The iPhone X deserves a classy case from Twelve South.
Friday, November 3, 2017 — also known as iPhone X launch day — I was sitting at home anxiously awaiting the delivery of my pre-ordered iPhone from FedEx. As the sun began to set, I wondered if maybe something had gone wrong with my order or that maybe the delivery guy just forgot about me. Finally, at 6:15 p.m. (CDT), the fateful shipment arrived at my door. After shooting a quick unboxing video, I started to really check out the new device. As the specs will tell you, the iPhone X has glass on the front and back with stainless steel on the sides. While this can make for a very pretty design, it also is cause for potential disaster for someone with butterfingers. I typically don’t like to cover up the gorgeous iPhones from Apple, but I do like to have one or two case options standing by for special occasions. One of my go-to brands is Twelve South and they happen to have two very nice cases available especially for people who want the protection, but also want some style.
This case design is not a new one for Twelve South. A few months ago, we reviewed their RelaxedLeather cases for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus and were very impressed with them. They really provide a nice layer of protection without taking away from the style of the phone. The case is a burnished leather wallet shell and is made with genuine leather. Because it’s ‘real’ leather and not synthetic, the case will develop a lovely patina naturally with regular use.
The inside of the case has a soft microfiber quilted backing to protect the phone’s outer casing from scratches. Because it’s meant to protect and not just be a fashion accessory, Twelve South designed the RelaxedLeather case with a 1mm raised front edge to protect your phone from drops on its face. One major design change that Twelve South did for this case for the iPhone X launch was to add exterior pockets for IDs or credit cards. You can fit two cards quite easily in these pockets, but it’s recommended that you remove them when you charge wirelessly.
Looking at the case for the first time, I was again impressed with the innovative design and the addition of the card slots. Because the case is made of genuine leather, the sides are very firm and rigid. This made installing the phone a little difficult. Once I was finally able to get the phone adjusted inside the case, I noticed that the camera cut-out really hid the camera bump nicely. The cut-out makes the camera flush with the rest of the phone back instead of it sticking out.
Cards slid into and out of the slots easily, but they were a tight enough fit that I didn’t feel like they would slide out. I did, unfortunately, scratch up the sides of the case a bit when I was trying to get the phone into and out of the case. I expected some of it, but want to warn others to use caution since it’s soft, genuine leather. The bottom of the phone is exposed completely and the power button and volume buttons are easy to press through the case. Twelve South has several color variations for the RelaxedLeather case including an exclusive color — Deep Teal — for the iPhone X.
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One of Twelve South’s original iPhone cases is the BookBook. It’s a genuine leather wallet-style case that gives the user the sense that they are carrying around a leather-bound book instead of a phone. It’s a wonderfully designed case and it holds up really well against standard use. In the same wallet-style as the BookBook, Twelve South has released the Journal case for the iPhone. It’s Twelve South’s most luxurious case yet.
Twelve South used full-grain leather inside and out. There is a composite shell that holds the iPhone in place and even it has a leather inlay. The interior iPhone shell does not come apart from the rest of the wallet case. It is carefully stitched into place and very secure. The Journal has two slots for cards and you can comfortably fit 2 cards in each slot. There is a clear window pocket for your ID and a hidden pocket where you can stash cash or other loose cards.
The Journal is designed to provide you with an easy-to-use viewing angle with its built-in viewing stand, but I have to admit that it doesn’t seem to hold that position very well. The case comes in two colors — black or cognac. The Journal has a reinforced spine and hardcover that helps protect against drops and dings. Like the RelaxedLeather case, the shell of the Journal provides a nice cover for the iPhone’s camera bump. The iPhone’s camera sits flush with the rest of the camera back and it’s just a really nice touch to the design.
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Either of the genuine leather cases from Twelve South will provide a strong barrier of protection from the outside world. I tend to prefer the minimalist case and will probably add the RelaxedLeather to my case stable — for those ‘just in case’ moments. Both cases offer a lot in terms of protection and style and it really depends on what you are looking for in order to determine which one will be best for your lifestyle.