After damaging the screens of my trusty iPod Touch and my iPhone within the span of a single week, I began to realize that I may be the kind of user who requires a bit more coverage from a device case. Sure, the shells I had in place on both units did a fine job protecting the bulk of the systems, but the touchscreens, typically the component most prone to drop damage, remained more or less unshielded. What I was looking for was, for lack of a better phrase, an iPhone wallet: a sturdy case that offered protection for the phone’s frame and screen. What I found was just that.
The Saddleback Leather In-Genius Case by Tuff-Luv is an all-in-one cover solution with a twist. A sturdy shell clips snugly to the back of the iPhone, and a tough outer leather covering provides that much needed drop protection. The face of the phone is also well shielded by a leather flap that snaps in place via an attached tab. The most interesting aspect of this design – aside, of course, from the handsome metal Tuff-Luv logo affixed to the front – in the inclusion of a pair of pockets inside the front flap. They are small enough so as to not add unsightly bulk, but thick enough to prevent a stored license or credit card from damaging the touchscreen we’re all so desperate to protect. The secure tab also doubles as a quick-release that pulls the card (or tidy wad of cash) in the top pocket out for easy access.
It’s not exactly a game-changing design, but it’s elegant enough to work. The case is finely crafted and affords access to all the necessary ports and buttons, which means you don’t have to fuss with taking it off every time you need to recharge. But even if you did it wouldn’t pose a particular problem, as the In-Genius pops off and snaps back on with ease.
The only drawback is the bulk. Though marginal compared to many case solutions, it does increase the overall form factor, and the added heft may make the iPhone a bit too broad for some pockets. Still, it’s a fairly elegant solution to the lingering problem of adequate all-over protection. The inside storage flaps also make it ideal for those times when you want to travel light.
This particular model is currently available for pre-order at £32.99 (about $52 American), which puts it on par with other “designer” cases for the iPhone 4, but similar styles are available via the domestic Tuff-Luv Amazon storefront for significantly less. Personally, I’m not sure if I’m ready to adopt the Tuff-Luv In-Genius as my full-time iPhone case, but it’s a handy and handsome solution that certainly lives up to its name.
WIRED: quality construction, sturdy build with great touchscreen protection, access to all buttons and ports, additional storage, innovative pull-tab
TIRED: somewhat bulky, price
Review materials provided by: Tuff Luv