Due to the immense popularity of the iPhone, tons of cases/covers for Cupertino's favorite toy can be found all around, from cheap Chinese ones to quite fancy and expensive brand name versions. Those that are actually good and impressive are quite rare to be honest.
Since it launched back in September 2012, Apple's iPhone 5 has proven to be quite a popular little device and it is no wonder that everyone wants a piece of that cake, even if it involves making a simple case for it. Cooler Master is no different and, despite the fact that it is quite an impressive company when it comes to computer cases, PSUs and, of course, various coolers and fans, it also launched a line of Cooler Master mobile products including covers for iPhones, iPads, other smartphones, tablets, mobile power, notebook coolers, notebook and tablet stands, cables and mobile audio devices like mobile speakers or headsets.
We received quite a package from Cooler Master mobile and today we'll have a quick look at their iPhone 5 Aluminum Bumper case that comes with impressive build quality, a great choice of materials and a unique design.
As you can see from the picture below, even the box is quite fancy as we guess that in the world of smartphone covers the presentation on the retail/e-tail shelf is an important aspect of the product. The Aluminum Bumper comes in silver and black color options in case you have either the black or the white iPhone 5.
To be quite honest, just looking at the box does not give it enough credit as we were really surprised when we actually took it out of the box. Despite the fact that the name of the case itself is Aluminum Bumper and that it is indicated on the box itself that what we will be looking at is an „aircraft grade Aluminum”, the build quality of the case still managed to pleasantly surprise us. We have always liked brushed aluminum design on anything if not everything and the entire backside is made out of pure brushed aluminum.
The entire case is diamond cut and features brushed and sand blasted surfaces. To make things clear, you are looking at a case that is made solely from aluminum. Some might say that either plastic or silicone might be better as it would add less weight to the smartphone but, considering that CM's Aluminum Bumper weighs in at a mere 18g, we just do not see the point as we would rather go for something made out of aluminum rather than plastic or silicone. Of course, aluminum is much stronger than other materials thus ensuring that your precious and, if we may add, quite expensive iPhone 5 is well protected.
As you can see from the picture below, the sides, or for that matter the entire „front“ part of the case, uses sand blasted aluminum making it less shiny and more matte.
The back part of the case uses a fancier brushed aluminum surface and, as you can see, does not cover that Apple logo and also includes a rather subtle Cooler Master logo at the bottom.
The most impressive part of the Aluminum Bumper is the unique tool-free slide-n-lock design. The back part slides out and you actually place the smartphone inside the front part of the case and slide lock the back side in and lock it in place.
It sounds a bit weird and looks strange but actually works quite well and, since everything is made out of aluminum, there are no flimsy parts, everything is diamond cut and very precise.
All holes are diamond cut and provide access to all buttons and full antenna signal strength. It also supports wrist straps.
We are honestly pleasantly surprised by the quality and can easily recommend it over all plastic, silicon, rubber and other iPhone 5 covers that we have seen so far.
The aluminum and high build quality comes at a price so Cooler Master’s Aluminum Bumper currently sells for around €31 in Europe and around US $60 in the USA, as it ships stateside from Europe. This is probably its biggest shortcoming, at least as far as US consumers go.
In addition to the Aluminum Bumper, Cooler Master also offers two Traveller cases for the iPhone 5 which you can out here.