Element Case is perhaps best known for its ultra-high-end premium cases such as Ronin and Sector 5 — luxury cases that are arguably both over-designed and overpriced for the needs of most iPhone users. who may find it hard to justify spending more for a case than a set of AirPods or Bluetooth speakers. Fortunately Element Case also offers a lineup of more affordable cases for those who like the company’s style but can’t justify spending $200 or more for an iPhone case, and they’ve already got a lineup of them ready for the new iPhone X.
While it’s still not cheap by iPhone case standards, Formula ($100) still incorporates the CNC machined aluminum design that Element Case is known for and combines it with high impact TPU to create a lightweight case that still provides rugged drop protection. You get full button coverage here as well, with machined aluminum buttons that have a nice solid feel to them, and the chassis is reinforced with “aerospace grade” carbon fibre. Despite the metal components, wireless charging also works fine through the case. It’s a nice, solid case with a very modern industrial design that has a unique appeal to it, but we’re not entirely convinced the protection here is that much better than many other cases at half the price. You’re still definitely paying for the style on this one.
On the other hand, Recon ($40) and Rev ($35) eschew the machined aluminum and carbon fiber designs in favour of a simpler TPU case that still represents Element Case’s unique industrial style. Both cases include the same “Dropshock” corners as Element’s higher-end cases, with Recon incorporating molded polycarbonate button coverage that is solid and responsive, a rubberized backplate for shock absorption, and a polycarbonate reinforced chassis. Recon also has an extra edge in ergonomics with rubber detailing on the sides that provides for a more secure grip. Rev is a little bit more basic, with a clear translucent back and a structural x-frame reinforcement. While the style isn’t for everyone, there’s no doubt that Element Case has one of the more unique case designs we’ve seen, and Recon and Rev are both good, solid protective case options with nice ergonomics.