We’ve Never Seen a Case as Finely Tuned as the Rokform Rokbed iPhone 4 Case [Review]

We’ve Never Seen a Case as Finely Tuned as the Rokform Rokbed iPhone 4 Case [Review]

It’s difficult to find stuff made on U.S. soil these days. Heck, sometimes it seems like nothing is made here. But that’s not true of the elite, exo-skeletal Rockform Rokbed iPhone 4 case ($80), intricately machined from a solid block of aluminum: It’s designed and manufactured in the good ol’ U.S.A. (and it’s not shy about saying so), in Orange County, California by one of the most unlikely outfits to make an iPhone case — the motorcycle fanatics at Two Brothers Racing.

The Good:

This is one ruggedly handsome, exclusive case. Its CNC’d, anodized alloy frame immediately reminded me of something made by Paul Components, a maker of (extremely expensive) bicycle parts with an almost legendary reputation for superb quality and elegance. Chances are extremely good you’ll be the only one on your block with one of these. Our test unit was even more exclusive with the limited edition — there’re only six left, according to Rokform’s website — “Night Camo” flavor, a greyscale camouflage pattern printed onto the case’s matte-black anodized finish.

The case is meticulously crafted. The iPhone seems to glide rather than slide into the main part of the two-piece case — the tolerances feel that tight — and the end bolts onto the main piece with two tiny Torx screws (Rokform supplies a Torx key and two extra Torx screws in case you lose one. And you will). All the buttons and switches are easily accessible.

The Rokbed’s alloy form never actually touches the iPhone 4’s antenna (so the antenna isn’t grounded by the metal of the case), a feat of impressive design and machining precision, and the design works: I didn’t experience any loss of signal while using the case.

For a hunk of metal, it’s pretty light. Probably due to the fact that it’s made of high-end 6061 aluminum alloy (the same high strength-weight ratio alloy used for those expensive bike parts) and machined to within an inch of its life.

The Bad:

It feels somewhat bulkier than many plastic cases on the light end. The difference is slight, but noticeable.

Better hope you remembered to bring that Torx key if you need to remove the case for, say, a little topping off with a backpack battery.

For now, Rokform is classifying the case as AT&T only: The company says Verizon iPhone users have reported call problems when using the case.

At $80, It’s pretty expensive; more expensive that some cases that actually do something, like feed juice to the iPhone or lasso horses. Add an extra $20 if you need the Night Camo version so you can take your iPhone out on Navy SEAL operations (there’s also a limited edition Digi Camo version if you find yourself frequently combatting…computers, I guess).

Verdict:

It’s like a precision tuned, high-end, alloy motorcycle part — for your iPhone. Vroom!

Rating: ★★★★☆

We’ve Never Seen a Case as Finely Tuned as the Rokform Rokbed iPhone 4 Case [Review]

We’ve Never Seen a Case as Finely Tuned as the Rokform Rokbed iPhone 4 Case [Review]

Case, Torx key and screws. Note the serial number on our test case.

Related
  • TylerHoj

    Owe it burns the eyes to look at though. 

  • Ramón

    What about Karas Kustom’s case? I’ve had mine for a long time, and I’ve even dropped my iPhone 4 on the garage floor, twice with nary a scratch.
    Made in the USA too.

    http://karaskustomsonline.com/

  • Brandon Dillon

    Those cases look awesome. I’d be worried about something harming the sides, but other than that, they seem to be great cases. The pricing is about the same as Otterbox cases too.

  • Mats Northman

    Excuse me, $80 for that?!?

  • Rick Povich

    I might be inclined to start saving some pocket change in the hope they come out with one of these for the iPhone 5.  I rather like the design.  Especially that really cool-looking “official” Torx key.

  • whirl7

    You can get this Blade aluminum case on ebay for about $15. Looks way better too.
    I am not associated with the link below, just using it to show a picture of the case.
    http://www.junfac.com/shop/ind

  • Rick Povich

    Yeah, that Blade is a nice looking case, too I must say.  And a bit easier on the pocket, too!

  • knock knock

    since it’s made in America, people will justify the absurd price.

  • alleeair

    Thanks so much for this post!! I saw the Karas Kustom case at a restaurant one night and went over to ask the guy where he got it, It was so cool looking.  but i was never able to find the website he gave me. So now I just ordered my own.

  • Plush zilla

    That bad boy is expensive but it pays off, I got some serious positive feedback on my part. Keep up the good work.

    Don’t sweat to make a decision. Just follow Rand-o-Matic, it
    would be fun all the way. Just go to:    

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app

     

  • Dadoftwogirls

    I got one and love it. It is by far the best case I’ve owned and looks awesome on the phone. Beats a cheap piece of pastic! Why own a $500 phone and one of the greatest technological innovations in the last 30 years just to put a $10 cheap plastic case on it.

  • jenfiverr10

    I love these cases made by Rokform, really rugged http://www.danimobile.com/brands/RokForm.html

About the author

Eli MilchmanWhen he was eight, Eli Milchman came home from frolicking in the Veld one day and was given an Atari 400. Since then, his fascination with technology has made him an intrepid early adopter of whatever charming new contraption crosses his path — which explains why he's Cult of Mac's test editor-at-large. He calls San Francisco home, where he works as a journalist and photographer. Eli has contributed to the pages of Wired.com and BIKE Magazine, among others. Hang with him on Twitter.

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