The Opena iPhone case made its debut on Kickstarter and is designed to be both a high quality protective case and a sturdy bottle opener in one package. For the weekend warrior, it may mean not always needing to wear your bottle opening Reefs or carrying a keychain bottle opener constantly. Since you almost always have your phone on you, the theory is that you’ll never be without a bottle opener. The Opena case most closely resembles a slim bartender bottle opener, mated to your iPhone.
I received the Opena to start the holiday weekend and considered it a great time to run it through a rather alcoholic gauntlet. The packaging was top notch, doing a great job both securing the case and also advertising the product. Upon opening the package I was presented no other option than diving right in. My existing case that has been my go-to for quite some time is a rather bulky Otterbox knock-off that has been nothing but perfect in 7 months of use. A quick comparison showed a minuscule increase in thickness and a noticeable increase in weight (owed to the solid metal opener). At first I had difficulty getting the case onto the phone, prompting me to look for instructions. It was only when I extended the bottle opener that I was able to mate the two. Once on the phone, it fit more snugly than any other case I had ever used and gave me confidence that my phone was most likely safe inside. As for the difficulty with installing the case, I reasoned that the solid metal opener and quality of the case caused it to be a bit too rigid when not fully extended, most likely great for the long run.
Wasting no time, I opened my first bottle with ease on the first attempt. There was no opportunity for the bottle or opener to slip and the whole action felt quite great, an exceptional bottle opening experience. When in my pocket, the weight was more noticeable however not uncomfortably so and it came with the added benefit and security of knowing you had your phone on you.
I became a bottle opening machine over the next 3 days and there was no drop-off in performance nor did the unit show any wear or signs of weakness. I wanted to see how the case performed as a replacement vs. niche fill-in so I used it for an entire week.
In the end, I did go back to my existing case but I do have fond memories of the Opena. For me, the weight was noticeable, the smooth and somewhat curved backing slid a little too much on surfaces and I enjoyed the peace of mind of a two-part case with rubber interior. When I went to make the switch, I had an even more difficult time removing it than I had installing it, backing up my thoughts that this case is rock solid and not breaking, EVER. Still without directions, several minutes and curses later and with the assistance of a sturdy kitchen knife, my phone was free. The difficulty of removal may make me think twice in the future about using the case since I occasionally put cases with various photo accessories on my phone and time of installation impacts my ability to use them. Installation and removal instructions printed on the packaging would be a welcome addition.
I would recommend this case to a first time case buyer who likes to enjoy bottles of beer and doesn’t intend to be much of a case nomad. Your phone will be safe and you will never be without a bottle opener. The Opena case is a conversation starter and I could see a future of add on accessories or conversions such as a pocket knife, utility knife or cigar cutter.
The Opena is available in black and white for $39.95 and ships free to the US, Canada and Australia with international shipping elsewhere starting at $5.00. It is compatible with the iPhone 4 and 4s.