As we have previously noted, Just Mobile sells a variety of premium accessories primarily for Apple products that are made out of aluminum. These designs and materials are similar to what Apple makes for its own products, so Just Mobile’s accessories are popular items for fans of Apple’s product design. For the past few weeks, we have been testing out some of Just Mobile’s latest iPhone accessories: the AluFrame and the AluCup Grande. You can find our full reviews below:
Just Mobile’s AluFrame is an aluminum bumper made for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s that covers the phone’s edges. It is lined with rubber to protect the phone from getting scratched or chipped. It is very light weight and does not add much bulk to the phone.
A clasp on the lower left hand side of the case is used to open up the frame for placement onto an iPhone. Opening the clasp is quite a challenge and I was not the only one who had difficulty doing so. I asked for the help of several friends who all struggled with it. Over the course of time I found that applying pressure on the bumper just below the volume buttons helped to “loosen” the clasp and helped get a feel of how it is supposed to come undone. I also found that sticking my nail in the tiny gap to open the clasp helped to open it. A majority of the time I could not get it open on the first try, but it got slightly easier to open the more I played with it.
To install the bumper, Just Mobile recommends laying the phone down horizontally and inserting it in towards the bottom so the side of the phone with the home button goes in first. Then, you can snap the case shut.
Despite the packaging’s boast of “Quick Removal,” removing the case from the phone was not a quick process. It was more challenging to open the bumper to take it off the phone than it was to open it without a phone in it. To take it off I ended up sticking a sharp knife in the tiny gap near the clasp in order to pop it open. It seems that the case should have included a tool of some kind to open the bumper while it’s on the phone. Instead it comes with a screen protector.
In terms of design, this is one of the nicest “bumpers” for the iPhone. It does not feel cheap or tacky, and the color of the bumper matches nearly matches the color of the iPhone. It is almost surprising (from an aesthetics standpoint) that Apple did not design this bumper since it is aesthetically pleasing and accentuates the phone’s color perfectly.
Besides being stylish, this bumper offers protection with a raised lip on the front of the phone. The bumper covers up the lock and volume buttons, but enhances the way that they feel, making them easier to press and use.
The AluFrame will be available later this month through Just Mobile for $69.95. Through Amazon, you can save 14% and get the silver bumper for just $59.99. Buying through Amazon will also let you save save 17% on the slate bumper (sale price $57.99) and save 13% on the gold bumper (putting it at $60.71). With the difficulty involved in using the case, perhaps the stylish design is not worth the price of nearly two of Apple’s iPhone 5s cases, which we recommend.
Just Mobile’s AluCup Grande is designed to hold an iPhone and prop up an iPad. It is made from a single piece of aluminum and has a soft rubbery insert. Four slots on the side allow for some cable management to help avoid cluttering your desk. The slots aren’t really designed for thicker after market cables, and the one I tried to use barely fit in the slot.
Instead the thinner, official Apple 30-pin to USB cable, and Lightning to USB cable worked just fine. Personally, I did not find much function for this product as it takes up too much room on my desk. Like with the smaller version, it is difficult to recommend a fairly pricey product that doesn’t really provide any utility for the customer. It is available in multiple colors. Some of the colors are currently on sale. It is available in black for $28.95, blue for $29.95, yellow for $29.95, and red for $24.77.