Review: Case-Mate Barely There Brushed Aluminum case for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4

Case-Mate Barely There Brushed Aluminum case for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 review

The Case-Mate Barely There Brushed Aluminum case for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 adds some color, some texture, and some design tweaks to make one of the hottest cases of last year just that much hotter!

Design wise, the Case-Mate Barely There Brushed Aluminum case is just as the name describes -- barely there. It's about as close a fit and slim a case as the materials and laws of physics allow. The new colors, silver, black, pink, red, and gold are really nice looking, and as always all the ports and buttons are cut extra wide so you don't have to worry about your 3.5mm headset jack or dock connector fitting. I tried it on both a black and a white iPhone, both the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S, and it looked absolutely amazing on both.

Now because the Case-Mate Barely There Brushed Aluminum is such a slim and fitting case, and while they say it's impact resistant -- and show a picture of a hammer hitting it to drive the point home! -- you're not getting the same level of protection as you would from a bigger, bulkier case. It will, however, stop any scratches, bumps, and light impact along the back and sides. It also doesn't protect the front, and there's no screen protector included, so if that's a concern you'll need to pick up a BodyGuardz, InvisibleShield, or similar product separately.

Also, you need to know what you're doing to remove it, especially if you're a girl and don't want to break a nail. I flipped it over and peeled the volume-control side off first, the popped my iPhone out. It took some practice to get good at, but if you plan on putting it on and leaving it on, you won't need to worry about it much.

Review: Case-Mate Barely There Brushed Aluminum case for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4

Overall I really like the look and feel of the Case-Mate Barely There Brushed Aluminum case for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. I've always been a fan of Case-Mate's Barely There line, and their metallic finishes, and this one is no exception. If you're looking for something that's stylish and sophisticated, give the Case-Mate a try.


Would you like to win a Case-Mate Barely There Brushed Aluminum case for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 of your very own? Wait, why am I even asking? Of course you would! Just leave a comment below telling us why this would be the perfect case for you. We'll pick a winner, and you'll get a case!

Giveaway starts now and ends December 29, 2011 at 9pm PT. So what are you waiting for? Enter now!!


Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, hosts the ZEN & TECH podcast, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Prime.

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There are 161 comments. Add yours.

Jerry Dean says:

I would love to win this. This would really make my iPhone 4S look totally cool!!!

Lou Venturi says:

I have been searching for a stylish case, and this is it.

Nicholastorcasio says:

This would be the perfect case for me because I said so.

Jpyoung says:

I would love to have a "weekender" case like this beautiful specimen of brushed aluminum. My Otterbox defender is a little bulky in my pocket for the weekend.

JTechTalk says:

I love the clean look of brushed aluminum, my favourite texture!! Merry Christmas to everyone and hope I win!!

teejaywhy says:

This would be perfect for me because I hate bulky cases but like to have some protection for my white 4S. And (bonus!) it comes in pink!

Jinn Carlo says:

It would be the best Christmas gift for my white iPhone. I already bought a gift for my Macbook Pro and this would complete my Christmas gift list. Thanks TiPB! and Happy holidays!

Scott says:

In case Santa comes through (I'm on both lists this year), I'll need a slick new case for my iPhone4. Plus, I'm a big fan of aluminum. Thanks for the review, iGeorgia.

BearsFan34 says:

Would love a shot at winning this case.

Worlock20 says:

I would love to win this case as I normally hate cases but this one looks cool!

saharz says:

Santa did not gave me anything this year ):

Nick A says:

I would love to win this case to make my sexy 4s look even sexier (just don't tell my wife ;) )

Vince Bryant says:

Almost looks better than no case at all, plus safer!

BrothaBinary says:

It would be the perfect case for me because it would protect my phone in which has no case lol. Children had to get gifts 1st!

Hedwig Guerra says:

Would love one of these, since I am rocking no case, because I prefer the no case look, but the Barely There is actually one of the few designs I like for day to day cruising. If we get the choice, I prefer black or silver. Thanks for the opportunity TiPb, you guys rock as always. And thanks to Case-Mate for such an awesome product.

Benn Weber says:

I've pretty much had it with bulky cases, but you do need something for at least some protection (why, oh, why didn't you make an aluminum back to the 4S, Apple?). This might hit a good compromise.

Rjones0973 says:

Would love it for my wife's iPhone. Her otterbox commuter broke. : (

KB says:

Yeah, my commuter cracked. Otterbox is supposed to be sending me a new one since I've only had it a couple of months.

kritter217 says:

I love the look of the aluminum cases - so sleek and high tech and the color is so much richer than you get with plastic or silicone. Definitely would enjoy one of those.

DikaiaKnight says:

Oh, pick me! These cases are awesome!

myerscb says:

this is an awesome case and i would like one in another color to add some variety.

MannyGeee says:

Huge fan of the look, got to assume the aluminum case will be more scratch and nick resistant than the one I am sporting today (won't disparage the brand I rock now).

Mark Ely says:

I should win because I have children and they hate my nice things.

Rodger Patience says:

I alternate between a Mophie JuicePack Air and nothing ... a slim case like this would be better than nothing. ;-)
Like the black and silver styles ...

Kuruptlon says:

I have this case in silver it looks great and it is indeed barely there. The one thing I would note is in my experience its actually not easy to take off at all but you do have easy access to all the ports so its not a big deal. Ultimately I preferred more of a matted case to prevent my phone from falling out of my pocket so I'm now rocking a Case Crown Glider Slim which I love.

Bias X says:

Other than wanting a new case because mine just broke.
Its aluminum. Its sleek, not going to have a brick when i put it in my pocket.
Its overall just a great case.

Jeremy Hanson says:

this would actually be a great case for my mother's new iP4S. :)

Funksoulxl says:

I've had an alluminium Case-Mate case and gotta warn you guys, they are terrible - prone to bend, diminish wifi and cellular reception and tend to scratch the phone. Keep away, not worth it for even free.

Tre says:

Agreed. I use a $5 bumper (actually it was free thanks to TiPB) and front (no glare) and back (crystal) skins from powersupport. No bulk, lots of drop protection, and still looks good.
Happy Holidays

ozmacr says:

I'd love one. I would rather have a bare phone but i don't want to take tha chance with my new IPhone.

Carolyn Hayes says:

I need one because I waited and waited for a white iPhone 4 nd finally got the black. So now I need cases so I can pretend my iPhone is white underneath.

Testing VC says:

I'd like to get one to try.... Thx!

tuffy100 says:

I love the thinness of the bare iPhone but I am already starting to see scratches popping up on the back of my device... this case in combination with my anti-glare screen protector would be absolutely perfect :)

Draigg Phillips says:

I've been on the hunt for a good, attractive, minimal case to protect my new 4S. I believe this fits the bill! Thanks for the opportunity. d

Jaime Pena says:

I believe it would be the perfect case because I have one and it is awesome!!! I would like another one but in the red or any color.

Bacco says:

Aluminum is so cool looking.

Glenn says:

I've been searching high and low for a good quality case for my iPhone. It's about time that I find one that not only is sturdy but not an eye sore. My previous experiences with barely there cases is that they either crack under the strangest circumstances or they are an eye sore. But this barely there brushed aluminum case is not only sturdy but is one of the most appealing cases to the eye.

Sadfeen says:

I like barely there, it is what it claims to be.

Willsrx1 says:

Love the minimalist cases and this one is all aluminum. Wow. I'd like it in black.

PaulCostello says:

Because I never win! All these years entering tipb giveaways I've come to expect not winning. Please Georgia change this awful pattern.

graphiccraze4 says:

I have to say that brushed aluminum look is a thing of beauty. I would like something different from the usually rubber, plastic to try something different. I like that it gives a "barely there" feel. I'm liking the color also. :)

ViewRoyal says:

This would make a great post-Christmas present for my wife. ;-)

Ken Kotch says:

I usually keep my phone causeless but it needs some sort of protection.

Kevcuong says:

Minimalistic style is what I'm looking for in a case.

Manishrana50 says:

This is a classy case. I would love it.

dreeves76 says:

I'm just looking for a nice compact and form fitting case that leaves the options open for carrying out the day to day functions of work, rest and play without dealing with the bulking cases that impede the usage.

Dnver8476 says:

I would love to have this case. Not only would it benefit me it would you also. Everyone of my friends have iPhones and once they see mine they would surely order.

Andrew Mikhail Shah says:

Indeed, this case looks classy. I would like one, please :] Preferably silver!

Justin says:

I'd love to get one of these!

Matt says:

I have no case for my phone and i am to broke on account of christmas yo buy one :)

Marc says:

I've been enjoying my iPhone naked but I guess it will look just as sexy wearing a Case-Mate Barely There.

Bones_6 says:

I would love this case, my current one is the Griffen double case, but it hides the phone and I kinda hate it now that I have a white one.

greentj says:

I love the aluminum cases so it would be hard to decide if I would keep it or give it to my girlfriend.

::Montgomery:: says:

My otter box is getting tired...

Jeff Kash says:

This would be a perfect case for me. I use a holster, and the bigger cases do not work.

Sketso says:

This would be a great work-week case so I can still have some protection and be able to drop into my speaker dock, then I could switch back to the OtterBox Defender for the weekends!

Roses5682 says:

I have a purple one that I love and have been eyeing the hot pink one. I love how this case does not add extra bulk to the phone.

Laweranceoak says:

Because I hate my current case and want a slimmer one and one that can dock for my speakers.

ronmcse says:

I've had my bulky otterbox for a year now on my iPhone 4, time to make a new years resolution and loose the weight!

porkozone says:

I love the look of brushed aluminum, and it would be great to finally have a different case than my wife so I know which one to pick up when they are both on the table.

Ron Green says:

I too like the look of brushed aluminum.

Ahmed says:

Wow it's So beautiful will surely change standard look of iphone to unique and awesome one.

Minaraafat95 says:

I would love to have this amazing case because it is just what I have been looking for.
I have been searching for a case with the same qualities in all the countries I have visited till now and even at my home city but it was always a disappointing failure.
I have worked so hard to buy my iPhone and I would really like it to be special and this case will do the trick and more.

Braun00 says:

i like to use this new case

tttc24 says:

I would love this case because I have been looking for something different that doesn't add a lot of bulk to the phone.

Alexander Rjaño says:

I never had an Aluminum case, so i wanna give it a try :-)

cjurdaz says:

It's perfect for me cause I work outdoors on the railroad and that will help if it falls

ne0stai2dust says:

this would actually be a perfect case for my wife. She doesnt like have bulk on her phone and its a great durable case (i used to own one on a 3gs). And since she loves her white iPhone4, i know she would love to keep it in great condition.

frank says:

this is a perfect case for my phone cause, be the first to have this unique case in my crew of 40

Evil Bert says:

It would be perfect for me because I LOVE pink!

Dan Lizette says:

I'd like to give it a shot!

Tom says:

I could use one of those, my bumper has about had it and my otterbox impact has outgrown my phone.

Gary Perkins says:

I used to have the Barely There for the 3GS (with the mirror like screen protector). It was awesome and I would love to have one for my new 4s! Thanks TIPB for doing this!
Gary P

xoxoxKN says:

I'm a big fan of barely there & like the look & feel of a minimal case!

iNitvizn says:

I love cases without much bulk - i'd like to try one of these!

Rccarroll34 says:

No bulky cases for me! I love cases that cover the back and sides only. I don't like hitting walls when I swipe! :) I would love one!

hondakorn says:

I want this case because spent all my Christmas money on my fiancee and i don't want to drop my iPhone and break my back glass again :(

jmleib says:

Perfect for me, because I don't like cases.

Jason Leib says:

It's the case for me, because I don't like cases.

Kristy Lo says:

Just ordered a pink one through blue shop but I suppose if I won I could give one to the husband! ;)

Cheznor says:

I just got a new iPhone 4S and i'm currently caseless! I'd love to win this one, it looks really nice!

DonS50 says:

What I like about this case is that it looks great and is thin enough to work in a holster without binding. The protection of a holster and the case would make a good combo with style.

Jeremy Gallegos says:

Would love to dress up my phone when I'm dressed up

George Sabourin says:

Since it's a beautiful case and would make my 4S even better!

DDS0728 says:

This case would be perfect! I'm a huge fan of everything Case-Mate! It would def keep my iPhone slim, sexy, and protected!

Harry9100 says:

Because its christmas.... Nuf said lol

John Clawson says:

I'd love to try one, because I hate the bulk of most cases. Red please!

VinWin5 says:

Id love to get this case for my wife. She's pretty accident prone with her phones.

William Kwok says:

To replace my broken case!

Zak8022 says:

I've actually been looking at cases that add minimal bulk, the Barely There being one of the top choices. I want a case that won't feel like a case when the phone is in my pocket, as well as provide minor protection against scratches/scrapes and light bumps (like putting the phone down on a table just a tad too hard).

Steven Zepeda says:

I would love this case because I just purchased an iPhone and haven't put down the money to get a case, seeing as though I just spent $650 on an unlocked iPhone I'm not exactly financially inclined to get a good quality case. Also this case looks really nice.

iGore3 says:

I use to never use cases tills I got the iPhone4s. Now I have a Otterbox Commuter case whihc is too bulky for me. This case looks perfect, plus its sexy. I would love to win one of these

Eduardo Wilches says:

Because when it comes to protection, case-mate is a good option!

Eskimosand says:

I'd like to get this because it would make my lady happy!

dariusOne says:

id love a black or white one!! :D

Moonoverparma00 says:

A nice case for my new iPhone.

RocketmanNY says:

Would love a red one. Super sleek case is just what I need!

Alaeddin says:

Cool. I had the aluminum chrome one for my 3GS and I absolutely loved it. Looking for similar one for my 4S now. Thanks.

tyler_zyco says:

Wow this case has style! Very cool :) please pick me I would love this!

John says:

my wife is getting an iphone4s for christmas ;) shes been a good girl lol but i didnt have enough money for a case id love to win one for her. i think shed like the black one.

jwsnj3rd says:

i want i iphone4s but ill have to wait and i'll need a case money tight this will help big time. id love the black one happy holidays everybody

jhoove09#IM says:

This case looks beautiful. I hate covering the back of my phone because of how amazing the design looks but this could easily give me the protection I need and still save the aesthetics.

Ioannis says:

Actually I love the looks of it. :)

kirbini says:

I wanted one of these cases when I got my 4S earlier. Color just amps it up that much more.

pnut78 says:

This would be perfect because my wife just got an iPhone4 and she loves pink!

Bryan Rowsell says:

I want this case so I can look cool in front of my students. That, and I won't feel scared throwing my phone at sleeping students.

rey san says:

i have been looking for a case like this since the 4s came out. i would love to win this!

MooPenguin32 says:

This would be a great case because my iPhone 4S is currently naked.

Jon F says:

My GF wants this pink case so bad! And I want the black one!

soNburst says:

Girlfriend needs a nice case!

Ginbill says:

I love aluminum cases! They're so slick and look great. I bet it'd look awesome in black.

Kevin says:

Just got home from ATT with a iphone 4s because my daughter convinced me to upgrade our family phones. Oh, she also got me in the Christmas spirit to upgrade her to a 4s. Hope Santa brings a case or my daughter steps up big.

Quiney08 says:

This case looks fantastic and since my husband says I have to use some kind of case on my phone, I think this one would look great.

James says:

Great looks & all round protection. Perfect case for me. Thanks.

Drew says:

Looks like a nice, slim case. May pick one up if I don't lucky.

Kale58 says:

I've been looking for a new case, and since I'm like cases that don't add bulk to my phone, these Barely There cases look very interesting. Thanks for the quick review Georgia!

mmmpow3r says:

I really like Casemate's Barely There line. I have the Chrome version and love it. I've tried many cases to but found these the best so far.

Danny Jones says:

I need the thinnest possible case for my iPhone 4 because the ifrogz case I now have along with my wallet makes my pocket really bulge. The color doesn't matter to me, I just need the added protection this case offers, along with the ease of slipping it in and out of my pocket.

Stu Gay says:

Im a proud owner of the iPhone 4!! What a sweet Christmas present. Wanted something different than my Blackberry 9670 and im not looking back. Picked out the Otterbox Defender since I'm pretty hard on handheld devices.. Buti would love to have a slimmer case for my iphone4..

Marie says:

I have Zaggshield already, but I need a slim case because, as a mother of 2, I try to put my phone away from the kids but close to me so it's always in my back pocket so a slim case would be nice without being bulky.

sg4real76 says:

just got my first iphone and left old man blackberry behind. if i win a case for it that would make my new year and birthday fabulous.

vishhh says:

"Barely There Brushed Aluminium" is one of the most beautiful case made for iPhone.
It's a fashion statement ! No other case makes looks so bold and fashionable
Its a must have accessory for my iPhone 4S to compliment its style and beauty

Kevin says:

Some time you just have to wonder with all these contests - why not me!!!

Raymond Phillips says:

I moved from a iPhone 3GS to a new iPhone 4S and I don't have a case yet! A free one would help my budget!

duoFurious says:

I dont need a case always and sometimes going bare on a phone is the best. But when I have a case the thinner the better. Though I don't like skins. Not enough protection there to call that a case so this sounds perfect for me. Thin hard and sounds like it can take the abuse of day to day life. I wouldn't mind one to save my glass from scratches on my first iPhone

xxDruMMer BoYxx says:

Need one. I'm naked and mes protection. ;) seriously its for my iPhone 4....already fell at Starbucks floor while watching the how to replace the back panel from Ally on my laptoP...wasn't paying attention. Thanks

Shoen says:

I would love to win a Black one, it will look great on my iPhone4

jeremy says:

I need one because i just cracked my seido case. :(

John Trucillo says:

I use a mophie case most of the time when traveling but sometimes it's just too big. I'm looking for a case to use when not using my juice pack. Black of course.

Rob W. says:

I would love to get this. I'm still trying to find the perfect case for my iPhone - hopefully this will be the one. Thanks!

Cliff Burton says:

I just purchased an iPhone 4S for my wife, she is prone to the occasional accident and I can think of no better way to protect our investment with this stylish cover. Would be a great gift that will definitely come in handy in her professional career.

Jon says:

I would love this. I currently have the InCase snap case and all the corners are cracked. It's made out of a hard plastic so it's not very durable. This aluminum would be a perfect replacement!

draiken says:

This would be perfect since I have the barely there plastic silver one, and the paint is peeling off, and need a new case

JackW says:

I just ordered a Smartphone Experts SidePouch from you the other day and I forgot to order a hard case. Winning one would be a great way to start the new year!

Gary says:

Stylish, sleek, precision is just perfect!

Billy says:

I'd really love to have this case, can't remember if I already entered or not.

Nebby says:

I like the case cause its Brushed metal being a car guy I love that look and to have that for my phone would be awesome

LoriG says:

I am a newbie iPhone owner and know that I will need a case because, well, some of us are accident-prone.

JD Northwest says:

I have a new iPhone on the way. Something must be available to protect my new precious.

Brant Bylsma says:

What a great addition to a slick new iPhone 4S. I am sure Siri would love a new "coat". Gotta keep the ladies happy.

leharris22 says:

Would love one in pink. So nice looking. Thanks for the contests, TiPB!

soultechnical says:

just switched from android to iphone 4s. the silver one would finish off the beautiful look of a white 4s.

D says:

I wish I could put 6 of these cases on my wife's phone.

jwsnj3rd says:

i like it its so purrty id love the black or silver one for my iphone 4s i guess ill have to deside if i win ;)

FendrGuitPlayr says:

I'd like to win this great looking case and start 2012 off on a winning note.

Matt says:

I want to win one to stop my iPhone getting broken or scratched:)

Rachel says:

My current iPhone case is totally worn out but I'm so picky I haven't been able to find a replacement. This one looks great!

garynky says:

I always use a bulky case to protect the phone completely. I'm ready for a slimmer, less restrictive experience.

Kathy Smith says:

I am too late, but I would give anything to win such a beautiful Case Mate Barely There brushed aluminum case..Instead of hiding your iPhone in a pile of rubber and plastic you are showing it off.. I got an OtterBox for Christmas to go with my iPhone that I finally got at the age of 69...Please oh please let me enter...Mahalo Kathy

lindseylewin says:

I like this case. Nice looking & not too bulky!

Victor says:

I've been looking for the perfect case for my iPhone ever since I got it! I would love the brushed aluminum ! Gimme gimme!

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