Having written about mobile technology in some form or fashion for the last fifteen years, it is easy to get jaded. Many accessories and frankly even smartphones look the same these days and when I get one in to review, rarely do I have a reaction beyond a smile or two. That is never the case when I get to review a Noreve case. Based in St Tropez in the south of France, Noreve has been producing handcrafted leather cases for a wide range of smartphones, laptops, cameras, and even personal leather goods like wallets for years. They are very much a couture designer, bringing stunningly high quality leathers and craftsmanship to their products.
A few weeks ago I received the Leather Cover case for my iPhone XS. It is one of several cases that Noreve makes for the iPhone XS (and other models) and I took the liberty to have a truly custom made case made for myself. The results are stunning, even on a simple shell case like this one. While the price is more than your average case for an iPhone, there is nothing average about this one from Noreve.
First, a bit of background. The case reviewed here is what Noreve calls the Leather Cover and it specifically covers what the company refers to as the Tradition E – 2120TE model. That particular SKU is for the iPhone XS but you can get the case for the iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. All of the discussion in this review about the quality of the leather, design, craftsmanship, and functionality will be the same no matter which iPhone model you pick up this case.
Second, this case was a custom order case from Noreve. I specifically chose this case for two reasons. First, to see how long it took to get this case versus a “stock” case from the company (i.e. one they kept on hand in small quantities). Second, I wanted a case that was unique to me. In particular, I chose the PERPÉTUELLE leather finish. This is a smooth leather that matches other Noreve cases I have in my life for my iPad and my MacBook. The exterior is Black while I selected to have Red leather on the inside of the case. That added a $9.50 additional charge for the case. But, personally, I love the look.
Unboxing and Initial Impressions
I have said in previous reviews of Noreve products that the first impression you get is when you open up the shipping packaging. Every product from the company comes in a heavy cardboard box with a black base and red top. Open it up and you will find your case in a red dust bag. It screams luxury all the way through this unboxing and when you first put your hands on your case, you will immediately get why their cases are raved about both in the tech world as well as the fashion world.
The first thing that strikes you is the quality of craftsmanship and the quality of the materials used. The expectation is that if you are paying a premium for a high quality case for your iPhone, you should get a premium product. Noreve provides that and once you actually hold the case for the first time it will remove any doubt of if you paid too much for what you are getting in return.
Quality and Craftsmanship
Let me expand on my previous comments around quality and craftsmanship. While the two go hand-in-hand, they are two distinct elements to discuss. First, quality, by which I mean the quality of the materials used. In the case of the iPhone Leather Cover, Noreve uses high quality, durable leathers wrapped around a hard plastic shell that makes up the case. For the case I’m reviewing, it is made of the smooth PERPÉTUELLE leather but any of the various styles of leathers that you chose from Noreve, you will see and feel the high quality of the leather used.
Second comes the craftsmanship. Noreve hand crafts each case that you purchase from them. That means an individual built your case, not a machine. That shows in the uniformity of the stitching and attention to detail in the case. In the case of the Leather Cover, the single piece of leather that is tightly wrapped around the plastic shell that makes up the cover. For my cover, I selected to have a red PERPÉTUELLE leather added for an extra bit of flare. That piece is tightly pressed into the cover and glued into place.
Whether you do the additional internal leather color or not, you will still get the same quality of materials and attention to detail in the crafting of the case.
Overall Design & Installation
The Leather Cover for iPhone is designed to fit perfectly to your particular iPhone model with the appropriate cutouts and access to buttons and ports. As this review is based on the Leather Cover for the iPhone XS, you have a precision cut aperture for the dual cameras in the back of the case while the sides of the case have shallow cutouts for you to access the power button as well as the volume rocker on each side of the iPhone XS. The bottom of the case also has a shallow cutout to allow easy access to your Lightning connector and the speakers are not covered to give you maximum audio output.
Each of the corners of the case wrap around to the top edge of your iPhone as do the sides of the case where you do not have any buttons to access. This allows the cover to fit snuggly over your iPhone but doesn’t add a lot of bulk. Installing your iPhone into the cover is very easy. Simply slide the top two edges of your iPhone into the case then press the bottom of it down into the cover. It will “snap” into place.
Conclusion & Recommendation
I’ve had the fortune to review over a dozen different products from Noreve and in each case, I’ve never come away disappointed. I feel the same way about the Leather Cover for my iPhone XS. The fit and finish are second-to-none as are the quality of the materials used. It is simply a joy to pick up my iPhone XS and feel the supple leather of the Noreve case but also knowing it is providing excellent protection that doesn’t get in the way. Frankly, you hardly notice it is there. I have no hesitation in recommending this case for your iPhone, regardless of model. I’m confident you will find it to be everything you want and expect in a couture case.
For the iPhone XS, the Noreve Leather Cover starts at $52.19. As reviewed, the case is $61.68. You can get more details on the Noreve site. Remember that you can pick up this Leather Cover for a wide range of iPhone models including the iPhone 6, 6s, 7, 8 and iPhone X as well as the newer iPhone XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR.