ExoVault EXO5 Review

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by chris975d, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. chris975d macrumors 68000

    chris975d

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #1
    Posted this in the "All Aluminum Cases" thread, but thought I'd start a separate thread as well for those not viewing/familiar with that thread:


    Just got the Exovault Exo5 (hinged model) in just a few hours ago, and been putting it to some reception and data speed tests. First off, this case has AMAZING craftsmanship! The dark green anodizing (not an offered color right now, I was lucky enough to have Daniel from Exovault offer me this color...it's the only one of it's kind right now) and the dark rosewood just reek of quality. The fit/finish of the two materials being used together is amazing. And the really shocking part to me is how slim/thin the case is! I was expecting it to add bulk, but it really doesn't. It's slimmer front to back than the Speck PixelSkin HD, and is the same thickness front to back as the Apple Bumper! Very slim case.

    Interior:
    The inside back and front of the case are lined with a soft plastic type liner (feels similar in make-up to electrical tape) to protect the glass surfaces of the phone from scratches. The inside sides of the case have no lining, but with the rosewood inserts, they are all that are touching the sides of my phone. The tolerances this case is built to are VERY exact, and the phone has to be lined up perfectly to drop in this case. There's zero wiggle room for the case inside (I like this). And I had to remove my SGP matte rear shield, and front crystal SGP screen protector,as the case will not close with them on. But...I got lucky and had a very, very thin SwitchEasy screen shield laying around, and low and behold it will fit on the phone and still close inside the case fine. The magnets are VERY strong, and I really don't see the case opening in a normal drop. This is the part I was skeptical of the most, but it seems fine so far.

    Exterior:
    The anodizing is flawless. Consistent shade of deep green all around. The rosewood is a beautiful dark shade, and the joints between it and the aluminum are done really well. In the front, the case does come all the way to the edge of the screen all the way around, but due to the thinness of the material used, it doesn't really hamper typing at the edges of the screen (White/Rhino, I know this concerns you, like in the Seidio Rugged case). It can make dragging icons to different screens take just a bit more effort, but it's not hindering typing so far.

    Reception:
    So far, I'm sometimes seeing a drop of signal by 1 bar, but it's not consistent. I've not dropped a call, and my data speeds are still the same as without an aluminum case (averaged 2.6Mbps down/1.2Mbps up today with the case on). GPS is locking in what seems to be a standard time. Bluetooth has shown no noticeable drop in performance. I will report back on reception as I use it more, but so far, no trouble like I had with the Element Vapor.
    UPDATE: 10/3/2010
    Wanted to update on the reception with this case. Used it exclusively going into metro Atlanta last night with some friends. In very low signal areas (2 bars or less), the case can cause the phone to drop signal or switch to EDGE. Also, using the GPS all the way there and back (to test it out, I knew where I was going!), I noticed that it would lose lock occasionally and just be locating off of cell tower triangulation (the large pulsing circle would appear around the blue location dot). The one very useful feature of this case that I found that helped with these issues is the fact that you don't need tools to open it. The two times I lost cell reception (inside an auditorium), I could just pop the case open and pull the phone out to make the calls I needed. And when I needed to just use the internet (inside the auditorium), just simply opening the front of the case, leaving the phone in the case (it's in there very tight, you can even turn it upside down with the front lid open and the phone won't fall out) worked to get 3G service back so that I could look something up really quickly. This same trick worked while traveling down the road when the GPS would lose location. Opening the front of the case for maybe 3 seconds tops would lock back on, catch up to my location, and I could shut the case again and it keep tracking me. So, there are some minor issues so far with the case and reception, but the fact that it's able to be opened without the tools needed for the other aluminum cases makes work arounds possible when reception issues arrive.


    Access ports/cut-outs:
    Sleep/awake button and volume/silent buttons all easily accessible, as this case is very thin around the phone. It's actually thinner around the outside than say the PixelSkin HD. Headphone jack is a good size, and I've tried all my headphones in it so far (Westones, Shures, Apple In-Ears, Sennheisers...I'm a headphone junkie too!), and they all fit fine. Dock connector is larger than the Apple Bumper and Element Vapor, and I've had no 3rd party connectors not fit so far. It's not huge, so there may be some out there that have difficultly fitting in, but I have a wide assortment, and not had trouble so far. The home button cut-out is very shallow, so there's no trouble getting into it at all. The camera and flash have their own cut-outs that totally enclose each (see pictures), and so far, there is no flash interference into the camera in low light pictures.

    Overall, I'm very pleased with this case! Granted, it's not going to protect the phone in a severe drop like the Seidio Rugged or Otterbox Defender would, but it's a beautiful case. Has quality written all over it, and is more of a piece of artwork than anything. In a drop, you're probably going to scuff/mark up the case, so some people might not want to outlay this kind of money for something that could possibly get damaged, but I'd rather it be this than the phone that gets damaged. And at least this looks good. I think it looks better than any case I've had so far (and for the few of you that know me, you know I have A LOT of cases!), including the Vapor. This is the first case I have that I completely love the looks of. To me, it's definitely worth the money I paid, more so that the Vapor ever was.



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Thickness compared to Speck PixelSkin HD:
    [​IMG]
    Thickness compared to Apple Bumper:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Cynikal.Mindset macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Location:
    Guelph ON, Canada
    #2
    too bad it looks like an ammunition box...not my cup of tea. :(
     
  3. Shield macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2010
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    Fantastic in-depth review with great pictures. This case is not my "cup of tea", but it is very interesting. I can see it is a quality case.
     
  4. asleep macrumors 68040

    asleep

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
  5. ufcfighter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
  6. yOyOYoo macrumors 6502a

    yOyOYoo

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2005
    Location:
    CA
    #7
    Why are there 2 open bars on upper front face? Shouldn't one be enough to accommodate front camera and speaker?
     
  7. Sulaco macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    #8
    Is the top one for the 'proximity' sensor?
     
  8. chris975d thread starter macrumors 68000

    chris975d

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #9
    Yes, it is for the proximity sensor.
     
  9. chris975d thread starter macrumors 68000

    chris975d

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #10
    Wanted to update on the reception with this case. Used it exclusively going into metro Atlanta last night with some friends. In very low signal areas (2 bars or less), the case can cause the phone to drop signal or switch to EDGE. Also, using the GPS all the way there and back (to test it out, I knew where I was going!), I noticed that it would lose lock occasionally and just be locating off of cell tower triangulation (the large pulsing circle would appear around the blue location dot). The one very useful feature of this case that I found that helped with these issues is the fact that you don't need tools to open it. The two times I lost cell reception (inside an auditorium), I could just pop the case open and pull the phone out to make the calls I needed. And when I needed to just use the internet (inside the auditorium), just simply opening the front of the case, leaving the phone in the case (it's in there very tight, you can even turn it upside down with the front lid open and the phone won't fall out) worked to get 3G service back so that I could look something up really quickly. This same trick worked while traveling down the road when the GPS would lose location. Opening the front of the case for maybe 3 seconds tops would lock back on, catch up to my location, and I could shut the case again and it keep tracking me. So, there are some minor issues so far with the case and reception, but the fact that it's able to be opened without the tools needed for the other aluminum cases makes work arounds possible when reception issues arrive.

    Will add this to the original review above.
     
  10. johnnybgood15 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    #11
    +1 that's exactly what it looks like.
     
  11. chris975d thread starter macrumors 68000

    chris975d

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #12
    They have different colors guys...
     
  12. asleep macrumors 68040

    asleep

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    #13
    Same issues I've seen with the aluminum wrap cases ... reception & GPS diminishment in the car. :(
     
  13. KentuckyHouse macrumors 68020

    KentuckyHouse

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Lexington, KY.
    #14
    OP, that's actually a pretty neat looking case. I like it.

    Question. I noticed in the picture of the front, it looks like you've got some sort of matte sticker on your home button. If so, is that something you just did yourself (and if you did, what did you use?) or did you buy that somewhere? I like that idea...give the home button a bit more grip.

    Thanks for the well-done review!
     
  14. chris975d thread starter macrumors 68000

    chris975d

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #15
    It was included with my SGP matte back shield. It's just a piece of the same matte material that's used for the back protector, but just cut for the home button.
     
  15. Trat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    #16
    Are people dissatisfied with the design of the iPhone 4? Why else would you put something as horrible as this on your phone?
     
  16. perplex macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #17
    awesome review, and if you like it...hey...awesome
    but I am not 'mirin the aesthetics brah
     
  17. yOyOYoo macrumors 6502a

    yOyOYoo

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2005
    Location:
    CA
    #18
    It's not about reception issues. Some people just like to make their phone unique with a unique case. I personally am not feeling the look of the case, especially those 2 open cutouts on the front. I know they're necessary for the camera and the proximity sensor, but they just look so out of place to me.
     
  18. swoods93631 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    #19
    Chris,

    Thank you for posting this review. Although I am not fond of the version you got I do love the Exovault cases and cannot wait to get mine. For those who say it is not your cup of tea have you seen the other models? This is the one I ordered.

    [​IMG]

    I will post some pics and my review when this arrives hopefully by the end of the week,
     
  19. megadon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    #20
    That looks really nice, however, IMO the case covers too much of the front. Makes the screen look very small. But I still like how different it looks from all the other cases out there.. I would consider getting one.
     
  20. TylerDurden33 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    #21
    paying 150+ dollars for something you have to open to use is pretty laughable.
     
  21. chris975d thread starter macrumors 68000

    chris975d

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #22
    So is paying $600 plus for a phone that needs a case to insure that it works as designed, but we all seem to have done that too, huh? :rolleyes:
     
  22. swoods93631 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    #23
    The iPhone isnt ugly, it is beautiful. I have been going mostly naked since I got the 4. Just my bodyguardz skins and a holster case. The Exovault cases are as much a work of art as the phone itself. it is complimentary... :rolleyes:
     
  23. chris975d thread starter macrumors 68000

    chris975d

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #24
    I think the iPhone 4 is beautiful, but I think it stinks ergonomically though. It's way too slippery/smooth, and far too thin to the point that it becomes uncomfortable to hold for a while. Any case seems to make it much easier to use/hold. I've heard this from all 8 people (not including myself) that I see day to day that own the iPhone 4. It's just too darn thin.
     
  24. TylerDurden33 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    #25
    so your idea is to spend an extra 150 to make it even crappier? that's your logic on this one?
     

Share This Page