Over a year ago I read a review about JackBacks.com and their custom engraved wood replacement backs for the iPhone 4. Two months later I bought my first and only iPhone and immediately went home and ordered my jackback. Luckily for me, unlike Adam Baughtmer the founder of JackBacks I didn’t need the back to replace my broken my iPhone. Rather it was a geeky birthday gift to myself, well it was a really geeky gift to myself because I also chose the following quote for my jackback.
“When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all.” –Futurama
To give you a little synapsis of JackBacks Adam Baughter working with two others creates custom engraved wood backs for your Apple products. Due to the design of the iPhone 4/4s owners have the ability to replace the glass back of their phones with an inlayed back. JackBacks also offers wood cases for the iPhone 4/4s as well as stick-on wood for your iPhone, iPads, and Macbooks.
Unlike other reviews that I have read on Jackbacks I have had mine on my iPhone since September 10th, 2011. This is a long-term review about how my engraved wood back has held up and my other thoughts.
What I like:
- It’s customizable with any vector or photo your mind can think of
- Easy to install. Really easy, remove two screws, slide the back of the phone upward, and it’s off
- If that’s not easy enough for you Adam has made videos and instructions that are clear and easy to follow
What I love:
- It’s a unique conversation piece
- People ask me all the time what’s on the back of my phone
- When you connect with Jackbacks on Facebook or twitter you are connecting with Adam directly.
- Your praises and complaints are heard by the owner himself
- The wood has held up well over the past year considering my daily use
What I dislike:
- The price has gone up multiple times since I first read about Jackbacks
- While I’m comfortable creating vector files in Adobe Illustrator, many people are not
- Adam and team now provide graphic support and an instructional video on how to create a vector image
- The tool that was included to remove the screws on the bottom of the iPhone while a nice thought was poorly made and didn’t fit correctly
- Jackbacks offered a larger selection of wood for your backs but discontinued them a month before ordering my back. (Waaa…) Currently they offer Bamboo, Walnut, Cherry, and Mahogany. Previously for a premium you could also order Birds Eye Maple, Lacewood, Purpleheart, and Walnut Burl, and Wenge
After eleven months of jogging, drinking, eating, nerding, classes, working, and living my JackBack has aged more gracefully than I would have originally expected it to. Check the pictures below and see the before and after shots of my Jackback for yourself. Going to the gym and my jogging were the particular areas where I was concerned. The arm band I use for my phone, which supposedly is “waterproof”, absorbs a lot of my sweat. Thankfully however the wood has not been warped, cracked (when drying), or discolored in a distasteful way because of any this.
Further after playing with my soon to be sister-in-law’s Samsung Galaxy S III I wanted a new phone. I determined that I could trade my Verizon iPhone 4 32GB in at RadioShack for $170 in store credit and turn around buying the Samsung Galaxy S III 32GB for very little additional money out of pocket. In my debating about this I realized that I would of course have to put my original pristine back on to my iPhone to trade it in. But this is where I stopped, it turned out I wasn’t ready to give up my iPhone because of my JackBack. I really dig the conversation piece and unique identifier my JackBack has become for me. As someone that works in marketing and has a lot of “hip” friends practically everyone I know has an iPhone. Some have cool cases that set them apart like a cassette tape case or a blingified case; I have a wooden iPhone with a quote that I feel sums my outlook on life. That is unique and for this reason I cannot replace my iPhone.
So if you ask me my opinion on JackBacks I highly recommend them, and I hope the new iPhone whatever it’s called has a replaceable back as well.
Read these other great reviews on JackBacks.com:
- “Lightning Review: All iPhone 4s Should Have Handmade Wood JackBacks” By Jesus Diaz of Gizmodo (This one led me to purchase my JackBack)
- “Personalize & Protect Your iPhone With a Handcrafted Wood Back” by Jennifer Van Groove of Mashable