Element Case Vapor Pro for iPhone 4

The Element Case Vapor Pro is the Lamborghini Reventon of iPhone 4 cases -- cold carbon-colored aluminum chassis over space-aged, antenna insulation. And this year is works as good as it looks; on my review unit I didn't drop a bar in over a week of constant testing. Not one, not ever. So while it may still look like a hypercar, it performs even better.

There have been other improvements to the limited edition as well. The bottom has been cut wider to allow for a greater range of dock connectors. An extra portly Monster Cable still might not fit but I had no problems with any recent car or A/V connector I threw at it.

The special edition comes in a box that includes the bumper, a carbon-fiber printed adhesive back protector, 2 extra screws (very welcome), a certificate of authenticity, and a newly re-designed key for screwing the case on and off. Now, instead of a simple bent bar you get a very nice keychain that twists open to reveal the tool. Since it takes a tool to put the Vapor Pro on or take it off, having it handy is paramount should you want to switch to a charge case, put it in a car or A/V mount, or just clean it.

But the Vapor Pro has never been about convenience any more than it's been about economics. Like the Reventon, it's purely about possession. If you want a Vapor Pro, you know it.

[Element Case]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 42 comments. Add yours.

ToeJo says:

After the last experience I had with this company, their customer service and their horrible product I wouldnt order anything from them ever again. I have a 100 dollar metallic ring that turns my iPhone into a worthless brick. And customer service simply doesn't care.

Scorpiodsu says:

Just a question but how does this make your iPhone worthless? Or a brick?

chirmer says:

Probably because it takes away his signal... iPhone - signal = brick.

No-Name says:

Element Case never made a Black and Purple Vapor. I would NEVER buy a fake!

nebula says:

I am in full agreement with ToeJ
Stay as far away as you can from this piece of crap company. Horrible cases that takes away all the bars and no data for sure. They do not care about customer complaints and they simply ignore them after they have your money.

ronr says:

While the case didn't work for me, and the one I purchased did kill the reception, the company was very easy to work with regarding a return. In fact, I had lost one of the screws and was concerned, given all I'd heard about them, that I would have trouble doing the return, but had no trouble at all.

nebula says:

Interesting, they never respond nor acknowledge that they are selling a flawed overpriced piece of sh*t for cases.

oakie says:

obviously if you send them hate mail loaded with a whiny rant, anyone would treat you like an ex-girlfriend.
considering the content within the majority of replies any time ElementCase is mentioned, it's pretty obvious to be the case.
I'm not defending their product by any means, but I'm unable to side with most of the more vocal previous owners because of their own evidence.

Crucial_Xtreme says:

I have an Element Vapor(Satin Nickel) case and it works great. No loss or degradation of signal. I have no complaints whatsoever.

ToeJo says:

I asked for a refund. They said no. I was out if my 30 days. I asked if they would exchange it for one that works. They told me it should work fine. I asked again and they stopped responding. I seriously considered flossing their email server but figured that would just make it harder for the other customers.

Martin says:

Hopefully when the iPhone 5 comes out, the design doesn't change too much as I will definitely be buying one of these Vapor Pro Cases.

Osumailguy says:

Love the pro tip (those magnets are there for a reason)

GrandmaBetty says:

What gives Rene? No give away?

Rene Ritchie says:

We already did the give away! :)

Scatabrain says:

Flash video on an ios site?

Rene Ritchie says:

It's a YouTube video. Those have been supported on iOS since 2007... When YouTube isn't glitching :(

Tom-Tom says:

From my experience (on both Wifi and 3G), the mobile Youtube on Safari works a lot better than the app. Interface isn't too bad either

Glenn#IM says:

Must be a glitch. If you try to watch it from the TiPb blog, you get the you need flash error.

Rene Ritchie says:

Weird. Working fine for me. Dang YouTube!

Glenn#IM says:

Works now, YouTube is strange at times. Great case.

omgabunny says:

With the original vapor case I noticed significant WiFi signal attenuation. Do you notice this with the pro?

Crunch says:

I like my free bumper case from Apple. :D

LanceWebb says:

This case is a "Ferrite Cage"! Looks cool, but I with the Vapor case you will loose at least 1 bar of signal.
Back to just using the Apple Bumper. Hope the Vapor Pro better at being able to make calls.

Pocketdoc says:

They are sold out of the Pro Limited. Not sure if it was because of your review, or if it was already sold out.
Ordered the Black Ops.

Frank says:

"They are sold out of the Pro Limited"
I noticed that too when I visited the web site.
So they don't know how to make more? Not the greatest business model, is it?

Frank says:

Forgot to mention - the Black Ops is ugly!

No-Name says:

Check out the new Spectra!!!!

Joe says:

I used a similar case, the new Atomic Hybrid, and while I loved the look and enjoyed how I had absolutely ZERO loss of signal, I took it off today in favor of my old plastic case. I simply didn't feel the metal bumper style protected the phone, and it added to the size more :(

Joel V says:

Bought one. Hated the added size and it felt like it changed the look but wasn't going to protect really at all. Totallynot worth it.

BLiNK says:

i am not really into cases that much but i would make sweet-sweet love to that thing

DRHughes says:

Looks cool, sounds expensive!

sb says:

Got a Ni Satin too, and it works fine (AT&T)
Not a bit of difference between it and a rubber Speck case I had on previously.

Espo says:

THEY ARE HORRIBLE! I lose 1-2 bars of service EVERYWHERE with the Vapor case on. And they want $150 for the new one??!?!?!?! Craziness. Although I wish I did come up with the idea and manufactured them, because they are killin it! Speaking of that, anyone want to buy my Vapor4 case? I media blasted it to give it a raw metal look.

Ngoc says:

This is to the write of the review...I purchased a Vapor Pro and I can't be any happier with it...why do you say it comes with a carbon fiber "PRINTED" back plate? It IS real carbon fiber with a double-back adhesive on it? How much more real carbon fiber can you get? It's very obvious the CF is not just graphics printed on some sticky film..hell, you can even see the fiberous strands and weave on both sides.

Tmf63 says:

I bought one of their cases and the case with carbon fiber backing set me back over $100.
Cosmetically the case was gorgeous. Functionality was terrible. It had a terrible effect on reception. I would receive texts sometimes 8 hours after they were sent and it became virtually impossible to keep a signal in places where I previously didn't have a problem.
When I emailed their customer service to inform them of the problem and inquire about a refund they simply ignored me. Their case is now a $100 plus dust catcher in my closet. It was a very expensive lesson to learn. This company sucks as they do not stand behind their product and apparently don't care about their customers once they have fleeced them.

Brandan says:

Does anyone know if they have a vapor case for VZW iPhone. Maybe with the re designed antenna in this iPhone signal wouldn't be an issue.

Hepony says:

This case is good. and I bought glitter case. It is cheap and beautiful.http://www.pludeal.com/magnificent-glittery-evening-dress-pattern-case-f...