Specialized Composites Jon Eicher Ruggedized Aluminum iPhone 4 Case Review

The second bulkiest case for the iPhone 4 ever to be reviewed is now on Gadgetmac. If the self-standing Arkhippo 1 case for the iPhone 4 was a little too much bulk to handle, this case by Jon Eicher himself could do the trick. The Jon Eicher titled iPhone 4 case is one of the bulkiest cases you can get, but it's set to offer your iPhone 4 some serious protection that is up to Military Standard specifications. It will fit both the Verizon and AT&T iPhone 4 but doesn't promise to make you fall in love with it. Designed to keep your iPhone 4 protected against daily drops, this just may be the perfect case you're looking for. Find out just how well the Jon Eicher case really handles the test in the full review right after the break.

The Jon Eicher case for the iPhone 4 will run you a pretty penny at just under $100. It certainly not the cheapest aluminum case out there but for what you get, the price seems to be overpriced. Out of the box, you're going to get two slobs of aluminum plates which make up for the front and back while 8 rubber sleeves that act as the case's dividers as well as the screw housing. Never have I had to screw in a total of 16 screws on an iPhone 4 case. It became a little home project to assemble this case. The installation process isn't hard to get but does require time unlike any other case out there. The screwing of the 16 screws is a little annoying, however once you have the case installed, it's a matter of only unscrewing the front or back 8 screws should you want to get your iPhone 4 out of the case.

This is the first time I've seen nylon screws used in a aluminum case. While there are also aluminum screws to be chosen for a Jon Eicher case, I've got the nylon ones for this review. I don't recommend going with nylon screws as they are more fragile and harder to handle when screwing. There are extra screws and rubber sleeves included as well as a screwdriver or hex key depending on the screws you get. The inside of the case is lined with a layer of EVA foam to protect your iPhone 4 against shock, drops and scratches. The one thing that concerned me when I first got the case was that there would be some contact between the iPhone 4 and the aluminum plates which I found out wasn't the case and there was absolutely no contact between the aluminum parts of the case and the iPhone 4 except for the wanted cushioned foam and rubber.

This definitely isn't the case I became to like and I'm sure it isn't going to appeal to everyone. The bulk is too much to handle I think and if you're concerned about comfort and functionality, this isn't the case for you. I've had the chance to review a similar case in the past that shares the same design style of the Jon Eicher case which was a lot less bulky but offered no drop protection whatsoever. You may like the way the Jon Eicher case looks, however it impacts the iPhone 4's functionality greatly. The home button is extremely recessed inside the case that if you've got large finger you will not be able to reach it. That's a big problem but it's not all. The rest of the ports and buttons are hard to reach and even though the case has a large opening all around that can fit most 3rd party cables and plugs, they are not easily reachable.

Unfortunately, comfort is a major issue with this case. The thin slobs of aluminum incase the iPhone 4 in a way that you're basically holding two thin and somewhat edgy aluminum plates in your hand instead of something more rounded and comfortable to hold like a silicone case. Even a very bulky one at that. I don't find this case to be a practical one at all. If you're looking for an extreme tough protection, you might want to look at the Griffin Survivor case instead at a fraction of the price. Unlike the Jon Eicher case, the Survivor will protect your iPhone 4 against rain, sand and dust while remaining a comfortable case to hold and manage.

Another gripe I have about the Jon Eicher case is the huge logo filled with what looks like someone else's personal information plastered all over the backside of the case. You're paying $100 for a case and in return you get an email address, company name, name, where the case was made (it's made in the US) and just for the heck of it, three names of major cities around the world. The whole scenario mixed together gives off a look of some sort of prototype case that just in case were to get lose somewhere, someone will have the right contact info. I don't like it one bit and neither should you. And even though the logo and all the details that accompany it are laser etched into the aluminum in a not so obvious way.

I would have been satisfied if only the name of the case or the company was laser etched on the back. Because of the inner blue foam layer, using the camera with the LED flash will washout all your images with a blue tint. 

There are just way too many downsides to this case. The worst of all though is that the iPhone 4 screen is obstructed by the case itself because of how close the case overlaps the screen. The only good thing this case is good for is a very expensive, lightweight protective paperweight. You might as well put your iPhone 4 inside a padded box instead. Sadly, I cannot recommend the Jon Eicher case for the iPhone 4. Not even at half the asking price, let alone $99.97. It seems as though this case was easily put together without much work and R&D to be asking for such a high price. Not good enough. I do hope the guys behind this case improve on it as I really did want to like it.

Jon Eicher via Etsy.com