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Old Oct 24, 2011, 10:05 AM   #1
karleaglemac
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Thumbs up Aluminum Alloy DNA Case for iPhone 4/4S: Review

Hey folks, I'm currently writing up a review for the DNA Case Alloy Series case for the iPhone 4/4S. I'm going to test it for week and then provide my feedback. I'm just letting this forum know ahead of time in case you have any questions that you'd like me to answer or are curious about the case. Please be sure to let me know and I'll make a point to provide specific feedback.

Here are a couple quick photos that I took. I'll provide plenty more later on.




When I received the case, I had my JackBack already installed and didn't feel like changing it back to the OEM backplate for the picture. For the review, I'll be testing it with the standard OEM backplate.

Again, if you have any questions you would like to have answered in the review, please do not hesitate to post them here.

Thanks!
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Old Oct 24, 2011, 10:17 AM   #2
bighabeeb
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Looks a lot let the old exovault jobbie...I'd definitely be curious to see some "on" and "off" reception testing



Quote:
Originally Posted by karleaglemac View Post
Hey folks, I'm currently writing up a review for the DNA Case Alloy Series case for the iPhone 4/4S. I'm going to test it for week and then provide my feedback. I'm just letting this forum know ahead of time in case you have any questions that you'd like me to answer or are curious about the case. Please be sure to let me know and I'll make a point to provide specific feedback.

Here are a couple quick photos that I took. I'll provide plenty more later on.

Image

Image
When I received the case, I had my JackBack already installed and didn't feel like changing it back to the OEM backplate for the picture. For the review, I'll be testing it with the standard OEM backplate.

Again, if you have any questions you would like to have answered in the review, please do not hesitate to post them here.

Thanks!
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Old Oct 24, 2011, 10:25 AM   #3
karleaglemac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bighabeeb View Post
Looks a lot let the old exovault jobbie...I'd definitely be curious to see some "on" and "off" reception testing
You bet!
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Old Oct 25, 2011, 01:50 AM   #4
navidband
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Friend of mine had one of these...

...She was drunk the other night and kept bragging about how well it protected her phone. Kept dropping it on concrete floor and nothing happened to the phone! Can't say the same about the case!
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 09:10 AM   #5
Dannywu
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I was thinking about getting this case. Does the inside of the case touch the phone..any scratches? Is the case comfortable? And is it easy to get to the buttons?

Thanks.
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Old Nov 1, 2011, 10:35 AM   #6
keithsweatshirt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannywu View Post
I was thinking about getting this case. Does the inside of the case touch the phone..any scratches? Is the case comfortable? And is it easy to get to the buttons?

Thanks.
From what I understand, there's a rubber liner inside that the phone rests on. I don't know much else about it but it should be coming in today so I'll post impressions if it does. Now to wait on my iphone! Friday can't come fast enough.
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Old Nov 1, 2011, 11:57 AM   #7
patrickewing
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any reception issues with the dna case?
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Old Nov 1, 2011, 12:10 PM   #8
randomdata
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I think if I didn't have Applecare+ this would definitely be the case I would get- it is just so cool looking. I especially love the actor promoting it.
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Old Nov 1, 2011, 08:05 PM   #9
swrve
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im interested in this case as well. I'm wondering if it would be hard to access the buttons? is it hard to hit the sleep/wake button? what about the vibrate switch? does it fit comfortably against your ear while your talking?
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Old Nov 1, 2011, 08:15 PM   #10
hizzaah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomdata View Post
I think if I didn't have Applecare+ this would definitely be the case I would get- it is just so cool looking. I especially love the actor promoting it.
It's only $50.. Might have to treat yourself with christmas right around the corner! Isn't that the dude from that one show? Some day time soap? I believe his name was like Jason or somethin in that show.. My mom used to watch it all the time lol
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Old Nov 2, 2011, 08:07 AM   #11
bighabeeb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hizzaah View Post
It's only $50.. Might have to treat yourself with christmas right around the corner! Isn't that the dude from that one show? Some day time soap? I believe his name was like Jason or somethin in that show.. My mom used to watch it all the time lol
Yea that's Jason from General Hospital. My wife watches it so regretfully I'm familiar with many of the characters

On the positive side, he is a badass hitman type character
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Old Nov 2, 2011, 09:29 AM   #12
randomdata
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bighabeeb View Post
Yea that's Jason from General Hospital. My wife watches it so regretfully I'm familiar with many of the characters

On the positive side, he is a badass hitman type character
Yes. but with a heart of gold and the ultimate protector

lol so sweet, hizzaah
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Old Nov 2, 2011, 09:36 AM   #13
asleep
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Originally Posted by patrickewing View Post
any reception issues with the dna case?
Ya think?
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Old Nov 2, 2011, 10:08 PM   #14
karleaglemac
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Well folks, I've spent over a week and a half with the DNA Case installed on my iPhone 4 and I can honestly say I've come to some definite conclusions. I did my best to take into consideration some of the issues that some of you already mentioned in this thread. I've divided most of this review into Pros and Cons. Let's start with the good stuff.



Pros:
First and foremost, the one thing I noticed about the DNA Case is the build quality and solid craftsmanship. All the edges are very smooth and even the grade of the aluminum is extremely sturdy. In just handling the case itself, it just feels like a very solid piece of machinery.



With regard to the construction of the case, the inside of each frame is lined with a thin rubber lining so the aluminum never touches the glass screen or back of your iPhone. I don't use a screen shield and after a week and a half of having the case installed I did not notice any sort of scratching whatsoever.



Comfort/Ergonomics
My hands are larger than average and I sometimes feel like the iPhone 4 is a little too small and thin. With the case installed, I actually felt like the raised edges of the frame gave me something to hold on to.






My Griffin AUX cable fit without any problems at all.

As you can tell from the photos, the edges are beveled directly next to the volume and sleep buttons. If it wasn't for this attention to detail, it would likely be more difficult to access these buttons. When speaking on the phone with it up to my ear I don't notice any ridge. It feels entirely comfortable.



Another feature of the DNA Case, at least with this model is that the aluminum alloy finish matches frame of the iP4/4S. In the pictures below, please note the spacing between the spacer and the frame of the phone. The precision of this case is definitely one of its many attributes.





Another feature of this case that I really enjoyed was how the aluminum frames the content on the screen. It really added a nice luxurious feel to the experience.





Cons:
Dock connectivity
With the DNA Case installed, I am not able to use my iHome speaker dock. I assume this would likely be the same scenario with other docks. The 30 pin connector fits, but does not fit snug enough to make a secure connection. This was a big downer for me as I use my iHome speaker everyday and installing/unscrewing the case each time is nearly enough to be a deal breaker.


Bad news

Signal strength
As with any aluminum case, signal strength is undeniably going to take a hit. Although this is listed as "con" I can't say that it's really enough to be a deal breaker. Due to the "open bumper" style of this case, signal strength doesn't nearly take as much of a hit as other aluminum cases that I've tried like the CaseMate Jett. I've posted pictures of my speed tests below.

Here are screenshots from my speedtests, first withOUT the DNA Case installed.

Wifi_________________________________________________3G


Now WITH the DNA Case installed.

Wifi_________________________________________________3G


Final thoughts:
It's hard for me to rate this case on a scale of 1-5. Despite being a little skeptical at first, regarding the square appearance, I really began to like the look of this case a lot. To be quite honest, the dip in signal strength was not enough for me to not want to use the case. I would rank this case a 4.5/5. However, for my personal daily routine, the biggest drawback for me was the lack of connectivity to my iHome speaker dock.

So, here comes the bottom line, and the primary question we would all like to have answered from a review like this. The aluminum alloy case retails for $50. Is it worth it?

Yes, for two specific reasons. First and foremost, when comparing the quality of this case with others made of similar material, or offering similar style and protection, $50 is undeniably on the low-end of the price point.

Second, as we all likely know, this entire project started with a Kickstarter campaign and now appears to be thriving, most of which is due to the production of such a quality product. Personally, I have nothing but respect for entrepreneurs who take risks and believe in creating a quality product. I think there should be more people like that in the world and for $50 for a distinct, quality case for your iP4/4S, I definitely think is worth it.

I hope this answers at least some questions you may have about the DNA Case. Please, by all means ask me any further questions you may have.

Thank you for reading!

Last edited by karleaglemac; Nov 3, 2011 at 01:04 PM. Reason: Reducing obnoxiously large image sizes
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Old Nov 2, 2011, 11:10 PM   #15
patrickewing
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can you explain in more detail the signal hit you took when putting the case on? i can't interpret the screen shots. thanks in advance.
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Old Nov 3, 2011, 12:56 AM   #16
SchneiderMan
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This is the most laziest way to make a product.
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Old Nov 3, 2011, 12:51 PM   #17
karleaglemac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickewing View Post
can you explain in more detail the signal hit you took when putting the case on? i can't interpret the screen shots. thanks in advance.
No problem. When I installed the case, the signal strength dropped a little bit.

Although it was noticeable in the bar signal, it really didn't affect things that much. Web pages loaded a little bit slower. I listen to Pandora during my commute to work and drive through an area of low reception. When the case was installed, there was no difference or delay in the streaming audio.

In short, the DNA Case will minimally drop signal strength, but not enough to make that big of a difference.
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Old Nov 3, 2011, 12:59 PM   #18
Atmosphere
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ginormous...might as well carry your iphone in a briefcase handcuffed to your wrist
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Old Nov 3, 2011, 03:11 PM   #19
auburnmk
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Did you trim the Jackback at all to accommodate the angled corner on the back of the DNA case?

Great review btw....just ordered one

Quote:
Originally Posted by karleaglemac View Post
When I received the case, I had my JackBack already installed and didn't feel like changing it back to the OEM backplate for the picture. For the review, I'll be testing it with the standard OEM backplate.
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Old Nov 3, 2011, 10:21 PM   #20
karleaglemac
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Did you trim the Jackback at all to accommodate the angled corner on the back of the DNA case?
Not at all. The inside of this case is entirely CNC routed to snugly fit the exact contours of an iP4/4S. JackBacks only add maybe 0.1mm-0.05mm in thickness to the phone so the DNA Case still fit just fine.
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 09:41 AM   #21
keithsweatshirt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atmosphere View Post
ginormous...might as well carry your iphone in a briefcase handcuffed to your wrist
Way to exaggerate something you most likely have no idea about. yeesh.

I've had the case for a few days now and I love it. I've been playing around with it and it's gotten a lot of wows for its cool factor. I've got a Verizon 4S and so far, I've noticed no signal degradation at all. I get full bars at home and at work. The only time I lose signal is when I go into department stores at the mall, but that always happened to me with my old phones anyway. It looks very slick on a white iPhone with the aluminum case. It may not be for everyone, because some people think a couple milimetres or so is "briefcase" sized, but if you like an industrial look and something that can take good care of your phone, then I would recommend this!
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 02:49 PM   #22
auburnmk
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My thoughts exactly.....lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by keithsweatshirt View Post
Way to exaggerate something you most likely have no idea about. yeesh.
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 05:30 PM   #23
Atmosphere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithsweatshirt View Post
Way to exaggerate something you most likely have no idea about. yeesh.

I've had the case for a few days now and I love it. I've been playing around with it and it's gotten a lot of wows for its cool factor. I've got a Verizon 4S and so far, I've noticed no signal degradation at all. I get full bars at home and at work. The only time I lose signal is when I go into department stores at the mall, but that always happened to me with my old phones anyway. It looks very slick on a white iPhone with the aluminum case. It may not be for everyone, because some people think a couple milimetres or so is "briefcase" sized, but if you like an industrial look and something that can take good care of your phone, then I would recommend this!
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My thoughts exactly.....lol
i'm sorry...i'll never joke around ever again
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 05:38 PM   #24
hizzaah
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to get a more accurate measure of the 3G signla degradation, you can dial *3001#12345#* on your iphone and it will bring up the "Field Test" page. Dont worry about the menu options, but if you notice the cellular sign bars have changed to numbers.

If you post with and without for these numbers, it would provide a more accurate reading of the signal degradation than speedteat
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 05:39 PM   #25
touchmonkey
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Very nice product and review.
I would prefer the screws to come from the back and not show the heads on the front.
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