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39-Word Review of the $39 iPhone 5s Case

Its exterior leather feels nice and the microfiber interior protects the iPhone’s finish, but the case fits so tightly that it’s hard to remove. Worse, it makes the buttons hard to press, and it bulks up my sleek iPhone.favicon follow link


Comments about 39-Word Review of the $39 iPhone 5s Case
(Comments are closed.)

Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2013-09-24 14:59

Robert Stephens  2013-09-24 15:43
Further concern - finger grease - as with ipad case - i hope it has a special coating to prevent long-term grease marks from usage.
Floggy Bottom  2013-09-24 15:52
It's leather. It's *supposed* to age with grease and handling.
Rick Deckard  2013-09-24 16:07
I get that, but is it ***Corinthian*** leather???
"Rich Corinthian leather."

Given the use of Markdown, the reference to Blade Runner, and the obsession with Corinthian leather, I'm going to hazard a guess that "Rick Deckard" commenting here is @gruber. Although the triple question marks don't seem like him.
Ray Gos  2013-09-24 17:38
It is, indeed, the finest Corinthian leather. (And don't forget to trill that 'r'.)
Brad Root  2013-09-25 02:52
Yes it very much seems like John Gruber for him to post a cheeky comment on a website under a pseudonym befitting a fanboy. /s
Corinth is famous for its leather!
Steven  2013-09-24 20:26
I don't think anyone's going to put a special coating on leather to prevent it from looking like - leather.
iandanger  2013-09-24 17:59
They lost me at leather. Why does a cow have to die for my phone to be protected?
Steven  2013-09-24 20:28
You certainly have the right to feel this way, although, besides vegans and animal rights activists, most people have accepted that cows die for many purposes in our society.
The fact that it is accepted practice is not a valid measure of ethics. Most people once accepted slavery. Didn't make it right.
I'd favor a fake-leather case as well. My iPad has a product RED leather smart cover; but if that had been available in a fake-leather variant I'd have taken it without hesitation, even at the same price. Too bad Apple only offers nice-feeling leather and crappy rubber plastic.
Mattand  2013-09-25 11:27
Is there some sort of Godwin's Law corollary for comparing the horrible crime of human slavery with using cows for food and leather?

Because if there isn't, I nominate Shen's Corollary of Trivializing Slavery.
RJay Hansen rjay  2013-09-25 11:20
I would hazard a guess that the cow didn't die specifically to provide leather for your phone case. But it does sound dramatic to put it that way.
Josh Centers  2013-09-25 11:34
I don't think it's fair to accuse Shen of trivializing slavery. He clearly has a strong feeling that animal life is every bit as sacred as human life, and by that logic, we not only enslave animals but commit genocide against them on a daily basis.

I, however, don't share that view, and I enjoy my leather and burgers.
Jay Cotton  2013-09-24 18:01
But that is also why I like the case: it has a very precise, snug fit. If you need to remove the phone regularly, it might get annoying.

Also, maybe the leather will improve with use like a baseball glove. It would get softer over the buttons, making them easier to press.

It seems like a really nice case to me. I think I'm going to get a brown one for my black iPhone.
Supacon  2013-09-24 18:11
I got the black one and it's the best case I've owned. Yes, it's hard to take off - I've gotten used to it, but I don't need to do this often anyways.

It's less bulky than any other case I've owned but still adds the right amount of grippiness, seems to protect against minor bumps and drops and surface scratches and it feels soft and supple in all the best ways.

The case doesn't cover the surface at all unlike most cases which make swiping from the sides much more difficult.

The buttons were a bit hard to press initially, but I was able to work them in a bit with a retracted ball-point pen hole and this made it much easier.

I'm used to buying TPU cases from China for $2 so the price was a hard pill to swallow, but I am actually very satisfied with what I've received and it's exactly the kind of case I want. I think this feels much nicer than the naked iPhone to hold, and it inspires more confidence that it will survive bumps, drops, and being thrown into my pocket with keys.
Steven  2013-09-24 20:22
I find reviews that complain about cases adding bulk to be totally redundant. Any case is going to add some measure of bulk - it must in order to serve its purpose. To criticize a case for adding bulk is to criticize it for being what it is.

Anytime you consider casing your iPhone you are choosing between two priorities: maximizing the experience of the sleek design or minimizing the chance of wear and damage. I think most people understand that and choose accordingly.
perfectly stated.
Edward Sung  2013-09-25 07:57
"Case fits so tightly that it's hard to remove" for me is a feature rather than a bug. I like my current case (Speck Pixelskin HD) OK, but the fit is just ever so loose, which, yes, makes the case easy to remove, but the other 99.9999% of the time I'm using it, it causes the phone to jiggle around very slightly, which doesn't feel good. I think a more relevant question would be whether the case is made so that prying it off doesn't damage itself or the phone. The fact that this case is lined with microfiber sounds like it at least wouldn't scratch the phone when you remove it.

As for the complaint about bulk, I'm not sure that's a legit criticism of any phone case. There are thin cases and bulky cases that serve different purposes - you don't buy an Otterbox case because you want something svelte. It's like complaining that a Chevy Suburban isn't as compact as a Smart Car.