By Andrew Liszewski
I’m a devout iPhone minimalist when it comes to cases. I don’t even like using the notorious bumper, even if it means a diminished signal. But at the same time I would never stick a bare, unprotected iPhone in my pocket. Since day one I’ve relied on microfiber or suede sleeves to protect it from scratches, but sometimes you want to class things up a bit. And XtremeMac’s leather sleeve for the iPhone 4 does just that. I really hate to review a product without finding some critique on how it can be improved, but this is one of those rare times when I’m hard-pressed to find anything to complain about. More after the jump.
I’m typically not a fan of leather, whether it comes to gadget cases or clothing. And it’s got nothing to do with where it comes from. I enjoy beef, and I see no reason for a cow’s hide to go to waste. Maybe it’s because leather goods come across as too flashy to me sometimes, and I fancy myself a fairly simple chap. But I have to admit I really like how it’s used here in a very simple and understated manner.
I was sent the brown version of the sleeve, which has a nice deep hue, but a black option is also available. I could do without the ‘XtremeMac’ branding imprint on it, but I suspect most people won’t even notice it. The stitching around the outer edge of the case provides a nice contrast, and there were no loose threads that I could see. So whether or not it will withstand the test of time and daily use remains to be seen, but it feels like a very well-made product. And of course it has that fantastic leather smell to it.
The inside of the sleeve features a soft, microsuede interior which will definitely keep your iPhone from getting scratched. And as you can see in this photo the top edge of the sleeve has notches on either side providing a place to grip and easily remove the phone.
I’ve tested other leather cases and products over the years and have found there’s usually a bit of a breaking in period required. For the first while inserting and removing a device can be kind of difficult since the leather is stiff, but that wasn’t the case with this sleeve. Inserting your iPhone provides just enough resistance to assure you that it’s not going to accidentally slide back out on its own. But removing it from the sleeve doesn’t feel like you’ll need a team of horses pulling with all their might either. It’s as snug as it needs to be, right out of the box.
And not surprisingly when inserted all the way in the sleeve provides a perfect fit for the iPhone 4. I was going to make a comment that I would have maybe preferred the top of the phone to sit a bit deeper into the sleeve, instead of flush with the top. But I realized that any extra leather hanging over would get crushed, folded and creased over time, making it difficult to easily slip the iPhone into the opening.
But what I like best about XtremeMac’s Leather Sleeve is that you can pick one up for just $24.99. I’m sure even cheaper leather options can be found, but for a minimal investment you’re getting a high-quality case that isn’t going to suddenly fall apart after just a few months’ use.
+ A stylish alternative to microfiber or suede sleeves.
+ High-quality construction and materials.
+ Has that enjoyable leather smell.
+ Provides a perfect fit for your iPhone 4. Not too tight or loose.
– It is made from a deceased animal, if that kind of thing bothers you.
XtremeMac Leather Sleeve for the iPhone 4 – $24.99
If you have any questions about the XtremeMac Leather Sleeve you’d like answered, please feel free to leave them in the comments, and I’ll try to respond to them as best I can.