Leather iPod and iPhone cases just keep appearing, and we keep on checking them out in hopes that something new and exciting will rock our world. Today, we’re looking at five new case designs from Capdase, CoverCase, JAVOedge, PDO, and XtremeMac; they range in price from $15 to $30 and vary quite a bit in features, but they all are similar enough to prior, competing products that we’re only briefly covering each one.
The last of today’s iPhone-specific leather cases is JAVOedge’s JAVOLeather Case for iPhone ($30). Somewhat like Griffin’s earlier Elan Convertible cases, the JAVOLeather Case is a two-piece leather iPhone holder with a detachable front lid that uses two magnets and a snap to stay in place. Black, red, or pink versions are available, each enabling you to pull the lid off and use the case purely as a play-through iPhone holder if you prefer, with full screen and control access; the only part that doesn’t come off is the rear belt clip. Unlike Elan Convertible, the lid doesn’t double as a video stand; it’s just there for added protection. JAVOedge’s leather feels a little inexpensive, but not bad.
Once removed, the lid exposes the iPhone’s ear speaker, screen, and Home button, while the rest of the semi-reinforced case covers everything save for iPhone’s top and side corners, and most of its bottom around the Dock Connector, speaker, and microphone. Somewhat surprisingly, the case is not Universal Dock friendly; the bottom of the iPhone is sunk a couple of millimeters too deep to connect to most full-width bottom accessories. Standard Apple cables, and others, do fit if you push them inside.
There are a few odd, less than high-quality touches that detract from the case’s otherwise good design. Most notably, there’s no camera hole in the back, which means that using the case cripples one of iPhone’s most distinctive features—the major reason JAVOLeather Case misses our B recommendation level. JAVOedge also covers the side volume buttons enough that the top button is hard to use and the bottom one is impossible to access while inside. Finally, the case’s interior leather is also tailored sloppily in a manner that unevenly exposes parts of the iPhone’s chrome bezel. It’s not an issue when you’re using the front-covering lid, but it doesn’t look great whenever the case is open.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: JAVOedge’s single biggest issue right now is quality control. With a few very small changes, this case could have been a legitimately good option for iPhone users, but sloppy execution detracts from its looks and the iPhone’s ability to properly perform while inside. Until the company starts to thoroughly check the stuff it’s reselling from overseas manufacturers, we’d think twice about picking its products over better-tested alternatives, especially when there’s little or no price incentive to pick these instead.
Company and Price
Model: JAVOLeather Case