With any new iPhone, especially one that introduces a new form factor, there is a race to deliver new cases. The iPhone 6 is an absolutely stunning piece of aluminum and glass, but it’s not impervious to scratches. As the manufacturer, Apple of course has advanced access and can spend time ‘perfecting’ their accessories. When it comes to cases designed by Apple, there are two distinctly different options – leather or silicone. Both command a slightly higher premium compared to third-party accessory manufacturers. I’ve spent time evaluating the Apple iPhone 6 Leather case. Does it hold up to the demands of every day use? Is it the perfect accompaniment to the iPhone 6?
The case comes in traditional minimalist packaging that we’ve come to expect from Apple products. There are directions for installing the case. It’s recommended you snap on the case from top to bottom and working the sides to be sure it’s properly inserted. Removing the case is just as easy, accomplished by reversing the process. As for the overall fit, it’s snug, but not what I would describe as tight. I often switch cases, so for me, this is perfect. There is zero movement between the case and the phone. Should you drop your phone, I think it’s highly unlikely that your iPhone 6 would dislodge from the case. I think the materials play a big part in providing a case that fits well, is easy to remove and will stay on during any sort of impact. Let’s talk a bit about the materials.
These leather cases that are infused with a dye to provide color. Oh by the way, you can choose from brown, soft pink, navy blue, red or classic black. I’ve been using the brown, while my wife has been using pink. These look fantastic out of the box, but I waited a few weeks so that I could test how the respond to wear and tear. The previous leather case from Apple did have its share of critics with regard to durability. A quick perusal of reviews at Apple’s website seem to show more negative reviews for lighter cases, which are more susceptible to showing dirt. So how did our cases hold up?
My case (yes I’m using brown), did not show any dirt. The leather does seem a bit more worn in on the back. Nothing alarming. It’s just the natural progression from new to being thrust into a world of hands. Your hands naturally have oils and this will help age your case. I personally like how it’s been worn and although it has no scratches yet, I’m not adverse to a case that has a bit of character and scratches can do that. Yes, scratches can be a good thing. While I’ll most certainly resell my iPhone 6 at some point, I don’t have any expectations of resale from my case. Plus, it’ll probably fit the iPhone 6S, assuming Apple follows their traditional release schedule. One of my concerns was how it would react to my cheap plastic car holder. It’s not terrible, but the one-touch snap does grip tightly. I noticed one small mark on the side. Overall, it seemed to fair well to daily use.
I can say with relative certainty that my wife doesn’t care for her phone at my level of obsession. It’s routinely dropped in the cavernous bottom of her pocketbook, left to fend against makeup, loose change, keys and more. Checking in on her case produced some differences from mine. She had a few noticeable scuff marks on the sides, where you can see small pieces of grain lifted from the surface, likely caused by an encounter with a set of keys or something rigid. For a soft pink case, it was extremely clean.
Two users, two different cases and both fared well. My wife’s scuffs are minor and unless you’re hypersensitive to keeping things perfect, these are the types of wear that can be expected from a leather case. Care for it as if it were your iPhone 6 and it should remain in good condition. This being leather, you’ll want to avoid water. This sounds obvious, but we put our phones on kitchen counter daily. A plastic case won’t see the affects of water, but this case might.
Feel, Function and Protection
This case feels great and certainly gives my already premium iPhone 6 that same premium feel, but it in a case. The leather is extremely soft and it’s easy to grip. It’s not the thinnest case on the market, but should still have appeal to those who prefer minimal style cases. The volume up/down and sleep/wake buttons are all covered. Don’t worry, they remain extremely clicky with the case on. There is a cutout on the back, with a black inlay, for the camera. The camera on the iPhone 6 naturally protrudes. With this case, there is zero movement if you lay it down on a flat surface.
The ringer switch cutout feels a tad bit small for my taste. I don’t access it all that often. If I were switching this on/off a few times daily, this might be a bigger issue for me. I have to wedge my fingernail in the hole to make the switch.
All four corners of the iPhone are covered. At the bottom, there is a wide cutout that leaves the entire bottom exposed. This could lead to damage if there a direct impact. Personally, I’m more concerned with small scratches over time. Lots of people put their phones in a cupholder while driving. That’s off limits with this case. Let’s talk a bit more about protection.
The left, right and top edges of the case are slightly higher than the display. The best thing this has going for it would be the corners, which can be phone-killers. When I look at the design, I think it was intended to keep the display off the surface if you lie it face down. Case or no case, I’m not sure why anyone would do that, but it does offer protection for your display. The back is completely covered. On the interior of the case is a soft microfiber lining, perfect for keeping your iPhone 6 scratch free.
The level of protection you’re going to get is minimal. You should know this going in. This case is big on fashion and style. Protecting it should it bounce off pavement? Not so much. The lack of any serious raised bezel, a wide open bottom and no real shock protection are concerns, if you’re main objective is protecting your phone against drops.
How you care for your phone should help inform your decision on whether you should buy this case. There’s nothing more deflating than dropping your iPhone and seeing your display shatter into a giant spiderweb. No one knows with absolute certainty if a drop is in their future. Self-assess based on your past experiences and set your expectations for this case accordingly. A tempered glass screen protector paired with this case isn’t a terrible idea. They typically absorb any shattering. It’s much better to be out $30 than $130 (the cost of replacing a screen at Apple). If you’re tough on your iPhone (and its case), this case isn’t for you. While our cases didn’t experience loss of color or dirt, there are enough users with similar complaints to indicate the problem does affect a lot of folks. If you’ve had smashed displays in the past, ask yourself if this time will be different. Is the tradeoff between carrying a minimal case worth the risk?
If you’re still reading and I haven’t scared you off, there’s plenty to like with Apple’s iPhone 6 leather cases. I find them to be meticulously designed, offering a fit that is both snug, but not so tight that switching is effortless. There is a focus on usability that is also to be appreciated. My iPhone 6 works no differently, with our without the case. Adding it brings a premium feel and an element of class, distinction. Over time, it’ll get a few nicks and that’s normal, as is the natural wear and tear that will be evident in any leather case. If you can get past the minimal protection, the look, feel and quality is well worth the investment, making it a perfect accompaniment to your iPhone 6.
Apple’s leather case for the iPhone 6 retails for $45. If you have a 6 Plus, that’s slightly more expensive at $49.