber Bumper cases are now in stock for the iPhone 5S!!! These retail for $130.00!!

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