Only a few hardware companies immediately come to mind when I think “Apple accessories” and Case-Mate is one of them. While browsing the new collection one morning at CES, the press rep walked me through their fanciful new collections. Correct me if I’m wrong, but just a short time back, I would not think “luxury” when I heard Case-Mate. I tend to envision plastic, but solid, durable cases, similar to the cases you would find on the early iPhone adopters devices. Perhaps something fun, or cute.
Well, the tides have turned and Case-Mate is now offering a completely new line of iPhone cases, flips, pouches, and sleeves. With new lines including Crafted, Refined, and Signature, the cute days are gone. Offering genuine leather and gem quality mother of pearl cases, luxe and glamour may be the new adjectives for Case-Mate.
Having just received the Signature Flip and Madison cases from a friend at Case-Mate, I gave them a run through for good measure. In this review we take a look at the new Case-Mate and determine if changing ways turned out for the better…
A hard case, flip shell, encapsulated in genuine leather, the Signature Flip screams business professional. It is not distinctively hyper-masculine, but I feel like it is best suited for a man with a dark suit and a power tie. Even the company argues it is best suited for the boardroom.
According to Case-Mate’s website, the Signature Flip, black or white, is a Case-Mate original design, carried forward to their new high-end line. The interior is padded with a thin microfiber fabric, protecting the screen when closed.
Is this case fit for the boardroom? Certainly, this case looks the part, but it functions quite less than professionally. The flip hinge is located on the bottom. Consequently, if you have headphones plugged in, you cannot open the case, and vice-versa. If the case is open with headphones in, you cannot close the case.
Worst of all, the flap does not fold completely back, which you can see in the video below. Therefore, when talking on the phone, the flap hangs awkwardly in front of your face like you are using a giant flip phone. I often found myself taking my iPhone out of the case for long conversations.
A standard styled back case, the Madison, available in black, bronze, and gold, is not standard in fashionable design. The quilted genuine leather, Swarovski crystal studded iPhone case is certainly built for the fashionista. In stark contrast to the Signature Flip, the Madison is decidedly feminine, in a flashy way. Clearly, our male readers would have no interest in the case personally, but it would make a great gift for lady friends.
The case fits the iPhone very well. Access to all ports and speakers is provided. However, the volume and mute switch are difficult to activate. Because the padded leather is more dense, the case, overall, is slightly thicker than one might expect. The additional millimeters cause the volume/switch opening to be deeper, preventing easy access.
Inspired by Coco Chanel, the quilted leather and crystal studs piece together a rich case. It will certainly match your high end accessories, purses, clutches, handbags, etc. The case is truly a fashion accessory, but adds a nice touch of protection for your most precious device.
Case-Mate certainly elevated their brand with the introduction of premium grade cases, completely trimmed in genuine leather, or even mother of pearl. The appearance and quality feel is significantly higher than Case-Mate products of yore.
At $45.00 on Amazon, I cannot recommend the Signature Flip because it severely lacks functionally as much as it succeeds with professional appearance. If the case flipped from the top or flipped all the way back, this case would excel, but until those small changes are made, stay away.
The Madison rings the register at $100. The quilted leather design with hand lain Swarovski crystals set this feminine case apart. Gents, I know it is tempting to buy your lady friend a useful gadget accessory. I do it frequently. But, we always get in trouble for buying tech gifts. The Madison is a safe bet and fashion forward. From one guy to another, I say go for it, if you can stomach the price.