Review: Rokform Fuzion+ for iPhone 5/5s
We've never been as keen on metal iPhone cases as some accessory makers seem to be, but they do keep coming. The latest is Rokform's Fuzion+ for iPhone 5/5s ($89), which combines a polyurethane inner skin with a machined aluminum backplate, and throws a sheet of carbon fiber in the middle. Thankfully, it's less complicated and more protective than metal cases often can be; there are no screws or tools to have to deal with. Right in the center is an embedded magnet, which can be used with Rokform's ecosystem of accessories, including the adhesive-laden round magnet included in the package. A pre-moistened cleaning cloth is also included.
Given all its layers, it’s not surprising that Fuzion+ is a somewhat bulky case. It’s not overwhelmingly large, but it is taller, wider, thicker, and heavier than many cases. The layers are meant to be installed one at a time, which isn’t as laborious as it may sound. Frankly, the rubber could serve as its own case, with full body protection and good button coverage that maintains proper tactility. The carbon fiber layer is solely for aesthetics, showing through two triangular and one rhombus-shaped opening in the machined aluminum. A fourth opening leaves the Apple logo and a segment of the iPhone’s metal back exposed, an unnecessary omission of coverage.
When metal and magnets are built into a case, there are often problems. The former can decrease cellular strength, while the latter can throw off the compass. In our testing, reception wasn’t an issue; we got the same number of “bars” with the case on or off. As for the compass, the magnetic mounting point was off according to our testing with a second iPhone, but this shouldn’t be a problem in most circumstances. Navigation takes several factors into account, and the compass is only one of them. Directions shouldn’t be impacted by this issue. And the magnet does add some value, as you can easily mount and dismount the iPhone in a convenient location.
Fuzion+ is a fashion case that happens to offer a very good amount of protection, with the exception of the material exposed through the one opening on the back. Of course most people aren’t going to pay almost half the price of a subsidized iPhone 5s just for a case to protect it; this case is aimed at those who are willing to pay for a certain aesthetic. With that being said, it offers most of what we’re looking for in a case, and has the added benefit of the magnetic system, making it worthy of our limited recommendation. If you’re willing to pay the price for the look and feel of the case, you won’t be disappointed by its performance.