Short version: The original Element Case Vapor certainly looked slick, but it had problems accepting larger 1/8″ headphone plugs — like the original iPhone. The latest revision, the Vapor Pro, addresses some of the complaints, but there is still an issue with the design.
- Wider slots on top and bottom for headphones and dock connector
- Polymer section over the antenna to eliminate “death-grip”
- Perforated SIM card slot
- Titanium alloy finish
- Hex key tool for removal
- MSRP: $149
- Gorgeous finish
- Feels very grippy
- Nice details and build quality
- Serious protection
- Requires screwdriver to remove
- Still doesn’t fit all headphone cables
The Vapor Pro from Element Case has everything I’d want from an iPhone Case: unique looks, style, and a strong build. But what it doesn’t have is an easy way to remove the case. There are four hex bolts that hold the Vapor Pro tightly around the iPhone and removing them requires you to remember where you left the included hex wrench. It’s not a big deal, but that rare occasion where the 1/8″ plug is too big and you’re without the wrench is frustrating.
Aside from that one issue, the case is awesome. It’s one of the coolest-looking iPhone cases I’ve come across. People who saw the case on my phone asked about it. The matte anodized aluminum is gorgeous and is surprisingly grippy. Personally, I’ve never felt comfortable holding the iPhone 4 in my hand — I prefer the 3G(S). But with the Vapor Pro I never wanted to put it down.
The main reason I don’t use a case for my phone is either because they’re usually too bulky or too sticky to slide nicely in my front pocket. The Vapor Pro somehow is able to feel sticky in my hand but not against denim when sliding into my jeans — the material choice is perfect. But it comes at a cost. The case retails at $150. Aside from those ostentatious jewel-encrusted cases, it’s one of the most expensive iPhone cases out there.
The First Run Edition Vapor Pro is already sold out. But if you like what you see check out their next case that was just made available: the Black Ops edition. More are on their way in the coming weeks and prices are expected to be much lower, but the build and materials won’t be as high-quality. Check out their Facebook page for updates.