Get a Grip: Nomad Clear Case for iPhone X

Computing Reviews

If you are anything like me and are used to carrying an iPhone without a case, then purchasing and using any case for you (and me) is a hard sell. But that is exactly who this case is made for.

An interesting combination of leather and see-thru case (image from Nomad)


The Case Specs

The heart of this case is a clear polycarbonate shell fused to a rubber TPE bumper which ends at a level just slightly above the surface of the screen (giving it edge to edge protection). The bumper protects all of the edges–the top, bottom, and side edges, while the clear polycarbonate covers most of the back (except for the leather section). The sides and bottom of the iPhone have cutouts in the TPE bumper for the two bottom speakers and lightning port as well as the mute switch on the side of the phone. The polycarbonate back then has a cutout for the dual cameras on the back of the iPhone X. The side button and the two volume up/down buttons on the opposite side all have physical button covers. The button covers are a bit unique in that they float and have a bit of independent movement from the rest of the frame. In fact, if you shake the phone while it is in the case you can barely hear the button inserts rattle slightly against the case. But unlike most physical buttons on cases, these are actually very easy to use and have a good touch/response.

If the clear polycarbonate shell is the heart of this case then the Horween leather partial backing is the soul. Extending from just below the Apple logo on the back of the iPhone down to the bottom of the case just above the lightning port is a section of Horween leather. This is a very solid and “grippy” piece of leather that gives the case a very unique character and, most importantly, will also provide the user some very much appreciated grip.

The Clear Case for iPhone X adds very little to the thin profile of the iPhone X (image from Nomad)


As I alluded to in the intro to this review, I am a “caseless” kind of guy. My previous phone (the iPhone 7 Plus) I carried for a year without any kind of case and I loved every minute of it. The case easily slid in and out of my pockets, but the Jet Black finish of the iPhone was just tacky enough that it provided enough grip to keep the phone in my hand. With the all-glass front and back of the new iPhone X, sadly, this is no longer the case. I tried carrying my brand new iPhone X around caseless and it just wasn’t practical. The combination of the slicker glass back and the slightly smaller form factor (going from a Plus sized iPhone) just made the phone way too easy to drop. That is why I contacted Nomad about doing this review. I really hoped that their Clear Case for iPhone X struck a good balance between a thin and protective case, not hiding all of the iPhone design and providing some classy grip with their Horween leather backing… and Nomad delivered on that hope.

I’ve been using the Nomad Clear Case for iPhone X for almost a month now. Going into this little experiment I really didn’t think I would stick with using a case for my iPhone X, but I wanted to at least give it a shot. I’m very careful with my iPhones, so my primary reason for getting a case wasn’t so much for the overall protection, but more for the confidence that it will stay in my hand or in my pocket. After all, the one ding I had on my iPhone 7 Plus was from when it slipped out of my baggy shorts pocket in a movie theater on to the concrete floor. The Horween leather definitely does the trick from a grip perspective and the extra roughness from the TPE bumper really helps too. There is no doubt in my mind now that when my iPhone is in my hand or in my pocket that it will stay there–you know, instead of finding the floor. So this caseless guy is leaving the Nomad Clear Case for iPhone X on his iPhone for the foreseeable future.

My battle-worn Clear Case for iPhone X and the leather looks better and better the more I carry it (Photo by Skip Owens)

Available Cases & Where to Buy

As I write this article, the Nomad Clear Case for iPhone X is a bit challenging to find. You can buy it directly from Nomad (although as of early December it is currently back ordered for about a week) or you can buy it from The Nomad Clear Case is also available for the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus.

Disclaimer: Nomad provided me with a Nomad Clear Case for iPhone X for the purposes of this review, but had no input into the review itself.

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