The JAVOedge Cork Back Cover ($20) is an innovative rear case for the iPhone 3G and 3GS, which crafts its unique look by affixing a layer of shredded cork.
If taken out in public, the JAVOedge Cork case will get an immediate reaction — it’s far removed from the usual, run-of-the-mill, sleek and shiny iPhone cases. It’s bordering on the antithesis, bringing natural tones and texture that will probably bring to mind a cork board rather than bleeding edge technology. The spongy feel of the cork is great at absorbing impacts, and dropping your phone would not be the end of the world with it.
It fits snugly around the phone, just beyond the bezel, offering good overall protection. The edge right by the lock button is a trifle close for my tastes, making it a bit harder than normal to hit, but it’s not a big deal.
The problems with the case aren’t really major, but they do add up, compiling a stack of tiny complaints which aren’t deal breakers by themselves, but combined together deserve some reflection. Firstly, the cork itself. It doesn’t cover the entire back of the case, as there are plenty of little gaps where the backing material shows through — it’s not immediately noticeable at a casual glance, but on closer inspection you can see it easily. The cork also picks up dirt easily (hello tiny little nooks and crannies), and on mine there’s a tiny raised area just asking to give me a splinter.
The case has a painted brown rim between the cork and the inside of the case, and its paint job was splotchy, uneven, and bleeds all over the place. Not only that, but the bag it came in smeared ink all over my fingers, and it didn’t come with a screen cover. I know most people don’t even bother with the screen cover, but come on, it’s still pretty common courtesy! I know, I know, minor issues, right? It just lessens the case’s overall quality.
The problems listed above are all minor, and none really change the fact that this is a perfectly decent and visually interesting case. There are gaps in the cork’s coverage, it picks up dirt easily, and it could be made a bit more rigorously — but all in all they’re small complaints. The JAVOedge Cork Back Cover ($20) will draw a few stares when you use it, and that’s a good thing. Just don’t think it’s a pin board and go sticking thumb tacks in it. I still think it could have been made slightly higher quality, though. We recommend this case, and give it a 7.2 out of 10 rating.