iPhone bumpers were first released way back in 2010 when Apple brought out the iPhone 4 and since then they have stuck as a viable alternative to having a full case, often preserving the sveltness of the iPhone and of course leaving all Apple logo’s intact. Popular amongst a wide majority of consumers due to their easy application and removal, iPhone bumpers are an extremely popular product from Apple and as such third party manufacturers have taken note and created their own take on what a bumper should really be like.
Today, we are reviewing an iPhone bumper which is a little bit different however, due to it being made from air craft grade aluminium.
The product in question is called the Esoterism Moat-4 AL (with AL standing for aluminium), and this product intrigued us enough to want to review it for a few reasons; firstly, would an aluminium case be comfortable to use every single day for two weeks? And secondly, would this aluminium bumper start to flake and scratch around the edges after a certain period of time, thus being less durable than a plastic one? Well we aimed to find out. Read on to see what’s what.
*We reviewed the Esoterism Moat-4 AL with an iPhone 4S. The company also sell aluminium bumpers for the iPhone 5.
The Esoterism Moat-4 iPhone bumper wraps around your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S to protect the sides from damage if dropped. Not a fully fledged case, the Moat-4 leaves the front of the iPhone and the back of the iPhone exposed to all of mother natures attacks, meaning if you value protection for your handset you may as well look elsewhere for something a little bit more ‘bouncy’. What the Moat-4 does provide however in its design is a genuine fix for signal drops, and it’s also pretty lovely to use too.
Weighing just 27g with thanks to being made from aluminium the case is pretty much perfect for anybody who doesn’t want their pockets to be weighed down by their iPhone. We were sent the black version of the Moat-4 to review and the high quality CNC manufacturing process was immediate from the very first time we took the case from the box, because quite simply the Moat-4 is one of the highest quality iPhone cases we at Technology Blogged have ever laid hands on.
The shape of the bumper is very cool too. Marketed as a patented ambidextrous design (perfect for lefties and right handed people alike) as well as being anodized, the iPhone feels great with this case on with the actual case itself complimenting the overall high quality finish of Apples product.
We were also sent a carbon fibre / carbon black back plate for our case, which in real world terms is actually just a high quality and scratch proof textured sticker which you apply to the back of your iPhone, thus creating added protection from scratches. The back plate itself was very easy to apply, and looked great once on.
As noted the Moat-4 is made from high quality air craft grade aluminium and as such is of a very sturdy and solid build. When on the case, it certainly creates the illusion that your iPhone could withstand a lot more punishment than without it, however due to the only iPhone in-house at the time being my very own, I didn’t do a throw down the stairs drop test for fear of screwing up my day.
What the Moat-4 does have however are 7 inner shock absorbers, which are a sort of foam/rubber mix and it is these which hold your iPhone in place within the bumper and add shock protection. The shock absorbers do a good job of creating bounce to the iPhone, and dropping the iPhone from around 4 inches on to a wooden plank resulted in the iPhone bouncing a few times before settling down.
If you choose to have a back plate with the Moat-4 you will also get back protection for your handset. We think the carbon fibre one looks great, however there are other designs available from Etoterism.
For us durability in a case is as important as the design of it, because we like our cases to look as good in 6 months as they did when we first took them out of their packaging. We are going to spill the beans on this case in terms of durability with the good news and the bad news:
The good news is that the Moat-4 is extremely resistant to denting versus the old nail and hammer. Also good news is that the Moat-4 is very heat resistant, as holding a naked lighter flame to it for over 15 seconds didn’t bubble any anodized paint or warp the case in any way.
The bad news is that from 2 weeks of testing the Esoterism Moat-4 has started to show signs of the anodized finish coming away in places, showing a silver finish underneath. This isn’t so bad currently and the marks are incredibly hard to photograph, however trust us when we say they are there and in time this would probably get worse with heavy usage.
We are unsure of the manufacturing process Esoterism uses to create their anodized coloured finish to their cases, however in our durability test over 2 weeks the glorious black finish on our case had started to show signs of wear. One clear way this could be improved is with the adoption of DLC (diamond like carbon) coating, as this would ensure no flaking or wearing for a long time. In terms of protection and shock absorption however, the Moat-4 proved to be excellent, with the design itself proving excellent to hold and grip.
The Esoterism Moat-4 iPhone 4/4S Case is priced at $65 online and for that you will get an extremely well made, unique and excellent to use iPhone case which will last you a long time. We were impressed with the cases shock absorption properties and also the design of the case which is perfect for both lefties and right-handed people. Less impressive were the signs of fatigue on the case where the anodized black finish got scratched in places, however we’ve noted this in our improvements section above and in the next iteration of the product this may not be as much of a problem.
Overall we at Technology Blogged thoroughly recommend the Moat-4 iPhone bumper to all consumers. If you like what you see, here is the exact product we reviewed. There is also an iPhone 5 version available, and multiple back plate designs to choose from.
Rating: (8/10)PS: Digging this story, news or review? Let us know! Comments open.
About Jakk: Jakk Ogden is a professional self-employed blogger and the founder / owner of Technology Blogged. 22, with a love for good writing, you'll find me playing 'Drag Racing' on my HTC One X and rocking a pair of Grado headphones. If you love technology, be sure to subscribe to my feed for unique editorials. Find me on Google+. View author profile.