Folks are hanging onto their smart phone longer these days, so why not splurge a little on a case and get something that will last.
Greenwich Design (@GreenwichMMXV) reached out to me on Twitter and offered to send me one of their leather iPhone cases to try out. So I took a look at their website and immediately knew this was a company worth taking a look at. Here is just a short bit of text explaining their origin story:
“It may not be the biggest or best idea ever to have been born in the pub – and we’ll bet you a pint of bitter that it wasn’t the first – but it is the product of our knowledge, genuine enthusiasm and a commitment to offering a better class of product.”
What Is The Blake Folio?
I left it up to the PR representative from Greenwich to choose a case style and color and they didn’t disappoint. I was sent a Blake Folio with Card Pocket in Scarlet.
When the case arrived my wife watched me unbox it and she pretty quickly grabbed it out of my hands and said that it would be worth giving up her iPhone SE just to be able to carry around this case. The Blake doesn’t have an iPhone SE sized case and it was funny that the PR representative I was working with at Greenwich had the same reaction when she started working with the company. She also gave up her iPhone SE just so she could use a Greenwich leather case.
Below are the major features of the Blake Folio:
- Germany bull hide leather
- Soft Alcantara lining on the inside of the folio to protect your phone screen from scratches
- Under the Alcantara interior is an ultra-light carbon fiber panel for impact protection
- Folio front folds back and magnetically attaches to back of the case to stay out-of-the-way when in use
- Magnetic back work with a separate car air vent for hands-a free driving car mount
- All buttons and the camera are fully accessible via cutouts in the case
- Electroplated shell protects the edges of your phone and keeps with the premium look of the leather
Greenwich leather iPhone cases are hand-made and they use a soft bull hide leather from south Germany (the same leather used for leather interiors of Bentley automobiles). In my opinion the standout feature of this case is the leather…the thick, soft, rich leather feel of this case just melts into your hand.
How Have I Been Using The Black Folio?
Once I snapped my iPhone X into the Blake Folio it never came back out. I’ve been carrying around the Blake Folio for over about two months and the leather has softened and relaxed a bit but still looks like the day I unboxed it. Some leathers distress and change color as they wear but the leather on the Blake seems impervious to wear and the elements.
The most surprising feature of this case is how the front folio panel bends back and attaches via magnets with a crisp satisfying snap so that is stays firmly out-of-the-way while in your hand. The soft Alcantara lining (the lining on the inside front flap) is soft to the touch but rough enough to provide a nice bit of grip to ensure the phone won’t come out of your hand.
We all spend more time that we probably should holding our phones so having a case that is not only protective but also designed for in-the-hand comfort really makes this case stand out from the rest.
After using the case for about two months I noted the following pros and cons:
- Excellent build quality
- Soft yet durable leather
- Complete iPhone protection
- Buttons remain accessible
- Can wirelessly charge through the case
- iPhone can be removed from case easily
- Folio folds with aid of magnets
- Camera is covered when folio is in the folded open position
- Case adds some bulk to a very thin phone
I had one issue with the case (although it ended up not being an issue at all). After using the case for a couple of weeks I noticed that the folio would close over the iPhone screen slightly askew. At first I thought it was an issue with magnet alignment in the case so the company sent me a replacement case. But then I realized that the misalignment was due to the leather relaxing. I always put the iPhone in my pocket in the same orientation and that resulted in an asymmetrical relaxing of the leather at the folio seam. High quality real leather has to be broken in (the same thing happens with leather baseball gloves and shoes). To help “break in” the case a little more evenly I switched up how I put the iPhone in my pocket for a couple of weeks and the case has since uniformly been broken in and closes in perfect alignment.
This is a premium product and it is priced as such at $179. I wouldn’t normally recommend such a high-priced accessory, but in this case it is worth considering if you intend to keep your phone for several years. Our smart phone is probably one of the most utilized product we own these days and it spends more time in our hands each day than we realize. Not everyone will agree with this next statement and that’s ok as this product is not for everyone. The protection and soft buttery leather comfort you get out of using this product day in and day out is hands down worth the price of admission, especially if you plan on keeping your iPhone for several years. I have tried out many leather iPhone cases over the years and I can safely say this is the highest quality leather case I have had the privilege of using. You are absolutely paying for a premium product when you purchase a Greenwich Design case, but you get what you pay for in terms of handmade craftsmanship and leather quality.
The Blake Folio with Card Pocket in Scarlet and the entire line of Greenwich cases is available for purchase on the Greenwich Design website.
Disclaimer: Greenwich Design provided me with a review unit for the purpose of this review.