The iPhone 5 is a metallic marvel that shouldnít be shrouded in cheap plastic. Itís made out of carefully crafted anodized aluminum thatís made to be seen. So why hide it? Thatís the idea behind a new case called the AL13 Aerospace Aluminum Bumper
case for the iPhone 5. We originally showed you the case when it was just a Kickstarter project
back in January, but it has finally made it to the public.
When you get the case, you are instantly impressed by the caseís box, which is crafted just as carefully as the case itself. It has the AL13 logo on it, and shows that the case is designed by m and made for the iPhone 5. Then when you open it, you'll see a shiny gem:
The case comes carefully packaged in a piece of thick foam. The case itself is literally a lightweight piece of aluminum that will wrap around your iPhone 5. The case is made to be the same color and of the same aluminum style as the iPhone 5 itself, so many will hardly even be able to tell you have a case on. The case, when removed from the box and opened up, is very minimalistic. You can see below how the chamber design lets you drop your iPhone into the case and then lock it into place:
The interior of the case is lined with a soft black fabric that keeps the aluminum of the case from brushing up on your iPhone 5ís aluminum.
Once installed, it looks really good, streamlined, and sleek:
You have full access to the bottom ports of the device, including the headphone jack, lightning connector, speaker, and microphone. Youíll also notice that the entire front of the iPhone is also accessible, as the case only wraps just around the edge of the device. For the reason, the case doesnít make it hard to access your touch screen, front-facing camera, or home button:
The case gives you ample room to press the bare sleep button at the top of the device:
From the side, you have ample room to flip the ringer/silent switch to your preferred orientation. You also have easy access to your volume up and volume down buttons. From the side of the device, you can see the AL13 logo:
Just like Appleís bumper case, the AL13 Aerospace Aluminum Bumper case leaves the back of the iPhone exposed to the elements, but thanks to the wraparound design, the back of the iPhone never touches the surfaces you lay it down on. The same goes for the front. With the wide-open rear, the case never gets in the way of photography, video recording, voice recordings, or flashlights:
The AL13 is a sturdy case that matches the structure of the iPhone 5 very well. Itís a minimalist case, so it wonít protect you from those hardcore drops like some other cases will, but if youíre trying to preserve the beauty of your iPhone while still trying to keep it lightly protected from wear and tear, then the AL13 might be an option for you.
The AL13 is difficult to sense in your hand. Thanks to being made from the same materials as the iPhone itself, it actually feels like youíre holding the bare iPhone 5. It doesnít really add any weight to the device either. On the other hand, because the case is aluminum, we did notice that it could interfere with cellular signal at times. It wasn't a major change, but it was a noticeable one bar difference at times.
Every AL13 case comes with an optional front and rear screen protector that you can stick on to prevent additional scratches and scuffs.
Because the case is so carefully crafted, minimalistic, and beautiful, we like it. On the other hand, the issues with signal strength force us to reduce the score a little bit... lets take off one leaf for the one bar that it takes away from signal strength, and one for feeling like we need a case to protect the case. We're giving the AL13 3 out of 5 leaves:
The AL13 retails on designed by m's Web site
for $79.99. It comes in an iPhone 4/4S version too if you're interested. You get the color choice of Gunmetal, Blue, Slate black, Silver, or Red. The one we showed you today is the Slate black version, which matches the color scheme of our iPhone 5.