This year’s MacWorld event was chock-full of iDevice cases. There were some new accessory manufacturers and some old, both looking to show off what they had to offer. We told you about Crimson’s new color offerings for their less-than-a-year-old AFC (aluminum frame case). I received one to test out (thanks, Gary!) and I’ve had it on my iPhone 4S for about two weeks. Let’s see how it handles.

Crimson’s AFC’s features include:

  • Precision CNC machined aircraft-grade aluminum frames
  • Engineering-grade resin corner guards with EVA foam for a snug fit on all models
  • Durable anodized or polished finishes
  • Stainless steel screws
  • Unobstructed access to all ports, controls, and camera
  • Weighs only 19 grams
  • Works with all GSM and CDMA iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s models, (AT&T, Verizon and Sprint)

The Good

Personally, I think the case’s minimal design and industrial look work surprisingly well with the iPhone. It’s so simple, yet so practical. The silver finish on the case I tested looked great; very high-quality, plus it matched the antenna on my iPhone. Although the case looks painfully rectangular, it’s still very pocket friendly. The AFC’s resin corners are actually a little rounded, making it a little easier to slip in and out of your pocket. The case feels comfortable in your hand and barely adds any weight to your phone. I did manage to drop my phone several times while in the case (accidentally, of course) and there are no signs of wear. My phone works fine, and the case is still intact. An added bonus is that the case’s design allows you to stand your phone up in both portrait and landscape positions. The included screen protectors may be the best I’ve ever used.

The Bad

You NEED the tiny hex wrench to remove the tiny screws to attach and remove your case. The case comes with two extra screws, but if you lose any of those or the hex wrench, then, well, you’re screwed. This next problem may not be widespread, but I feel it’s worth mentioning: the AFC affected my signal strength. At first, I wasn’t sure if I was being paranoid, but after a few days of having one less bar than normal, I used Field Test to confirm my suspicions.

Maybe I'm just unlucky.

A few points may seem negligible, but like I said, it’s worth mentioning. Crimson’s Gary Kevorkian informed me that similar reports are scarce, and typically only happen to those with poor signal strength to begin with.

Verdict

Crimson’s AFC offers great functionality while still being fashionable. It’s lightweight, durable, and offers full protection for your iPhone without taking away from its natural look. The included screen protectors are definitely a plus. If you’re into minimalist iPhone cases, this is one you should check out.

You can purchase the Crimson aluminum frame case on Crimson’s website. Prices range from $39.95-$69.95.