Product Review: Craftkwerk by Freeform3 Atrio Aluminum Case for iPhone 5

When Craftwerk by Freeform3 sent me its new Atrio Aluminum Case for iPhone (Shipping June 30), I was super excited to open it. As you know, I’m a bit of a case connoisseur, so this is exactly the kind of thing that turns my crank. And being a technology geek, I’m also stoked because it’s made of aircraft grade aluminum. It’s like having an airplane in my pocket. Or…something.


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I don’t usually talk about packaging in my reviews, but the Atrio's extra special. The design is pretty cool, and it even instructs you on how to remove the iPhone case from its container. The instructions are very helpful: If you follow correctly, you're also prepping the case to slide onto your iPhone.

In an effort to make the most use of the packaging, it turns into a dock/amplifier. Once you’ve put your phone into the case, you can lay it in the dock in portrait mode and it will amplify the sound of your music or videos. If you put it in landscape position, you can check your emails or surf websites without having to hold your phone in your hand. There are holes cut out of the bottom so you can fish your USB cord through it to charge your phone while it’s docked.

What’s Inside?

Once you’ve got the whole shebang opened up and sorted out, you will find a whole bunch of great stuff inside! It contains a tempered glass back plate, an optional colored button insert in case you don’t like the color already installed, a front screen shield, dust removal shield, certificate of authenticity, and a nifty microfiber cleaning cloth.

Slipping into the Atrio

There are three different components you’ll be dealing with: the top section, bottom section, and the tempered glass back plate. When you remove the Atrio from the packaging, you’ve already pulled the top and bottom sections apart, so that’s already done. All you have to do is put the glass back panel into place and then slide the top and bottom pieces over it and your iPhone.

The Look, the Feel

Once the case is on your phone it feels nice and solid, but incredibly light (because of the aluminum, duh). I was concerned that the two portions of the case would slide apart, but they don’t. In fact, you can’t tell the design is in two pieces at all. You can use all the ports and controls just fine. The buttons are all covered by that plastic insert I mentioned earlier and they work just fine too.

Does the Aluminum Case Disrupt Reception?

Other metal cases I’ve used have negatively impacted phone reception. I did not find that to be the case at all with the Atrio. Everything seemed completely fine as I compared reception with the case on and off.

What’s Cool About this Case?

  • The packaging works as a stand for your phone;
  • The brushed metallic look is sexy and stylish;
  • The minimalist design;
  • The tempered glass backplate.

The Atrio Aluminum Case for iPhone is not available for purchase yet, but you can stalk it here on Craftwerk by Freeform3's website. And Freeform3 has a Kickstarter page, which just got all it’s funding, so we can expect the case to go into production very soon!

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