I’ve got to admit that the Series 13 Powder Coated iPhone Case didn’t really catch my eye when I opened my package from Karas Kustoms, it is subtle and understated and doesn’t really jump out past the other products… until I actually got it onto an iPhone and it transformed into an entirely different animal.
Like most metal cases, it is essentially a cage into which you lock your iPhone. It comes with a little hex wrench and a choice of black or white plastic spacers. The spacers are made from a material called derlin, which is a plastic of some sort. Initially, I was a little disappointed that they weren’t metal, but given that they are constantly in contact with your iPhone, that is probably a good thing.
The case that I received was powder-coated with white paint. Initially, I was not sure how it would look with a black iPhone – it turned out that it looked great and provided a nice bit of visual contrast. Another thing that surprised me, when I got it onto the phone, was the thickness of the metal. Before installation, it looked a little thin, but with the phone inside, it looks and feels just about perfect – any thinner and it would start to feel flimsy, any thicker and it would add too much bulk.
Here is what Karas Kustoms has to say about the case:
We are now offering our machined phone cases in a powdercoated finish. This new finish is durable, smooth, and comes in many great colors. They also come with an extra set of white spacers to give your phone a different look (anodized black and silver only have black spacers). As before, our cases come with delrin spacers and stainless button head hardware, they look and feel great on the phone. Before powdercoating, we machine all the edges on the case, adding a smooth chamfer to give the case an industrial aesthetic while making it more comfortable to handle. Because of our unique design, the phone can stand on its end, or side, to make activities like viewing or taking video much easier, without the need for a separate stand. Remember, these are all made by us and they are all unique.
Protection-wise, the case will save your phone from the most of the types of mishap that most people encounter on an occasional basis: small drops, etc. It doesn’t have a screen protector, but it should be possible to install a third party screen protector and still use the case.
Make no mistake; the Series 13 is not for everyone. If you spend a lot of time in the outdoors, or cycle to work then you would be better off getting something that offers more protection – an OtterBox or something like that. If you spend most of your time driving cars or catching trains then this is perfect. It looks great, fits easily in your pocket and doesn’t add too much extra weight.
Criticisms: The Series 13 is beautifully designed and the level of craftsmanship is outstanding, but there are a couple of issues that are worth noting: 1) The powder coating seemed a little prone to scratching around the screws; and 2) The design at the bottom of the case means that it won’t dock. Neither of these issues was a deal breaker. As far as the powder coating goes, if you are careful attaching the screws it won’t be a problem and when it does happen it happens under the screws – so it is a very minor issue.
Verdict: If you carry your phone to work in a bag or a jacket pocket, the Series 13 would make a great purchase. The cases look amazing and considering the work that goes into each one, the $49 asking price seems very reasonable.
Score: 4.5 out of 5