The Core Cases aluminum slider is a sharp looking hard case for the iPhone 3G. Although the product is a little expensive, it's made of aluminum for strength and low weight. After using the Core Case for seven months, here are some observations.
When the aluminum slider case (brushed black) first came out of the box, I was impressed. Unlike some other hard cases, there's an EVA foam layer on the inside to protect the plastic back of the iPhone 3G from scratches. Installation was easy, just place the phone in the back, and slide the front down until the side tabs click into place.
Since the case is metal and hingeless, it complements the look of the iPhone very well. Personally, I never noticed any reception issues with the aluminum covering the antenna area in the back of the iPhone, however I'm also in an area with extensive 3G coverage. Some have argued that plastic cases are better for reception.
The Core Cases aluminum slider will easily slide in and out of pockets, and with the addition of the free screen protector included (or my preferred invisibleSHIELD) on the front, protection is complete. Unless the device is dropped face-first onto a protruding object, the rim around the front of the iPhone will protect the screen.What's good about not having a hard cover over the front of the iPhone is that if you prefer the feel of the iPhone glass alone you can go without anything but the Core Case. Access to the headphone jack, buttons and bottom of the iPhone are also completely unhindered by this design.
The brushed aluminum surface can be quite slippery. For those used to a silicone case and the good grip this material provides, get used to dropping your phone. It takes some getting used to. The iPhone definitely feels more substantial in the Core Case as well.
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Unfortunately, after seven months of use, I think my aluminum case is ready for retirement. This is not due to any fault of Core Cases or a flawed design. I can't tell you how invaluable this case has been to the livelihood of my iPhone 3G.
I've dropped, slammed, battered and beat up this case. Some would call it abuse. What happens is that after a sharp impact or fall on an abrasive surface, the aluminum nicks, bends and scratches. The case dents and warps out of shape. The iPhone inside remains pristine... like new.
A little bending is necessary after a couple of months to keep the sliders on the side clicking firmly into the tabs. Taking the Core Case off every once in a while to clean out dirt that accumulates between the aluminum and the screen is helpful.
The Core Cases aluminum slider has definitely done its job. The investment in seven months of protection was worth every penny, considering I would have probably had to replace my iPhone more than once.
If you treat your Core Case with more respect than I did, it will look better and last longer. The aluminum slider is available now in three colors: brushed black, silver and purple. If you intend to purchase the Core Cases iPhone case, we recommend buying through Amazon.