Months ago, Graft Concepts entered the market with a unique design for an iPhone case. With a closure system emulating the clasp of a watch, the Leverage also boasted flexibility and fine design for those who are looking for something sleek and classy. There was not another one like it on the market. Since the initial release, Graft Concepts has made updates to its white Leverage case in response to customer feedback. We have it here at Gadgetmac for a closer look. Does it meet all of its expectations again? Find out after the break.
Since it's initial splash into the market, the Graft Concepts Leverage case has had its share of ups and downs. Consumers originally on board with the Leverage were drawn to the closure system, the ability to use it as a bumper and a full on case, and the sleek, minimalist design. Through normal (and some in some cases not normal) use of the case, users disappointingly found excessive wear, especially using the white case. The first generation of this case came in a matte finish, which is quite rare in the market due to the material's likelihood of attracting dirt and exhibiting wear. Did Graft Concepts learn from their mistakes? It seems so.
The Leverage case is a polycarbonate/plastic bumper that boasts the ingenious metal clasp type closure system. After you slip the phone into the bumper, hooking the clasp and snapping the lever to a close ensures a tight secure fit. I found that of the two samples I received from Graft Concepts, the Chrome latched case did not snap securely into place, whereas the matte one did. This resulted in the latch not sitting flush with the rest of the case..noticeable to the discerning eye. The matte version of the case however, snapped satisfyingly into place. YMMV with this, as I may have just received a lemon to review.
What is both wonderful and infuriating about the case is that the case so tightly adheres to all the contours and aspects of the iPhone. The openings to the headphone jack and the dock connector are incredibly small. The good - it appears so streamline and perfectly designed for the iPhone. The bad - if you are using headphones with larger jacks or accessories with larger 30 pin dock connectors...good luck. You may need to head over to Radtech and invest in headphone or dock extenders to fit your peripherals. You can see, on the bottom of the case, the cut outs for the speakers are very exact. At times I find myself remarking on how low my speaker volumes are even when cranked to the max.
Once snapped to a close, the case envelopes the iPhone. The leverage clasp houses a nice metal button for the sleep wake button, and comes in both matte and chrome flavors for your choosing. From previous experience, I know that the button can snap off with little to no mistreatment. Only time will tell whether generation two will yield the same result. Not just a bumper, the Leverage now comes with a back plate included. The back plate fits perfectly in the recesses of the bumper, making the entire case streamlined and sleek.
While these aspects of the Leverage remain the same compared to the first generation, the difference lies in the material of the case. The white case is now a smooth, shiny plastic material instead of a dull, matte texture we've reviewed a while ago. The high gloss white does a good job of hiding fingerprints, and does not show dirt or scratches as much as I have seen on matte cases. The corners have not worn down from sliding in and out of my back pocket. The included back plate matches the case in the white gloss texture, and the camera cut out is smartly black to reduce glare and flare from using the iPhone's flash. Although I am generally not a fan of anything glossy, the white gloss Leverage case does a lot of things right.
Graft Concepts has appeared to have ironed out the majority of the faults with their first generation of this case. For those who owned the previous version, you may remember the great debacle regarding scratches on the iPhones chrome rim due to the latching system of the case. I have not found any scratches on my case thus far, so it appears as if Graft Concepts has addressed this issue through redesign.
All in all, I am a fan of this case. Looks wise, the case has a very minimalist design. The lay on the table design of the bumper is not overly excessive or bulky like I have found with other hard cases out there. Unfortunately, the Leverage is not a case to be removed and installed regularly, as the latch system can be quite tricky to snap on. If not careful, one can simply snap the clasp right off the case, or install the case while misaligning the back plate. Therefore, this case is not for those who demand a no-nonsense, sturdy case. However, for those who are generally careful with their devices and and desire a simple, sleek and versatile case, I would look no further than the Leverage case by Graft Concepts. The price has dropped from $59.95 to $49.95 available both online and at the Apple Store!
Graft Concepts has shown they have impeccable customer service and they are open to feedback regarding the quality of their products. Just a day after posting this review, Graft Concepts has raised the issue of the non-snapping closure mentioned in this review to their engineering staff and they are currently working on a fix. With one of the most unique cases out there on the market today, they have shown their desire to produce a product that is truly special. An update to this review will follow shortly!