Aluminum cases are a dime a dozen these days, as manufacturers are rushing to build the sleekest, most beautiful bumpers for the iPhone 4/4s. Most cases out there are of the slider type, with questionable effects on your phone signal. That is absolutely unacceptable! Crimson's Crimson AFC case for the iPhone 4/4s enters the market with a beautiful frame type case that offers a unique style in protecting your device. Does it match up to its competitors? Find out after the break!
Crimson Design Co. Ltd is an internationally based company with offices in several countries. The company offers several different products to choose from for any of the iDevices out there. Judging from the presentation of the case in its original packaging, this company is legit. A nice form fitting paper and plastic amalgam gives the impression that you would be picking this right off the hanger of an Apple Store. Opening the package, you are presented with several goodies, including the actual case, a set of screws, a tiny Allen wrench, a nice microfiber cloth, a front AND back protector screen protector (don't let me get on my soap box about these back protectors which are so hard to find, and not to mention, this one provided by Crimson is top notch - cut perfectly and sits on my iphone to this day) and in instruction fold out. In all I am very happy with the presentation of the case to the consumer and the goodies that come with the case. Moving forward, I should say that I am very happy with the case as well (with some caveats)!
There are a ton of ugly aluminum frame type cases out there. The Crimson AFC is not one of those! The case is of beautiful but substantial anodized aluminum that was CNC machined to perfection. Instead of making the case a simple block, Crimson tapered an edge for easier access to the volume buttons and mute switch. Class all the way. There are two pieces to this case - a front piece with a delicately etched CRIMSON on one of the sides, and a back piece which seems, is connected at four corners to plastic spacers. The spacers are attached via stainless steel screws and appeared loose to me at first. However when assembling the case, I saw that they could be tightened to ensure a nice tight seating.
Assembling the case was a breeze. I simply sat the iPhone in the back part of the case and screwed in the top at the corners with the provided Allen wrench. I was extremely happy to see that the iPhone sat comfortably in cradled in the back piece because the corners were milled to the exact curvature of the iPhone corners. Although I was happy with this part, I would have liked to see some foam padding on the corners' inside curvature for extra dampening against falls.
Once screwed in at the corners, there was no movement or wiggling of the phone within the case. The case and phone felt solid together, which has been an issue with other aluminum bumper manufacturers. With the Crimson AFC on, my SGP leather skin still fit nicely and there was no bubbling from my PowerSupport HD-Antiglare screen protector.
Now in using frame style case, one must know that there are cases that cover up all the sides, and there are cases that leave the sides completely exposed to the elements. The Crimson AFC is the latter, and as you can see in the pictures, without some side protector (like the Lucky Labs Spectra Wrap), there is potential for dirt, keys, coins, and other pointy or abrasive objects to get at your phone when you toss it in a purse or in your pocket. If you are like me and use a Spectra Wrap, this is of little concern to you. There is still however, some worry that exposed sides can lead to damage, or lack of protection against damages. To that I say, you know what you are getting...a stylish case that exposes the sides, and that is the way you probably wanted it if you are interested in purchasing this case. In that regard, the Crimson AFC wins in exposure!
For me, protection and style is very important. The Crimson AFC wins in the style category for me, with the fine and subtle cuts at the ports and buttons and the anodized aluminum. Protection-wise...that is where the question marks come in. I love the solid feeling that the case gives to the phone. I am less crazy about the exposed sides. However, I can see this being the perfect case for some people who want to personalize their phones further with wraps of different colors from companies like Lucky Labs. This case, while offering corner dropping protection, may also offer some style points to those that are looking for it! Therefore, when all is said and done, for a Frame Type case, I whole heartedly recommend it.