Atomic Case Prisma for iPhone 4/4S: The Affordable Aluminum Hybrid

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by Austin M., Aug 14, 2012.

  1. Austin M. macrumors 6502a

    Austin M.

    Jul 29, 2010
    Atomic’s new Prisma case is a new take and slight redesign of the old and outdated Atomic Hybrid. The Prisma has a plethora of new features, cutouts, and a new design scheme, and even though the Atomic Prisma is just another hybrid in the already growing world of aluminum-composite iPhone 4/4S cases, Atomic still remains to be one of the top competitors when it comes to design and usability. Being so, it’ll be interesting to see how the Atomic Prisma fairs up to some of the other hybrids already available.

    While Atomic Case has remained at the top of the charts when it comes to their aluminum iPhone cases, they haven’t always had the most positive opinions for a different number of reasons. They’ve been notorious for having broken parts, and an overly expensive price to material quality ratio, and while I haven’t had the privilege to test out some of the other offers that Atomic Case has made available on the market, like the Hybrid and the Diamondback, the Prisma poses a much more different and positive outlook than the previous offerings.

    The Design
    As noted in the previous paragraph, the Prisma is a hybrid composite case consisting of aircraft grade billet aluminum and extremely strong polycarbonate (which I tested accordingly). While I’ve come across a lot of uniquely designed aluminum iPhone cases in my past, a lot of them have either been overly done in terms of aesthetics, or just so complicated and unusable. However, the Prisma, while being not overly done aesthetically speaking, likes to keep the design aspect very simple, which is a big plus for me. It’s simple, sleek, and looks very nice on the iPhone 4.

    While most of the case is made up of polycarbonate, that doesn’t mean it’s some weak piece of material that’s going to get scuffed up and look mediocre compared to the aluminum, as that’s hardly the case. The polycarbonate portion, unlike some other cases I’ve tested, has an incredible amount of toughness and durability, and not to mention that it has the look to back it up. It looks precision built like the aluminum portion, and has the same matching design scheme, with no incomplete edges or corners. Additionally, like I stated in the beginning, the Prisma really has a tough frame, as I accidentally dropped this case twice onto both grass and concrete. While the Prisma stayed perfectly symmetrical after a fall to the grass, this wasn’t the case with cement, as there were a few scratches and scuffs along the sides and corners. However, I was surprised there wasn’t more damage, like a gash or fracture, as the case did take a pretty hard tumble onto the cement.

    The aluminum portion of the case is built extremely well too, and it rivals that of metals found in Apex Armor and Draco IV. While I still prefer the matte finish of Apex Armor (it has less scratches and looks better to the eye, aesthetics wise), the aluminum portion is certainly no letdown. The Prisma logo can be seen easily and despite being laser etched slightly thin, there aren’t any rough edges or loose ends, which means that Atomic’s precision job on their aluminum is quite well done. Additionally, the aluminum portion has the same amount of grip as the polycarbonate band, and while it’s not as comfortable in the hand as a regular iPhone case, it’s no hassle to the hand at all.

    Openings & Cutouts
    Since we’ve already gone over the basic design implements, let’s move onto the more important aspects of the case, and that’s button access. Starting from the top you have two different openings for the headphone jack and the sleep/wake button. While the headphone jack is a little bit on the small side, regular sized plugs should work just fine, although beefier sized plugs may not fit too well. Additionally, the sleep/wake button is covered by a small piece of aluminum in the shape of the Atomic Case logo, which is a very nice, but subtle addition, that’s made to fit just as good as the case does. Moving down to the side, we have an opening for the silent switch and the volume buttons. Simply put, there is ample space for everything and you should have no problem accessing those specific functions.

    We also have another logo down the side of the polycarbonate band that has the company name instead of the Prisma signature like on the aluminum portion of the case. The signature on the polycarbonate band has a slightly more angled text than the Prisma engraving but looks just as nice. Lastly, there is an opening for the dock connector, speaker, and the microphone. Like a lot of iPhone cases, the Prisma seems to have about the same dock opening size wise, and while most connectors, whether it be line out docks or simple charging accessories, should fit just fine. However, just like the headphone jack, oversized connectors may have a bit of trouble squeezing into the tight spaces down below.

    Final Thoughts
    For the rather small price of $59, I think that the Prisma is a quite a good composite hybrid case, and while it does have a few minor issues and nitpicks, it’s an overall excellently designed case, that has a good sense of style, but remains to keep it simple and out of the way. It’s perfect for people like me who don’t want to spend too much money on an overly flashy aluminum case, who would rather direct to something more sleek, without paying the premium, and the Prisma defines that category perfectly.

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  2. junglesnake macrumors 6502


    Oct 17, 2011
    It's ok but I have read anything good about atomic! And for that price I would buy an element comp! They seem a little more reputable.
  3. junglesnake macrumors 6502


    Oct 17, 2011
    I just checked these cases out a little more on the atomic site and my god the shipping!! 21 dollars for ground ups in Missouri! They are nuts! They would have to offer free shipping to even make it worth my while! That alone drives the case to almost a hundred bucks!

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