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Nowadays, a cell phone is one of the most common accessories that a person carries around. For carbon fiber enthusiasts like ourselves, our #1 accessory has to have carbon fiber on it in some way. Since carbon fiber is so expensive, an iPhone case typically appeals to a very niche market, especially when we’re talking about the real stuff. In this post, we’ll show you 8 different iPhone 4 / 4S cases with real carbon fiber out there in the market along with the pros and cons to each.
monCarbone Hovercoat Carbon Fiber iPhone 4 / 4S Case
We would have to put the carbon fiber Hovercoat up there, as the case to get if you are a true carbon fiber aficionado. The main reason why is because it stands behind the real advantages of carbon fiber, being very thin and lightweight. The cases weigh in around just 8 grams and are only .6mm thick. That means when the case is on, you don’t even notice the difference. The entire case is made out of carbon fiber except for the outer sides which use a black fiberglass. I’m sure you’re asking why they would do that. If you recall when the iPhone 4 / 4S first came out, there was a big media issue about the phone losing most reception if you were to touch it in a certain way. The reason for that was because the antenna is built into the phones metal surround, so if you were to touch that you can affect the reception. Since carbon fiber is a conductive material, the same thing can occur. This is why a non-conductive fiberglass was used in the surround to help mitigate any reception issues.
The Hovercoat case is available in two different finishes called mystery and midnight. Midnight is a glossy finish; the exterior is clear coated like a car, giving it the typical carbon fiber look you’re used to. Since it has a clear coat on it, it’s susceptible to fine scratches – the same way a car is. The mystery finish is considered matte, although it is much more of a semi-gloss with a texture. There is still a bit of shine to it, but it is a bit more durable in terms of scratch resistance.
The case easily snaps onto the back of the phone, but keep in mind it does not cover the screen so it doesn’t offer a ton protection. The majority of the protection is simply by putting a layer between the phone and the case. We highly recommend getting a clear screen protector to use with this case.
Currently only the Mystery finish is compatible with the Verizon CDMA version of the iPhone 4 / 4S and we’re looking to make the Midnight finish compatible asap.
Ion Predator Zero Carbon Fiber iPhone 4 / 4S Cases
The Ion Predator Zero carbon fiber iPhone 4 / 4S is the second version of the case. The first version was called the StealthPredator. While at first glance, the cases look the same, if you dig in a bit there are a number of really great differences. First off, the case is available in 7 different colors, including a few new ones to the mix:
The colors are gold, gunmetal, silver, blue, pink, violet and copper. The shell itself is made out of plastic and is then coated with the metallic colored finish. The original StealthPredator would have issues cracking on the corner if you weren’t extremely careful with the case, the Predator Zero now uses a more flexible reinforced plastic making the issue go away. As before, the entire back and sides use real carbon fiber as an accent material and great contrast with the metallic color.
The other major differnces is the cutout for the camera is larger. The reason for this is because the previous version would have an issue where the flash would reflect off the case, ruining the picture. The new cutout does not effect the picture any longer. The case is also known to not affect reception and works with both the AT&T (GSM) and Verizon (CDMA) iPhone 4 / 4S’s.
Ion Stealth Ranger Carbon Fiber iPhone 4 / 4S Case
The Ion Stealth Ranger case is for the person that wants some carbon fiber on their iPhone 4 / 4S, but doesn’t want to spend a ton of money. The case is priced on a budget mainly because of the smaller use of carbon fiber, which is only found as an accent material on the sides. Otherwise, the shell is the same as the above Predator Zero case, though it has a stealthy looking matte black finish which won’t chip. The case also has a soft interior and comes with a screen protector. While it doesn’t have a ton of carbon fiber on it, it does offer a great mix of looks and protection.
The StealthBlack case is compatible with the both the GSM and the Verizon CDMA versions of the iPhone 4 / 4S.
Ion Carbon Fiber and Leather Shell iPhone 4 / 4S Case
The Ion carbon fiber and leather shell is our newest case to the iPhone 4 / 4S lineup in our store. In our opinion, this case offers an excellent mix of durability and good looks. The case literally looks like it should come with a Ferrari or Porsche, utilizing a mix of real carbon fiber (via a strip down the back) and premium-grade black cowhide leather. The black stitching really adds the final touch.
The iPhone just slips into the top opening and you’re all set. It makes it very easy to take on and off if you don’t want to use the case on for any reason.
The carbon fiber and leather shell is compatible with the both the GSM and the Verizon CDMA versions of the iPhone 4 / 4S.
Ion Carbon Shield Carbon Fiber and Leather Case
The Ion Carbon Shield iPhone 4 / 4S case has a unique design that really offers a mix of great protection, functionality and good looks into one case. The case utilizes black leather and real carbon fiber as its materials. In terms of protection, it covers the entire case, including the front screen, using a flip down panel that simply snap off when you want to use the phone.
Plate Armor iPhone 4 / 4S Carbon Fiber Back Plate
This unique skin simply adheres to the back of your iPhone 4 / 4S, but the cool thing is that it’s literally a sheet of real carbon fiber custom cut for your phone. While it’s meant to work in conjunction with Apple’s Bumper, it can still be used without it if you just want the carbon fiber skin…you just have to be careful that the edges don’t get caught on anything.
The Plate Armor carbon fiber back plate is really the ultimate in sleek carbon fiber look, but obviously does not offer too much in protection outside of scratch durability. When you combine it with other products, like the bumper and/or a clear screen protector, it can get more functional.
Element Case Vapor COMP Stealth Edition
This one is the Ferrari of iPhone 4 / 4S cases. The Vapor COMP is a mixed-material bumper. The top, right and bottom are made from one piece of CNC machined aluminum. The bumper is cut out of a block of aerospace grade aluminum and then anodized in an anti-glare satin black finish. The interior is lined with an absorbing material which not only reduces the g-forces of an impact, but helps create a non-conductive barrier to minimize reception issues. On the left side of the case you’ll find a “cap” made with a translucent black non-conductive polycarbonate. The benefit to this is to help mitigate any sort of reception issues.
The package includes a real carbon fiber back panel which simply adheres to the back of your iPhone. Since aluminum and carbon fiber are very light-weight/strong materials, they go hand-in-hand with each other and we love to see the two combined.
Element Case ION 4 Carbon Fiber iPhone 4 / 4S Case
We absolutely love the case because it has in our best opinion a great mix of protection, looks and price. The case shell is made of a semi-sift TPU polymer, which gives it some shock-absorption. The back has a real carbon fiber plate with a techie shape. Retail price on this is on the lower side of the range of cases we offer making it a best buy in our opinion.