They say "second time's a charm", and in the case (no pun intended) of Caudabe's newest Sheath Case for the iPhone 6/S it is indeed. I have always been a fan of Caudabe's products, especially of the razor thin Veil and Veil XT cases. Caudabe's newest case, the Sheath, is aimed at iPhone 6/S owners who want a thin case with some measure of drop protection and a bit of grip thrown in for good measure.
When the Sheath was first made available, I placed an order for the red version. Upon the receiving the case, I found it very difficult to put on and no matter how I tried to adjust the fit, was unable to get the camera and flash to align properly. I have included snap shots of the red case in this review along with the gray version. In addition, I was using a metal plate on the back of my phone for a magnetic mounting in my car so the plate would cause a bit of a hump in the back of my phone. I have since ditched the magnetic mount in my car and have gone with a clasp-type holder so a plate is no longer necessary. Obviously, having the plate present wasn't a issue with the case itself, but rather my own. Even though I am a fan of red cases, especially for the silver/white iPhone, I wasn't a fan of the red color offering for the Sheath so I ended up returning it for a refund. However, I did like how thin case was and the level of protection it offered so after getting a different car mount I decided to pick up the gray version of the case, and let me tell you, I am glad that I did.
The Sheath is a svelte .99mm thick full coverage case. Caudabe calls the material ShockLite, a soft gel-like, flexible polymer with shock protection. It's not quite silicone in feel, as opposed to the sticky Apple Silicone case but it does offer a relatively good grip to the iPhone when it's on. Getting the case on presented some problems and a bit of frustration. Even following the directions that come with the case, it is EXTREMELY difficult to get on. Inserting the top of the iPhone first and then working your way down to the corner of the phone with the audio jack was pretty easy. Getting the opposite lower corner into the case took me awhile. It required me stretching out the case while slipping the corner in. After several attempts I was able to get the case fully installed. As opposed to the red case, the gray was on-point and precise when it came to all cutouts around the case. Once the Sheath is on, it's REALLY on, offering no give in either the sides or top/bottom of the iPhone.
One of really nice features of this case is the individual cutouts for both the rear camera and flash. Most cases have a large, single cutout which has open space for both the camera and flash. The individual cutouts, when aligned properly give the case a polished look. The back and sides of the Sheath have simulated antenna lines in a darker color than the rest of the case that match those of the iPhone. Whether or not you are a fan of the iPhone antenna lines, the addition of this small touch separates the Sheath in terms of look from other cases on the market. In essence, the Sheath looks like it belongs on the iPhone 6/S. The red version of the case is barely translucent, showing the Apple logo in the back but the darker colors like the gray and black are not. On the front, the Sheath offers a ever-so-slight lip offering a lay-on-the-table design. I suspect the lip will support 3rd party tempered glass protectors without issue. All buttons are covered and offer great tactile response. Caudabe claims it has reinforced the area around the iPhone lightning port and from what I can tell, it does seems seem sturdy and able to stand up to long-term use. Due to the thinness of the case, there should be no problems with docks and most lightning charging cables.
Overall, I am enjoying the gray Sheath on my iPhone 6s. It meets all my criteria for a slim case, while providing more protection and lay-on-table design over the thinner Veil XT. Six Plus owners fear not, Caudabe claims a version for the larger phone is coming. But for now iPhone 6/S owners should take a look at this new Caudabe offering. The case is offered in black, gray, blue, and red. I am glad I gave the Sheath a second chance. Aside from the difficulty of getting the case on initially, the Sheath is worthy addition to my iPhone 6s case collection and one that I will continue to enjoy using.
Caudabe The Sheath_ - $19.95
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.