Kickstarter Find: AL13 v2 aluminum iPhone frame will eliminate signal loss [updated]

Sections: iDevice Accessories, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad

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[Update: March 15, 2014 – Fully funded, the AL13 v2 now offers pledge levels that include an AL13 v3 for iPhone 6 when it’s released, so you won’t need to worry about being out of date within the year.]

I’m on record having stated that designed by m’s AL13 is one of the best aluminum frame cases available for iPhone. It wonderfully solves the two main problems with aluminum frames or bumpers: 1.) by simply sliding off the back, it eliminates the need for tiny screws and an Allen wrench to remove the frame, and 2.) the open bottom means you can dock it in most third-party docks without having to remove the phone from the frame.

One problem remained, however: signal loss. This is an issue inherent in all but one aluminum frame I’ve ever tried, to varying degrees. designed by m admitted to 5 to 10% signal loss in the AL13, which is not a huge issue in my immediate area, but it certainly could be elsewhere. And this why they’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign for the AL13 v2, which is designed specifically to eliminate signal loss.

Why You Should Support It

The AL 13 v2 is being manufactured at a different facility to provide higher quality, a better fit, and a tougher case.

The original AL13 was designed to have a screw free installation process and utilized an innovative sliding closure. AL13 v2 was improved by using a tougher lining and snap closure which made it more shock absorbent and less susceptible to warping when it dropped. To eliminate signal loss, we carefully studied the signal vulnerabilities of the iPhone making sure that the metal did not make direct contact with the iPhone in these areas. At the same time, we focused on a minimal look that didn’t change the look of the iPhone itself.

The look does, in fact, retain the appearance of the original AL13, which allows your iPhone design to shine through. You can choose to accent or complement the color with your choice of color ranging from space gray to pink, all with the expected metallic sheen.

AL13 v2

The design, however, is quite different. Rather than simply slide off a back frame to get to your iPhone as before, the AL13 v2 has a rubber frame that adds additional drop protection, not to mention scratch protection from taking the frame on and off. The bottom piece of aluminum snaps over the rubber liner.

AL13 v2

The bottom is not as open this time, so you’ll definitely need to remove the case to dock with pretty much anything more than a Lightning cable. However, it looks like you can peel back (or forward) the rubber liner to make way for the connection, so you at least won’t have to completely remove the frame to dock the phone.

Then, of course, there’s signal improvement:

Everyone told us signal loss was a compromise we had to make because all metal bumpers affected the signal performance but we knew we could get rid of the problem all together.

Our obsession paid off. After a year of design revisions, we are proud to introduce you to AL13 v2, the first premium aerospace aluminium bumper with zero signal loss that offers the same minimal look as the original but has been redesigned to fit better.

Pledge Levels

You can start supporting the AL13 v2 at only $5, but you’ll need to bump up to $45 dollars in order to secure an AL13 v2 in your choice of colors (the $39 level is already sold out). For $89 or more, you can get the AL13 v2 in limited edition Kickstarter green for iPhone 5/5s along with designed by m’s mPact glass.

AL13 v2

The campaign is already more than halfway funded with 44 days to go, so at this point it’s really more about getting in while you can than about making sure the campaign is success.

Head over to the AL13 v2 Kickstarter page for all the details and to make a pledge.

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