Vapor-S – A great case for iPhone X (review)

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When the latest Vapor-S by Element Case appeared on my desk, I must admit that I wasn’t very impressed. I’ve seen plenty of iPhone cases that do little other than turning a svelte and attractive phone into a cheap and boated slab of plastic. I thought this would be similar.

However, after trying out the Vapor-S by Element case with my iPhone X, my opinion has completely changed.

Vapor-S is not your average case.

U.S. Website here.

Element Case is a Silicon Valley company redefining and innovating phone protection the way the brand attained its reputation – doing what others can’t or won’t.

It makes a range of cases for iPhone and Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

There are also several nice touches that separate the Vapor-S by Element Case from the rest.

First, you need to use the included micro-driver to fit it. Since the case enclosure is a sandwich of an aluminium top, metal frame and polycarbonate back, you can’t just pull them apart with your fingers. Once you remove the five tiny screws (thoughtfully provided with spares in case you lose them), you place the phone snuggly inside and screw the top back on.

The metal frame provides rigidity, while the polycarbonate bottom is grippy, resists scratches and absorbs shock. Rubber blocks inside each corner create a cushioned sub-frame to absorb drop-shocks.

Second, I love the blue anodised ‘fast tap’ buttons. These are independent, rather than fused together, allowing the buttons to work the same way as your phone’s buttons.

Third, there is a glass back plate, which you can affix to the back of your phone for extra protection. It’s expensive to break an Apple glass back – or front!

Third, the table-top protection design makes use of raised front and rear bezels to keep the phone’s screen from coming in contact with tables.

Finally, the Vapor-S’s edges are slim in places, making it easier to pick up and hold. The only downside about the bezels is that the deep surrounds can make it tricky to flick the mute switch.


GadgetGuy’s take. MIL-SPEC protection in a good-looking case. I am impressed.

All, up, the Vapor-S case by Element is everything I want for a case designed to protect a valuable iPhone.

MIL-SPEC drop protection, which it says is “meets military specification drop-test requirements”. OK, I’m not exactly certain how to test to ‘military requirements’, but I can say that the phone took a good drop on concrete and carpeted floors and is fine. We will try running over it with a tank – when we locate a tank.

The Vapor-S has an attractive design if you like that rugged, machined metal type of look.

Yes, it does add bulk and weight to your iPhone X. However, the benefits are true drop protection and not just fancy looks that don’t deliver.

If you’re into outdoor or extreme sports, or work outside, or just like to play rough, this is the perfect case for you.


  • Does not bulk up the iPhone as so many other protective cases do
  • Very well made
  • Rear glass protection supplied (iPhone X used Gorilla Glass 5 screens, but the glass backs can shatter if dropped)
  • Precision CNC milled aluminium and polycarbonate
  • Firmly held inside the case by five screws


  • Don’t lose the micro-driver or you may never get the phone out!


Rated as a Mil-spec case to provide maximum protection without making the phone ‘ugly’.

  • Overall: 4.6 out of 5
  • Features: 5 out of 5 – Full featured including tempered glass back
  • Value for Money: 5 out of 5 – reasonable price for this kind of protection
  • Performance: 5 out of 5 – We were not game to try the Mil-spec, but we are sure it does as promised
  • Ease of Use: 4 out of 5 – Some assembly required
  • Design: 4 out of 5 – It is as attractive as MIL-SPEC can be. Available in Black or Blue trim


The Vapor-S by Element Case is available from September priced at A$99.95 from Element Case online.




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MIL-SPEC without the bulk or 'ugly'