Published on 19th May 2014 | by Tim
Apple Leather Case For iPhone 5/5S Review
Apple doesn’t very often make cases for its iPhone range. In the past we’ve had a range of bumper cases for the iPhone 4 and 4S but that’s been about it on the official front until the release of the iPhone 5S.
Like most people, I prefer to use a case with my iPhone, after spending hundreds of pounds on a well designed and beautiful piece of hardware I want to protect my investment. Generally I’ve always purchased cases from well know manufacturers and tend to favour using one or two cases over the life of my iPhone.
So when Apple announced its leather case alongside the iPhone 5S naturally I wanted one and ended up going for a black case to complement my silver iPhone 5S. I’ve been using the case on a daily basis since getting my hands on the iPhone 5S after the initial launch delay.
The case is made from genuine leather and certainly has a high quality look and feel to it, not that you’d expect anything less from an official accessory. It’s been perfectly manufactured to fit both the iPhone 5 and 5S and all of the accompanying buttons and ports.
The outside of the case is all leather in your colour of choice, the inside of the case has a soft microfibre lining to protect your iPhone. Too many cheaper cases have zero protection on the inside and can often cause scratches to your iPhone particularly if dust or small particles get into the case.
You have all the usual cutouts and coverings, on the back there’s a cutout for the camera and flash, on the top there’s a raised covering for the sleep/wake button, on the side is a cutout for the silent/ring switch and raised leather coverings for the volume buttons. On the bottom of the case are two cutouts, one for the headphone jack and one for the Lightning port, plus individual drilled holes for the speaker and microphone.
When it comes to fit I usually find that a lot of cases can be quite difficult to get on and off and could potentially damage your iPhone in the process. That’s not really anything you have to worry about with the leather case due to its microfibre lining and it’s very easy to put the case on simply by pressing the iPhone until it’s in place. Getting the case off is a little more difficult but not quite as difficult as other cases I’ve used in the past. It usually requires putting your iPhone face down and pressing out one of the bottom corners. This can take a little bit of work initially, but once you get the hang of it it’s pretty easy to do and the rest of the phone comes out easily.
Most people like to have a case with a lay-on-the-table design so that the screen of the iPhone doesn’t get marked or scratched when lying face down. The leather case is slightly raised along the front edge to prevent the screen from touching a flat surface.
At this stage, I should also point out some observations from other reviews and comments around the web with regards to the cutout for the headphone jack and lightning port. The headphone jack cutout will typically only allow the use of the official Apple EarPods and as such is quite small. I’ve tested it with the half dozen sets of headphones that I own and only one of them will fit correctly. So if you plan on using a third-party set of headphones, then only those with a small jack are likely to fit.
I found the cutout for the lightning connector to be more than ample, it works with the official lightning connector supplied by Apple, despite claims to the contrary in different customer reviews. I also use a third-party cable from Griffin which has a slightly larger end when compared to the official cable, but this fits perfectly with a little room to spare. As long as you don’t have an abnormally large end to your cable then it should fit fine.
Then we come to every day wear and tear and how well the case has held up after around 8 months of use. I think your choice of colour will greatly affect how well the case looks after a period of time and I’ve seen cases after only a few weeks look like they’ve been around for a year. Plus there’s also the factor of how you use the case and how well you look after it to be taken into consideration.
For the most part, my leather case is like new and has held up very well without any noticeable marks or scratches. I generally have my iPhone on my desk during the day and in my jeans pocket if I go out so it’s pretty well looked after. It has lost its leather smell, it seems to disappear after a few weeks, but still looks great.
I do have a few marks on the bottom of the case that I should probably admit to, although it hasn’t come from every day wear and tear. In the process of attempting to remove the case from my iPhone I accidentally scratched off some of the leather on a few occasions. Something that I’ve been very careful about ever since.
Overall it’s a great case and will complement your iPhone 5 or 5S extremely well. It costs more than most cases, but if you’re like me and prefer to have one high quality case for the life of your iPhone then it’s worth the investment. The design is simple, it adds extra grip to your iPhone and I appreciate the precision with which this case has been manufactured. You only need to look at how perfectly the holes for the speaker and microphone exactly lineup with those on the iPhone to know what I mean.
As mentioned, it’s worth taking into consideration the accessories you’re going to use with the case due to the small cutouts, but I guess that’s common with most cases. Plus there’s every day wear and tear to factor in as everyone handles their cases differently and it would be a shame to splash out on such a nice case only to find it ruined a short period later.
You can purchase the Apple Leather Case from the Apple Store, it’s available in black, brown, beige, yellow, blue and Product RED.
from Apple | £35.00/€39.00/$39.00
Summary: An official case from Apple that perfectly fits your iPhone, made from genuine leather and with a microfibre lining. Has all the usual cutouts and easy to add and remove your iPhone. Might not be ideal for some based on accessories used and there's every day wear and tear to take into consideration. Overall a well designed case, that looks great and complements your iPhone, highly recommended.