Review: Element Case Ronin for iPhone 6/6s
What's a reasonable amount to pay for an iPhone case? While we generally give our highest recommendations to cases in the $25-$50 range, there are some excellent cheaper cases, as well. There's also a sizable segment of the population who sees cases as disposable — a quick search on Amazon reveals a number of very popular cases costing less than $10. Element Case has gone in the opposite direction with its Ronin, as evidenced by its $200 price tag. Ronin is made of top-notch materials — a top grain leather-wrapped backplate, machined bamboo or walnut wood side rails, and machined hand polished crowns. The case also comes with a top grain leather carrying pouch. Element Case makes no bold claims about protection or performance beyond basic impact resistance, as the materials and style are meant to justify the price.
There’s a bit of a to-do with Ronin’s installation, which may be expected — after all, the feeling of involvement may make it a bit easier to justify the cost. Users are given a small screwdriver and instructed to unscrew the bottom crown, and put it back on once the iPhone 6/6s is installed. As you’d hope, Ronin’s fit provides no issues. Button coverage is responsive, and the case even has its own ringer switch.
Ronin certainly feels like a more expensive iPhone case, as all of its pricey materials are contained in a lightweight total package. But you shouldn’t expect those materials to translate to added protection — Element Case claims Ronin is “impact resistant,” but that really says nothing about the overall sturdiness of the case. Ronin could leave an iPhone susceptible to screen damage, if anything, as the design offers virtually no lip around the front of the device.
Ronin feels more expensive and looks more stylish than most iPhone cases, yes — but four or five times more expensive? Many prospective customers will find this ridiculous, and we wouldn’t disagree. Ronin is still a nice case, if you’ve got money to burn and you plan on hanging onto your iPhone for a while, but it’s hard to even give it a limited recommendation — a nice integrated kickstand or some other useful added feature would have swayed us a bit more.