In the 12 months since Apple first released the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, we’ve featured more than two dozen different third-party cases for these phones. Longtime BGR readers know that this is a change for the site — we’ve never spent much time covering phone cases in the past. That changed with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, however, because cases became an absolute necessity when Apple decided to make its smartphones out of aluminum with the most slippery finish imaginable.

In all that time, however, we’ve been waiting for a bumper case made of high-quality aluminum that offered good protection while still maintaining the refined look of the iPhone 6. Well, it’s taken almost a year, but we finally found a case that comes as close as we’re ever going to get.

DON’T MISS: Who needs the iPhone 6s? This is the iPhone 7 we’ve been dreaming of

For the past few weeks, I’ve been using a prototype of a brand new iPhone case that has me impressed. The ThanoTech K11 aluminum bumper is crafted to look just like the edges of the iPhone it protects, complete with polished chamfered edges and plastic separator lines over the antenna lines on the sides of the iPhone. It has a very snug fit, and it offers some serious protection despite only covering the edges of the phone. Check out this GIF:

The aluminum has a great feel to it, and a sleek look to match (because it looks just like the iPhone 6, of course). A layer of rubbery plastic lines the inside of the bumper to provide shock absorption, and there’s even a small raised area above the protruding camera lens to ensure that it’s also protected from drops.

In fact, I dropped my phone twice while testing the K11, and it escaped both falls completely unscathed.

Now, for the bad news: The ThanoTech K11 bumper doesn’t actually exist yet. Prototypes exist, but no one can actually purchase a K11 bumper right now. ThanoTech is trying to crowdfund the first round of orders on Kickstarter, and while that means you’ll have to wait until November to get your hands on one, the good news is that early adopters will enjoy a deep discount.

When it launches — presuming the project is successfully funded — the K11 bumper will retail for $39.95. Right now, however, you can preorder one for as little as $20, or half price. That sum will get you a K11 bumper in one of five colors for either the iPhone 6/6s or the iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus.

UPDATE: ThanoTech’s iPhone bumper has now launched and can be purchased on the company’s website or on Amazon.

Looking for an aluminum iPhone bumper that’s on sale now? Here’s one of our favorites.

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