We’re seeing a rather unusual pattern with smartphone cases these days. Cases are intended to protect the phones we rely on each and every day, shielding them from the unexpected bumps and scrapes that invariably happen on a daily basis. However, we’re now seeing a trend for smartphone cases which wear and tear over time, and this adds to their overall charm. These are almost always leather cases, and as we know, leather ages more gracefully than other materials, developing a patina which makes it even more unique.
While there are a great many pure-leather cases out there, Nomad’s Rugged Case range mixes the robust nature of plastic with a leather backing to produce a case which is both strong and looks amazing. The plastic frame has been drop-tested up to 6 feet, and is almost certain to protect the phone better than a pure leather case.
However, it’s that eye-catching leather back that really sells this case. Nomad has used Horween leather on this particular case, which – so we’re told – ensures you get a really pleasing patina over time. Nomad is so proud of this element of the case that it actually uses an image of a case that has been used for 100 days in its promotional material.
It’s worth noting, however, that leather cases do pick up bumps and marks with alarming ease, and it’s actually quite shocking to see your first indentation or scratch, especially when the case is relatively new and box-fresh. However, each mark adds some character to the case, and over time it truly does develop a character all its own. Leather also gives more traction during use, which means you’re less likely to drop the Nomad case when you’re using the phone.
While it’s not as robust as some of the other cases you can buy – many of which have military-grade protection – the Nomad is pretty tough, and it’s not too bulky, either. Lots of these super-sturdy cases are so massive they feel like they double the size of your handset, which isn’t a trade-off we’re willing to make.
At $50, the Nomad Rugged Case is hardly cheap, but it’s one of the best cases we’ve seen for the iPhone range so far. It’s available for other makes and models too, and we’d recommend you give it a look.
Damien McFerran has been covering phones and mobile technology for well over a decade. An Android specialist, as well as an expert reviewer of phones, Damien is one of the best technology journalists working today. He is also editorial director over at the excellent Nintendo Life.