The DRACO IV is a gorgeous aluminum, handcrafted bumper for the iPhone 4, that protects your device while providing an unmistakable anomalous design that stands head and shoulders above the usual status quo. The folks at Draco Design use industrial grade aluminum to create a product that is not only lightweight but also stands up to the demands of everyday iPhone use.
What makes the DRACO different?
Design is the bottom line. The DRACO IV is truly a thing of beauty. There is no mistaking this aluminum bumper for others on the market today. The curvaceous construction rests nicely in your hand, while not adding excessive weight or unwanted bulk. DRACOdesign and Co-developing partner Dëff, worked together to create a high-tech refined product with exhaustive attention to detail. It all starts with a 5-axis CNC machined piece of aluminum. However, it doesn’t stop there. Handcrafted isn’t a pitch phrase for DRACOdesign—each aluminum bumper is hand polished, anodized, and laser curved by hand. This is clearly evident in the final product. You immediately see the quality of the bumper when you assemble it around your iPhone 4.
What you get
There are four main colors to choose from–blue, black, red, and gray. There are also limited edition gold and silver versions as well. My testing unit was gray, and I found it to be an excellent compliment to the black iPhone 4. The aluminum bumper comes in two pieces that are assembled together with two tiny allen screws (allen wrench is provided as well). Also included in the set-up are three buttons and a small switch that are placed in form-fitting holes machined especially to receive them. These loose pieces take a little time to line up exactly with the corresponding volume, mute and power off buttons residing below them, but once they are lined up correctly, they seemed to perform admirably during my time testing them.
Access / Daily use
In addition to the aforementioned “floating” volume, mute, and power off buttons, there are custom machined openings for the SIM card slot, headphone jack, speaker, microphone, and 30-pin dock connector. Your iPhone 4 can be charged while the case is installed with a standard Apple power cord that ships with your iPhone 4. In addition, I was able to use it with other accessories that allowed for the added bulk of bumpers or cases. The bumper extends slightly past the edge of the screen, so with care, you can place it on a flat surface without the glass touching. However, this was such a modest extent, that I left my BodyGuardz screen protector on the back of the phone. It is important to note the bumper I tested was designed for the AT&T iPhone 4. Fortunately, they also offer a Verizon version as well.
The DRACO IV Aluminum bumper for the iPhone 4 is an aluminum bumper after all. What does that mean to the consumer with regard to reception? Are there any downsides to using a bumper made of aluminum? Without getting technical–in my experience with testing the DRACO IV bumper over several weeks, in many different scenarios, reflecting my typical use from day to day, I found it to perform very effectively. This was especially true in areas where I had “good” signal strength to start with. This is party due to the fact that the inside of the bumper has pieces of form fitting rubber in the corners that separate the aluminum from the iPhone. This essentially prevents direct contact with the bumper. When I did experience signal strength decline I was in self-confirmed areas of “poor” to no service, and my loss of signal strength appeared to be exacerbated by the bumper rather than caused by it.
Overall my experience with the DRACO IV was a very positive one. I really appreciated the attention to detail and craftsmanship that went into this product. I found it to be a very elegant compliment to my iPhone 4. If you are in the market for a stylish, innovative, and quality bumper for your iPhone 4 you really need to give DRACOdesign a look. The DRACO IV retails for $99.99 at participating outlets.
The DRACO IV handcrafted bumper for the iPhone 4 was provided for review on iSource.com by DRACOdesign. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.