March 6, 2010
I’m a one-handed iPhone user. It took me longer than most people to get used to the iPhone’s keyboard because I want to hold it on my right hand and type only with my right thumb. I always figured that was the point of having a very small device. I don’t mind using two hands for my laptop or my Nikon, but I want one-handed simplicity for my cell phone.
We all know I love my iPhone. But I don’t love the cramped hand after reading an e-book. And I hate the gymnastics if I try to take a picture with one hand because it’s difficult to balance, aim, and still hit the right spot to take the photo. So when I saw the Module case for the first time, I was intrigued.
I’d never heard of Dacha Works, so I sent them an email and requested a review unit, which they were kind enough to send. According to their website:
Since the brand’s inception in 2009, Dacha Works has been an incubator for novel approaches to protecting and augmenting mobile computing platforms. Given the Apple® iPhone’s unsurpassed touchscreen interface and diverse App ecosystem, Dacha Works has focused initial product development for that platform.
We were founded by artist Colin Montgomery, who saw the need to break the “dumb-protector with fashionable-appliqué” paradigm that drives nearly all design in the smartphone case industry. It sounds like a wonky concept, but its true: today’s cases just make your iPhone thicker while adding a little 2-D design on the surface.
I must admit, my first reaction was one of disappointment. When I took the case from the package, it reminded me of the plastic tray you get with a tv dinner. It’s really not much bigger than a tv dinner tray at 1mm thickness, and a mere 1/8 oz. The fact that the one I received is black just completed the association. Would I want to put my iPhone in the microwave?
And then I put the case on my iPhone. All thoughts of tv dinners vanished. With the Module case on, my iPhone felt comfortable in my hand. Even the act of picking it up is easier. It has all these bumps and ridges. It gives you lots of places to grip, grab, and brace. There’s even a cutout on the back for the sole purpose of giving you one more place to gain purchase so that your fingers won’t just slide.
Without the Module case, my hand cramps quickly when reading an e-book. You can really only hold the iPhone in just so many ways. But with the Module case on, not only is it possible to find a very comfortable position to hold the phone in the first place, but the ridges (Dacha Works refers to them as LeveRidge) allow you to change positions and find many comfortable ways in which to hold an iPhone for extended periods of time. Dare I say “ergonomic?”
The Module case is probably not for someone who drops his iPhone a lot. However, it does provide a reasonable amount of protection. The sides are covered, as is the entire back of the iPhone. The cutout in the back probably won’t enter into the equation unless you drop the phone precisely so that it lands with that exact spot landing on something smaller than the cutout that will scratch the back of your iPhone. The sides leave the silver bezel exposed, and does allow you to swipe to the edges without any resistance. The sides are beveled, and rise almost imperceptibly above the bezel in two spots. With any luck, the rise would be enough to save your screen if a drop resulted in your iPhone landing face down.
There is no protection on the inside of the case, so I’m unsure at this point as to whether or not it will scratch the back. I also am unsure as to whether or not the sides will scratch over time from contact or repeated removal. (I hope not!)
The cutouts for the volume rocker, mute switch, and camera are precise. You are still able to easily slide the mute switch up/down and adjust the volume. With the black case on my black iPhone, you hardly notice there’s a case on it until you turn it over. The Module feels decidedly more substantial on the iPhone than fresh out of the package.
Currently the Module is available in black and white, but we should be seeing red and pink in the spring. Sold directly from Dacha Works, the Module is $29.99, a fairly average price for an iPhone case. I would love to see the Module with a rubberized or gel coating (imagine Dr. Shoal’s for your iPhone!), but in the meanwhile, I highly recommend this truly unique and useful case!