DracoDesign Draco IV for iPhone 4

DracoDesign Draco IV for iPhone 4

The DracoDesign Draco IV for iPhone 4 is all curves and industrial grade aluminum. Co-developed by Dëff, handcrafted, and 3D, 5-axis machine CNC'd by DracoDesign, they're yet another example of hypercar aesthetic made iPhone case. And this one is Veyron sexy.

Like other aluminum bumpers, with the Draco IV there's some assembly required. It's a little fiddly, so take your time (or if you're all thumbs like me, get someone with a far more skillful touch to do it for you). You place sleep/wake, ringer/vibrate, and volume pass-through keys into one half of the aluminum bumper, slide your iPhone 4 into place, cap it with the other half of the bumper, and then secure it into place with 2 screws. (They provide additional screws in case you lose one and don't have a magnetic iPad 2 handy to sweep for them.)

The fit and finish of the bumper is superlative. The button pass-throughs do wiggle slightly but work perfectly and many might prefer them to trying to press inside deep cutouts. The curves of the chassis take some getting used to at first. They're gorgeous but they're very different to the flat sides iPhone 4 comes with. The first time you hold it as a camera, for example, you'll double-check your finger position a few times to make sure your grip is secure. Then you won't worry about it again. The bumper rises ever so slightly above the front and back surfaces of iPhone 4 so you can lay it flat without worrying about scuffing the glass. And the aluminum is almost deceptively solid given the silky smooth finish.

In the 8 days that I've been testing my review unit, I had no loss of signal or reception problems with it at all. Everything worked as good as it looked. In addition to the Space Black version featured in the pictures above and below, the Draco IV also comes in Ocean Blue, Passion Red, Metallic Gray, and limited edition Champaign Gold and Astro Silver.

If you're on the market for a high-end, premium iPhone 4 case, and you like curves, the Draco IV should be on your short list.

[Draco Design]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

DracoDesign Draco IV for iPhone 4


From what it looks like on image #4, the standoff distance seems similar to an Otterbox case... meaning that the phone will not fit correctly on docks or charging cradles.
What's your experience with this so far ?

Who the hell took these crap-tastic photos?!?!?! Whoever it was (I'll assume Rene) should be ashamed. They are so blurry, I can't even tell what the hell the product looks like. Bokeh shouldn't always be used just because you want to seem artistic. You're doing a product review for crying out loud! You need to use a flash and a smaller aperture to get better depth of field. If that doesn't suit you, use longer shutter speeds. I would be embarassed if I was Draco Design to have my product reviewed in such poor lighting conditions. Personally, I would not buy this case based on the photos that Rene took.

You read my mind Darkstar. I think amateur photographers, who've looked at a few photography books, think shallow depth of field is what makes a good, or "cool", photograph. Depth of field is a tool, which can enhance, or detract from a photograph, like anything else. Very shallow depth of field can, for example, make for stunning portraits.
However, the first rule of product photography is to show the product. This is a product review. You're supposed to be showing the reader, and the consumer, a product they may be interested in purchasing. The photos, as presented, are almost useless in that regard, and, with the uninteresting lighting, don't even work as purely artistic endeavors.

Agreed. In the first photo, both the front and back of the phone and case are out of focus. The focal point seems to be somewhere on the screen. Rene, for product photography, f8-f11 are your friends. I'm sure you could do better with the lighting and DOF to make the images interesting. These just didn't work at all for me.

Where do you purchase these cases???? Amazon is out of them and their website isn't much help

they are sold out on amazon and everywhere else... I bought the black one on amazon yesterday and all colors were on the site at the time, but they only had one available for each model. My guess would be that each one was bought...

Warning: This case reduced my signal by 16dB, that's 160% reduction of signal, and essentially nullified my GPS.
Customer support @ DracoDesign is AWFUL.

Eff that. Their website blows, it ruins signal, and costs $100?
I have a just-as-cool-looking Vapor case and it doesn't affect the antennae, can be ordered from an actual website, and protects well.

How is that you don't have reception issue where when I installed mines my signal just drop a bar or two. What must I do????

Please inform me about the signal issue now that you have had your Draco case for awhile now . Your comments would be helpful .
Thank you