Case manufacturer X-Doria is back with more high-quality, low-cost iPhone cases. The newest entries are the Defense Lux case for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus ($39.99), now made with a military-grade machined metal case with a wood backing.
There are two finishes that have been added to the Defense Lux line; black metal with a walnut back and silver metal with a bamboo back. Both of these cases are quite eye-catching and really look great on an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus.
As with the rest of the Defense Lux line, these cases incorporate a shock absorbing rubber bumper and a hard polycarbonate back plate to give the case certification to MIL-STD-810G standards. Add a machined aluminum frame to the outside and put wood on the back, and you've got a case that can truly stand up to some abuse.
The buttons are covered with machined metal as well (except for the mute toggle), and the case has a 1.5mm lip to provide some level of protection against face-down drops. With all of the metal and wood you'd expect this case to be somewhat heavier than the average polycarbonate or silicone case; the walnut model for the iPhone 7 Plus weighs in at 2.2 ounces (62.4 grams).
Installing the case is quite simple; you unlatch a small latch on the left lower side of the case as seen from the front, snap the case into the interior rubber bumper, then close and latch the bottom frame.
One feature I like about this case is that the wood is thick enough on the back that the protruding camera lenses of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus no longer hit whatever you've laid the phone upon, which could prevent lens scratches.
My one complaint about the Defense Lux Wood and Metal cases is that the metal is rather smooth and slick in the hand. A bit of extra machining while manufacturing the case to add some ridges for a better grip would have been worthy of a five-star rating.
Kudos to X-Doria for making a wood and metal iPhone 7 case that's affordable and does a good job of protecting the phone. I recall one of the first cases of this type from another manufacturer about 7 or 8 years ago that cost close to $400 and required small hex wrenches to assemble. X-Doria has created a case that is as good-looking as that pioneering case and is a tenth of the cost.