Element Case Black Ops for iPhone X

Sheldonsmith

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2011
269
48
I just received an Element Case Black Ops for my iPhone X, and in short, it’s pretty cool.


The box the Black Ops arrives in is huge because it holds the case as well as the belt / backpack pouch/case.


The box utilizes magnetic closures and is very well done making it ready for any Apple Store shelf. The belt / backpack pouch has loops for a belt, but also straps to snap it onto an existing backpack/musette shoulder strap. The pouch also has loops to hold a pen (not included) and an extra outside pouch for small items. Obviously, someone out in the field provided some insight into the design of this pouch.


In order to install the case, you have to dissemble it. Using the included wrench, you have to remove the 5 screws on each side to remove the aluminum rails. The wrench comes in its own case that also includes extra screws.

Once the rails are removed, the phone pops into the TPU and polycarbonate inner case. Once the phone is inserted, reinstall the aluminum rails. The screws go through the entire TPU portion of the inner lining and thread into the opposite side of the aluminum rail -no cheap pins holding this together.


The Black Ops also has an optional spring steel belt clip similar to what one finds on folding knives. I opted not to use the belt clip which is completely removable. Notice the series of holes drilled into the G10 resin back. These holes allow the clip height to be adjusted.


I am very impressed with this case, and all the accompanying accessories that are included in the package.

Assembling the Black Ops case reminded me of the aluminium bumper cases that made Element Case famous. The aluminium sides provides strength against twisting/bending the phone (eg. prevents back pocket BendGate), will dissipate outside shock, and adds heft to the otherwise feather light and glass-fragile phone. The combination of TPU, polycarbonate, G10, and 6061 aluminum make this case a beast to hold. The aluminum red anodized buttons are slightly serrated for good grip and is a distinctive contrasting detail not found on many phone cases.

I have used Element Cases since the introduction of the iPhone 4 in 2010. I was drawn to Element Case’s attention to detail and design elements that are just not found in any other cases. There was a period with the iPhone 5’s where the Sector style case quality suffered, and customer support suffered during the ownership transition to STM Cases. Despite those road bumps, the Black Ops case for iPhone X takes Element Case back to its original perch above all others for designing and producing quality phone cases.

In short, taking into account all the accessories that are included in this package, the $200 for this case is well worth it.

-Sheldon
 

Hooterville

macrumors 68020
Sep 24, 2012
2,227
1,906
I just received an Element Case Black Ops for my iPhone X, and in short, it’s pretty cool.


The box the Black Ops arrives in is huge because it holds the case as well as the belt / backpack pouch/case.


The box utilizes magnetic closures and is very well done making it ready for any Apple Store shelf. The belt / backpack pouch has loops for a belt, but also straps to snap it onto an existing backpack/musette shoulder strap. The pouch also has loops to hold a pen (not included) and an extra outside pouch for small items. Obviously, someone out in the field provided some insight into the design of this pouch.


In order to install the case, you have to dissemble it. Using the included wrench, you have to remove the 5 screws on each side to remove the aluminum rails. The wrench comes in its own case that also includes extra screws.

Once the rails are removed, the phone pops into the TPU and polycarbonate inner case. Once the phone is inserted, reinstall the aluminum rails. The screws go through the entire TPU portion of the inner lining and thread into the opposite side of the aluminum rail -no cheap pins holding this together.


The Black Ops also has an optional spring steel belt clip similar to what one finds on folding knives. I opted not to use the belt clip which is completely removable. Notice the series of holes drilled into the G10 resin back. These holes allow the clip height to be adjusted.


I am very impressed with this case, and all the accompanying accessories that are included in the package.

Assembling the Black Ops case reminded me of the aluminium bumper cases that made Element Case famous. The aluminium sides provides strength against twisting/bending the phone (eg. prevents back pocket BendGate), will dissipate outside shock, and adds heft to the otherwise feather light and glass-fragile phone. The combination of TPU, polycarbonate, G10, and 6061 aluminum make this case a beast to hold. The aluminum red anodized buttons are slightly serrated for good grip and is a distinctive contrasting detail not found on many phone cases.

I have used Element Cases since the introduction of the iPhone 4 in 2010. I was drawn to Element Case’s attention to detail and design elements that are just not found in any other cases. There was a period with the iPhone 5’s where the Sector style case quality suffered, and customer support suffered during the ownership transition to STM Cases. Despite those road bumps, the Black Ops case for iPhone X takes Element Case back to its original perch above all others for designing and producing quality phone cases.

In short, taking into account all the accessories that are included in this package, the $200 for this case is well worth it.

-Sheldon
Nice, is there any covering or protection on the inside of the aluminum buttons to keep them from scratching the phones buttons?
Had the Element case in the past and the inside buttons were very sharp and scratched the buttons of my phone.
 
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hank moody

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2015
707
338
I would love to see this compared to RECON and REV cases.

Thanks for the review
 

Sheldonsmith

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2011
269
48
Any thoughts on the Element Formula case for the iPhone X?
Yes, I have a Formula case as well and it was a good happy medium. The aluminium rails were nice giving the mostly TPU case some rigidity as well as having some edges to grip.

Unlike the Black Ops, the aluminium rails are not intended to be removed so you have to gingerly slide the iPhone into the case.
 

Sheldonsmith

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2011
269
48
Nice, is there any covering or protection on the inside of the aluminum buttons to keep them from scratching the phones buttons?
Had the Element case in the past and the inside buttons were very sharp and scratched the buttons of my phone.
Good question. I should have checked that initially. The Formula X case I had before the Black Ops had adhesive plastic strips on the button contact points with the iPhone hardware buttons.

I dissembled the Black Ops case and found the same plastic strips on all the button contact points. I did find the buttons just being a bit loose in the case, so I added a small piece of Scotch tape on the iPhone buttons, reinserted into the case and the extra fraction of a millimetre of thickness with the tape just tightened them right up where they do not wobble.

Below is an image that I shot with Hydra (an App that focus stacks for high res images) and you can see the edge of the plastic strip adhered to the inside of the power button.


-Sheldon
 
Last edited:

ics55

macrumors regular
May 18, 2010
174
10
Yes, I have a Formula case as well and it was a good happy medium. The aluminium rails were nice giving the mostly TPU case some rigidity as well as having some edges to grip.

Unlike the Black Ops, the aluminium rails are not intended to be removed so you have to gingerly slide the iPhone into the case.
Thanks for the info. One other question. Is there a small space at the bottom anywhere where you could loop through a thin. wrist strap? I’m going on a vacation where it would be useful to have a good grip on the phone.
 

Sheldonsmith

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2011
269
48
Thanks for the info. One other question. Is there a small space at the bottom anywhere where you could loop through a thin. wrist strap? I’m going on a vacation where it would be useful to have a good grip on the phone.
On the case itself there is not as it is pretty tight, but you can screw in the pocket clip and put a lanyard on it, or use the mounting screws and screw in a lanyard.
 

ics55

macrumors regular
May 18, 2010
174
10
On the case itself there is not as it is pretty tight, but you can screw in the pocket clip and put a lanyard on it, or use the mounting screws and screw in a lanyard.
That is an excellent idea! Thank you very much!
 

ashlodad

macrumors member
Sep 21, 2010
40
0
I just received an Element Case Black Ops for my iPhone X, and in short, it’s pretty cool.
can you please check to see on your case the middle screws left and right , it cant not be tighten because on mine it like that

The box the Black Ops arrives in is huge because it holds the case as well as the belt / backpack pouch/case.


The box utilizes magnetic closures and is very well done making it ready for any Apple Store shelf. The belt / backpack pouch has loops for a belt, but also straps to snap it onto an existing backpack/musette shoulder strap. The pouch also has loops to hold a pen (not included) and an extra outside pouch for small items. Obviously, someone out in the field provided some insight into the design of this pouch.


In order to install the case, you have to dissemble it. Using the included wrench, you have to remove the 5 screws on each side to remove the aluminum rails. The wrench comes in its own case that also includes extra screws.

Once the rails are removed, the phone pops into the TPU and polycarbonate inner case. Once the phone is inserted, reinstall the aluminum rails. The screws go through the entire TPU portion of the inner lining and thread into the opposite side of the aluminum rail -no cheap pins holding this together.


The Black Ops also has an optional spring steel belt clip similar to what one finds on folding knives. I opted not to use the belt clip which is completely removable. Notice the series of holes drilled into the G10 resin back. These holes allow the clip height to be adjusted.


I am very impressed with this case, and all the accompanying accessories that are included in the package.

Assembling the Black Ops case reminded me of the aluminium bumper cases that made Element Case famous. The aluminium sides provides strength against twisting/bending the phone (eg. prevents back pocket BendGate), will dissipate outside shock, and adds heft to the otherwise feather light and glass-fragile phone. The combination of TPU, polycarbonate, G10, and 6061 aluminum make this case a beast to hold. The aluminum red anodized buttons are slightly serrated for good grip and is a distinctive contrasting detail not found on many phone cases.

I have used Element Cases since the introduction of the iPhone 4 in 2010. I was drawn to Element Case’s attention to detail and design elements that are just not found in any other cases. There was a period with the iPhone 5’s where the Sector style case quality suffered, and customer support suffered during the ownership transition to STM Cases. Despite those road bumps, the Black Ops case for iPhone X takes Element Case back to its original perch above all others for designing and producing quality phone cases.

In short, taking into account all the accessories that are included in this package, the $200 for this case is well worth it.

-Sheldon
[doublepost=1512405278][/doublepost]
I just received an Element Case Black Ops for my iPhone X, and in short, it’s pretty cool.


The box the Black Ops arrives in is huge because it holds the case as well as the belt / backpack pouch/case.


The box utilizes magnetic closures and is very well done making it ready for any Apple Store shelf. The belt / backpack pouch has loops for a belt, but also straps to snap it onto an existing backpack/musette shoulder strap. The pouch also has loops to hold a pen (not included) and an extra outside pouch for small items. Obviously, someone out in the field provided some insight into the design of this pouch.


In order to install the case, you have to dissemble it. Using the included wrench, you have to remove the 5 screws on each side to remove the aluminum rails. The wrench comes in its own case that also includes extra screws.

Once the rails are removed, the phone pops into the TPU and polycarbonate inner case. Once the phone is inserted, reinstall the aluminum rails. The screws go through the entire TPU portion of the inner lining and thread into the opposite side of the aluminum rail -no cheap pins holding this together.


The Black Ops also has an optional spring steel belt clip similar to what one finds on folding knives. I opted not to use the belt clip which is completely removable. Notice the series of holes drilled into the G10 resin back. These holes allow the clip height to be adjusted.


I am very impressed with this case, and all the accompanying accessories that are included in the package.

Assembling the Black Ops case reminded me of the aluminium bumper cases that made Element Case famous. The aluminium sides provides strength against twisting/bending the phone (eg. prevents back pocket BendGate), will dissipate outside shock, and adds heft to the otherwise feather light and glass-fragile phone. The combination of TPU, polycarbonate, G10, and 6061 aluminum make this case a beast to hold. The aluminum red anodized buttons are slightly serrated for good grip and is a distinctive contrasting detail not found on many phone cases.

I have used Element Cases since the introduction of the iPhone 4 in 2010. I was drawn to Element Case’s attention to detail and design elements that are just not found in any other cases. There was a period with the iPhone 5’s where the Sector style case quality suffered, and customer support suffered during the ownership transition to STM Cases. Despite those road bumps, the Black Ops case for iPhone X takes Element Case back to its original perch above all others for designing and producing quality phone cases.

In short, taking into account all the accessories that are included in this package, the $200 for this case is well worth it.

-Sheldon
 

jlczl

macrumors 6502
Jun 8, 2015
378
328
I did find the buttons just being a bit loose in the case, so I added a small piece of Scotch tape on the iPhone buttons, reinserted into the case and the extra fraction of a millimetre of thickness with the tape just tightened them right up where they do not wobble.
Thanks for mentioning this. I found the same to be the case on mine and was wondering if it was a one off situation. The buttons on my BlackOps for my iPhone 7 do not have that issue so I was a bit disappointed.
 

ashlodad

macrumors member
Sep 21, 2010
40
0
guys can you check your cases on the middle screws left and right , it cant not be tighten ?
 

jlczl

macrumors 6502
Jun 8, 2015
378
328
guys can you check your cases on the middle screws left and right , it cant not be tighten ?
The one on the left can be tightened with no issue. The one on the right has the screw thread a bit shorter as the screw has to be pushed in a bit harder to get it to make contact. I can see some screws not being able to tighten at all.
 

Sheldonsmith

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2011
269
48
I have not had any issues with the screws not reaching. Just be sure that the screw can go through the TPU without any impediments...

Perhaps use some of the included spare screws to see if they reach.
 
Last edited:

MER75605

macrumors newbie
Apr 30, 2015
25
0
Any more comments or thoughts on the Black Ops?? I am trying to make a decision. Especially on a $200 case.
 

ics55

macrumors regular
May 18, 2010
174
10
That is an excellent idea! Thank you very much!
Just as follow-up for anyone interested. I ended up getting the Element Formula case for the iPhone X, and was able to very nicely attach a peak Design wrist strap to a cutout in the corner of the case. Here are some pictures:
 

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jlczl

macrumors 6502
Jun 8, 2015
378
328
Just as follow-up for anyone interested. I ended up getting the Element Formula case for the iPhone X, and was able to very nicely attach a peak Design wrist strap to a cutout in the corner of the case. Here are some pictures:
My OCD would practically kill me if I had the edge raised on the top right corner of a case like that. Glad it works for you though.
 

Surratt14

macrumors member
Dec 6, 2017
96
69
Why why why for a 200$ case? All I can say is your paying for the brand and element really appreciates you :)
 
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