I had a craving to put a leather case on my 2 month old iPhone 6S, knowing full well that the iPhone 6 form factor will most likely change with the release of the iPhone 7 next fall. After my experience with the Product (RED) leather case for the 5S and a black Apple Leather for the 6S, Apple's offerings left me underwhelmed and looking elsewhere. Enter Bellroy.
Mostly known for their product line of thin leather wallets (one of which I own), Bellroy now.offers a variety of smartphone cases with and without storage for items such as cash and plastic cards. Since I already own a separate iPhone 6/s wallet case, I decided to purchase the basic iPhone 6 case in a shade of red Bellroy calls Tamarillo. Bellroy also offers the case in Black, Blue Steel, Java (Brown), and Charcoal.
The case is a basic snap on that covers the top and both sides of the iPhone, leaving the bottom exposed to accommodate various plugs, chargers, docks, etc. The case feels very good in the hand (I'll get to the leather below). Compared to the Apple offerings, the Bellroy case feels and looks thinner. Even on a 6S, which is slightly thicker than the 6, there is a very slight lip which provides just enough lay-on-the-table protection to allow putting the phone down without worry of the screen touching the surface. The lip is not intrusive when touching the edges of the iPhone.
Being a leather case, the quality of the leather used and it's durability certainly come into play over the long term when using the case. As I mentioned above, I had purchased an Apple leather case for the 5S in Product(RED), and the aniline leather and coloring wore really badly, even after a couple of weeks. Some people like a "worn" look when it comes to leather, but in the situation with the Apple leather case, over the span of a couple of weeks, it became downright nasty looking. Even the Black leather Apple case I have for the iPhone 6, after several months became course and rough looking. It's the nature of leather, I get it. The leather used on the Bellroy case is very soft and feels good to the touch (even a little slippery). It should be noted that the back of the case is leather with the sides being a similar colored polycarbonate (plastic). One can hardly notice the transition from the leather back to the polycarbonate sides. Only a seam in case that runs the length of the sides can really identify where the leather ends and the polycarbonate begins. Overall, the look is very clean and classy. Bellroy states in their product specifications that the leather used is "vegetable tanned" which doesn't say much for its durability over the long haul. Only time will tell how this case holds up with daily use.
In terms of control access, the power, volume buttons, and mute switch are easily accessible. Not a surprise given the thinness of the case. The camera opening also includes a black out ring border to help minimize flash issues.
In summary, the Bellroy case for the iPhone 6/S is a quality leather case that is nice to hold and looks great. As with most snap on cases, there is a trade off between convenience and bulk versus the amount of protection the case offers. I plan on using the Bellroy case as my primary case for the immediate future. How it holds up in terms of looks and leather quality remains to be seen. Hopefully this case can get me through the next several months until the iPhone 7. Based on my initial use so far, I highly recommend this case for people who are looking for a reasonably priced, good quality alternative to Apple's Leather case.
Bellroy - $49.95
As an avid tech fan I look forward to sharing my tech experiences both personally and professionally with those that have similar interests and passion for technology.