There are many fantastic cases that protect your iPhone from dents and scratches, but a major flaw with most of those cases is the fact that they engulf your beautiful device in some form of material that detracts from the very reason why the iPhone caught your attention in the first place -- the aesthetics. Esoterism's Moat 4 brings protection in the form of an aluminum casing that shows off the front and back of the glorious mobile device while protecting it from any mishaps throughout the day. Check out the whole review after the cut!
Whenever you put on an iPhone case, you are giving up appearance for protection. You don't want to scratch the shiny glass body, or god forbid, shatter your precious device altogether, so you slap on some hideous creation to prevent any of that from happening. Yet, if you cover the iconic Apple logo and everything else that makes your iPhone so attractive, what's the point of having it anyways? The creators at Esoterism asked themselves the same question when they designed the Moat 4. By protecting the crucial components of your iPhone without sacrificing visual appearances, the Moat 4 surrounds the sides of your phone, similar to Apple's iPhone Bumper.
Created from solid aluminum, the Moat 4 will protect your iPhone from all kinds of terrain so you don't have to worry about a thing. With any aluminum product, we can expect it to be extremely lightweight, and the Moat 4 is no exception. Weighing in at a virtually nonexistent 27g, you can barely notice the difference once you install it onto your iPhone. It may be light, but the paint is easily scratched. Only after a few days, visible chunks of paint were missing from corners and edges, particularly in the indent where you would normally install the screws.
An unique approach that Esoterism took was utilizing tiny allen screws on both sides of their "bumper" to securely fasten the two-piece case to your device. Inside the packaging, you will find two extra allen screws in case you were to lose them (being so small, it is not hard for them to disappear) and an allen wrench for installation. While Esoterism is unique in that their cases use screws for a solid and secure feel, the actual installation process is a hassle. For anyone with large fingers, handling the wrench and screws are going to require practically surgeon-steady hands.
Once the case is finally installed, it is definitely something you could get use to. The Moat 4's form caters to the shape of your hand while you hold it, creating a very comfortable experience despite the case being constructed out of solid metal. Being made from aluminum, we expected a loss in cellular reception; with the Moat 4, be prepared to give up a bar or two. While the use of screws makes the overall case seem secure and solid, you will still notice slight gaps between the case and phone in some areas. There was alsoc minor shifting between the case and the iPhone which was rather annoying, even after securely tightening all four screws.
The openings for ports and buttons are generously large and accessible but may be too deep for some users. A plastic power button separates itself from the rest of the case and can be easily pressed without too much effort. However, after a few days of use, the power button began to separate itself from its housing. It appears to be simply glued onto one of the soft cushions.
Inside of the case, shock absorbing liners line the entire case, creating cushions for your iPhone so it isn't directly in contact with the aluminum casing and adds additional protection from drops. The case is also slightly lifted from the iPhone's surface to prevent any scratches when you place your device onto a table. If that is not enough, Esoterism offers multiple kinds of high quality 3M skins for the backplate that gives both personality and protection.
Esoterism's collection has cases for both men and women, each with their own design and personality to match. With a large selection to choose from, Esoterism makes sure to meet the needs of any type of user… with a lot of spare change. Coming in at a hefty $65 dollars, the Moat 4 will not fit most budgets. You will have to throw in an extra $19 for the backplate skin as well.
This case is unique in many aspects but at such a high price point, it is difficult to justify such a purchase. With what Esoterism has done with its aluminum bumper collection, it would be best to look for an alternative, such as Draco Design's Draco IV Limited Edition Aluminum Bumper that we've reviewed in the past. The overall quality of Esoterism's collection can be greatly improved upon; for such an expensive investment, I would expect the product to last much longer before noticing wear and tear.
On top of that, I prefer simple and effective in all of my products, but with so many tiny screws, it is too time-consuming for me to just take on and off. For that, we cannot recommend this product to everybody, but if you are looking for optimal protection and want to show off your iPhone, head on over to Esoterism's website and check out their large collection of metal bumpers.