One of the more interesting iPhone cases available on the market has to be the line of aluminum cases from Element. Europa, one of our forum moderators, recently purchased the Element Vapor Comp and was kind enough to share her thoughts. Read on for her complete Element Vapor Comp review to see if this is the case for you.

Element Vapor Comp iPhone case review

Design and Quality
The Vapor Comp is a precision-crafted aluminum and polycarbonate case with Element’s signature aesthetics. It works with all models of the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S. It is CNC machined from a solid block of aircraft grade aluminum, anodized, and has laser-engraved graphics rather than graphics that are just printed on. The Vapor Comp cases are made in the USA, one at a time, and are hand inspected. There are three grip details that can be seen on on the right side of the case. These are part of the shock-absorbing inner liner that protects the iPhone if it is dropped. The left side of the case has been completely redesigned and is made from a translucent high impact polycarbonate material that prevents “death grip” signal degradation, which was a problem for some iPhone 4 owners who used last year’s Vapor cases. The two pieces of the Vapor Comp are held together with four stainless steel screws.

Element Vapor Comp

 

Fit and Access
The case is flush and fits snugly to all sides of the iPhone. However, I noticed that there is some play in the left side piece and it can be pulled back slightly. It’s possible that dust will be able to get in through this very slight gap. The volume and lock buttons are easily depressed through the polycarbonate side piece and aluminum lock button on the case. There is easy access to the mute switch and the headphone and dock connector ports and it is compatible with aftermarket cables and headphones.

Element iPhone case

The ergonomics on the Vapor Comp are improved over last year’s Element cases. This case seems to be made for a right handed user. I was pleased to find that the Vapor Comp fits more naturally in my right hand than the Vapor 4 case did.

Vapor Comp

Protection
The Vapor Comp has a shock absorbing inner lining and the edges of the case have a slight lip that extends above the back and front glass on the iPhone. An anti-glare screen protector and black suede backplate are included and will protect against scratches on the front and back glass. A colored backplate can be purchased along with the case for an additional $10. The backplate and screen protector are optional and I chose not to install them, so I cannot comment on their quality.

Element Vapor Comp side view

Pros:

  • Easy access to all ports and compatible with aftermarket cables and headphones
  • High quality parts and craftsmanship
  • Variety of monochromatic colors
  • Elegant
  • Moderate protection
  • Packaging includes an anti-glare screen protector, suede backplate, microfiber cloth, and micro speed wrench with keyring and spare screws
  • Free shipping

Cons:

  • Price
  • A small hex key or the included micro speed wrench will be required to remove this case
  • The case must be removed to access the SIM card tray
  • The left side piece can be pulled back slightly and might permit particles of dust or dirt to enter

Overall
I am very happy with the Element Vapor Comp case. It has a slim profile, offers protection and enhances the sleek form factor of the iPhone 4 and 4S. It is elegant and manufactured with high quality materials, craftsmanship and attention to detail. It is available in six monochromatic colors.

I highly recommend this product to someone who is looking for moderate iPhone protection and is willing to spend extra for a sharp-looking case that was made with high quality parts and a lot of attention to detail.

The Element Vapor Comp retails for $99 and can be ordered at Element Case.

8 of 10 rating