Here is something different for a change. An iPhone 4 case made entirely out of wood, Zebrawood for that matter. Zebrawood is just a name for this type of wood used to make this Root Case that resembles the pattern stripes of a Zebra. It's a nice change after using typical plastic, silicone and aluminum cases. If you like wood (no pun intended), this case is something you might want to look for. Catch the full review right after the break.
The Root Cases Zebrawood is a slide type of case with felt pads on the inside to keep the back of your iPhone 4 clean and scratch-free but it also helps with the sliding and reducing friction. Even though this case is made out of wood, it feels and acts exactly like you would expect from a polycarbonate slide case.
Around the back of the case you really get to see the unique Zebra-like wood pattern which looks beautiful coming from typical looking iPhone 4 cases. The finish is so smooth to the touch that it feels like you're holding a sleek polycarbonate case with a hint of the wood grain occasionally reminding you that you're holding a natural wood case instead. I have to give it to Root Cases for a great job with the smooth finish here. The case comes together and stays flush all around without gaps or imperfections.
Root Cases put a lot of effort in providing nice attention to detail with built-in volume and sleep/wake buttons. Up to this point this case is all nice and natural but sadly we are running into some rough waters here. These wood buttons are very nice and add a lot to the design of the Root Case but they are just hard to press and have no feedback whatsoever. The top sleep/wake buttons is a little easier to press and does actually provide a little bit of feedback when pressed. Also, that top headphone port cutout is so small and recessed that it will only fit Apple's earphones. And last but not least, the camera cutout will wash out your images when using the LED flash.
I do like the look and feel of the Root Case in my hand and it doesn't add much bulk to the iPhone 4 but it looks like functionality just took a hit using the Root Case. Is this the best wood case there is? Not at all but then again, I have not tried many wood cases before. Root Cases do need to fix these flaws and make this case fully usable with the iPhone 4 no doubt about it.
The fit and finish outweigh the functionality in this case, however if none of these issues really bother you then I think you would be happy with the Root Case. You can use a front screen protector without having to worry about it bubbling up because the front glass does not come in contact with the case and there is a decent amount of lay-on-the-table edge around the screen. I woodn't recommend using a wood case if you're worried about drop protection because it's safe to say that a good fall could potentially crack this wood case up pretty badly. The Root Case is available in 4 different types of wood for $59. A Verizon iPhone 4 compatible case is available as well.