The iPhone 4 shatters easily, and its tiny plastic bezel offers no protection. On top of that, touching its metal rim causes interferences. The Vapor4 bumper - made of aluminium - may solve most of these design problems. And it looks great:
Of course, nothing looks as cool as the iPhone 4 on its own, but if you want to avoid the antenna problems and the shattering, you are going to need one of these. They are made of aluminium, and they have an interior liner that separates the metal from the antenna, insulating it. The manufacturer - who also makes the beautiful Joule iPad stand - told me that their tests showed no interference whatsoever across all models of iPhone:
We basically wrapped it in an inch thick of anodized aluminium all around with our special secret liner inside, nothing impacted the reception.
We will have to test this, but it definitely is the first bumper that actually looks cool. Especially the way you put it together with those hex screws.
The Vapor4 is not cheap, although not as expensive as the beautiful exotic wood back replacement: It starts at $US80. For $US100 you get the V4Carbon, a carbon fibre back plate that will further protect the iPhone 4 fragile glass back. [Elementcase]