Provides: iPhone 4 protection from shocks and drops
Minimum Requirements: iPhone 4
Price: $79.00 ($149 for Rokbed Magnesium iPhone 4 Cover)
I like that some companies are willing to take a different approach to gadget protection. Silicone and plastic models have their place, sure, but they’re hard to get excited about anymore. That’s not the situation with RokForm’s Rokbed Aluminum iPhone 4 cover. This is certainly not for everyone, but I have a feeling it’ll find its audience.
The first thing you’ll likely notice when looking at the images is what’s not protected. There are large gaps cut out of the back and sides of the Rokbed, so a direct hit to your phone could still cause some scratches and scuffs. I would recommend you continue to use a skin in conjunction with the Rokbed, but the fit is so precise that it could bunch the skin up on the edges. I tried mine with a SkinIt model, which didn’t work, but you may have more luck with something by Wrapsol or Fusion of Ideas.
What is covered, however, is incredibly well protected by 6061 T-6 anodized aluminum that should keep your iPhone safe from shocks and drops. All of the corners are covered, and every point of the iPhone sits beneath a bevel so no part if will touch the surface when sitting flat.
You place your iPhone in the Rokbed by sliding the top into the frame, then screwing the bottom piece into place with the provided Allen wrench. This is an inconvenience when it comes to full functionality of your iPhone, as you may have to actually unscrew the Rokbed to remove the phone for docking and such; the dock opening is wide, but it can’t account for all devices. Thankfully, Rokform provides open access to all other buttons and ports—including the SIM card—to keep case removal to a minimum.
I should note, though, that the somewhat thick edges means you will have to adjust your angle of approach to the volume buttons, mute switch, power button, etc. You are going to sacrifice some functionality in the name of protection. This thickness (and the strength of the material) also makes for an odd grip. The edges are wide and unforgiving, so your iPhone will no longer feel like itself.
I do like the overall style of the Rokbed, though. The black frame blends in well with the iPhone, and my model has a nicely contrasting green bottom plate for a splash of color. Rokform offers numerous color options, but you can’t mix and match the colors on their site, which is somewhat surprising. The back frame allows the Apple logo and phone details to show through, and it all comes together well for an oddly stylish industrial look.
But “industrial” is the key word, here. If you like the design, that’s just a bonus to the protection you’re receiving from the Rokbed. The precise fit and durable materials will keep your iPhone 4 safe from most mishaps, and it’s up to you whether that’s worth the $80 price tag and loss of convenience…
Or worth the $150 price tag if you prefer magnesium to aluminum.
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