September 21st 2013 – My alarm rang at 7 am, half-awake I jumped out of the bed and went straight to my computer to order the mystical champagne gold iPhone 5S. I rehearsed the ordering process a couple of times the night before because I knew that it would be gone in just hours after the launch. After just a few clicks, something finally really woke me up and had my jaw dropped – Gold iPhone 5S, 16/32/64GB, “available to ship in October”.
Later in the evening, I went to the Apple Store to get my hands on one and Boy! was I really glad that it was sold out that morning. Out of the three colours available, the gold champagne is the one that I found least appealing. The champagne colour is so subtle that when you hold it in a certain angle under a white bright light, it’d look more like a half-caramelized milk that you don’t want to drink.
How I decided to send my iPhone to a company I’ve never heard before
I found Mendmyi on Google when searching for local companies in the UK that can do color customisation like ColorWare in the States. There are a few companies out there that came up on the results, but most are either outside the UK or have a dodgy unconvincing website. Of course there are also some that offer real 18 – 24 carat Gold plating with astronomical price.
Unlike other companies, Mendmyi has an extensive gallery of their previous (real) anodising works.
The word “anodise” itself didn’t make any sense to me before, but after a little bit of research, I learned that it’s actually just a normal colourizing method that Apple itself use to color their iPhone, iPad, iPod, and even Mac lines! In fact, Mendmyi highlights the point that their anodising is slightly thicker than Apple, which means the colour won’t chip as easily – a common issue on the metal back of iPhone 5/5S (especially the slate/space grey colour).
In addition to this, there are some people like myself, who are happy enough to spend an hour or two writing a review or making a video just to share their experience with Mendmyi. To name a few, Tom Rich’s YouTube review, Lewis Painter’s article, Tekcore UK YouTube review. Those alone were more than enough to convince me that Mendmyi is indeed a legit company and delivers the promises they advertised. Another way that I usually used to tell if a company worth your time and money is by sending them an enquiry email asking a lot of questions.. basically trying to be a little of a pain in the a** to see how fast they response, the way they response, and if the person would put their name and details as a signature. I did all that to test Mendmyi on their website, Facebook, and Twitter – They passed all my silly tests and were always helpful no matter what!
Mendmyi Colour Lab: My Experience
Mendmyi provides a handy tool on their website that allows you to design the color combination of your iPhone and see the preview in real-time. With iPhone 5S, you can edit the colour of the metal back, top and bottom of the back and front glass, sim tray, mute button, volume rocker buttons, lock button, and even the home button. This spoils you with thousands of possible colour combinations”
After playing around with the design tool for a while, I’ve decided to have my Space Grey iPhone 5S anodised in a true gold colour. It costs fairly cheap compared to other companies out there like ColorWare, about £100 with VAT and shipping included. The next working day, they arranged for the courier (UPS) to collect your iPhone the following day. Everything was tracked from the moment they collected the phone until it arrived at Mendmyi headquarter and checked by the engineer.
The anodising process took about 10 working days (normally quicker from some reviews that I’ve read), and they kept me updated with the progress via email. But, 99% of people out there who sent their iPhone to a company to be fixed or customised, you’d always find yourself worrying and itching to know and see the device. This is one of the best things that I like about Mendmyi, you can simply send them an email, Facebook message, or a tweet asking about the status of your device, and within minutes they will give you an honest answer. One of their engineers will let you know exactly when you can expect your iPhone back.
When I got my iPhone 5S back, I was completely blown away. I knew how it’d look like, but it somehow still surprised me on how stunning the gold colour looks like. You’d probably think that it came out of Johnny Ive’s lab in Cupertino. It looks a world better from every angle than Apple’s original champagne gold. But of course, this is just a personal choice.
“Mendmyi’s transformed my iPhone 5S into the real Kardashian phone!”
The one thing that really impressed me is how they still managed to maintain the contrast of the Apple logo and small texts on the back plate with slightly different shade. It just looks gorgeous! In fact, it looks so good that I now always put my iPhone 5S faced down on a table, on my lap, anywhere! It’s a head turner and without actually touching the phone itself, people would think that it’s a real gold plated iPhone.
Although Mendmyi’s anodised finish is more scratch-durable than Apple’s original back plate, I’d still put a case on it (or at least get the transparent one) – especially on weekdays when you mainly just working in the office and have no one to show off to. During the weekend, you can remove the case and just use a simple pouch. The one’s that I’m using (as seen on the photo above) is Ted Baker iPhone 5/5S case, which you can get from their retail store or eBay for less than £35.