Kouros Essence

On my quest to find a quality sleeve for my iPhone 5 and iPad mini, I stumbled upon many fakes or wannabe premium options. In fact, I have yet to find a sleeve to request for review. Thankfully, Kouros found me. A Portugal-based company priding itself on quality ingredients for its products, Kouros makes an exceptional sleeve for both iPhone 5 and mini.

All products are designed by the in house creative team through regular brainstorming, focusing on fashion trends that are practical for a technologically driven lifestyle. To that end, the company uses rigorous testing methods to ensure longevity, suitable look, and proper feel. For this review, I take a close look at the Essence for iPad mini and Prime for iPhone 5, both of which are simplistic, professional leather sleeves…

Look and Feel

Considering both products are inherently the same, a sleeve, just of differing sizes, there is no reason to describe them separately. This is not a bow to laziness, rather a way to save you the boredom of reading two similar descriptions.

Moving on, the sleeve is exceptionally well tailored for the respective iOS device. Fitting perfectly to the edge of the device, the sleeve gives no extra room, nor does it leave need for more. Some cases and sleeves will leave a small lip or excess edge around the opening, but not the Kouros sleeves. I appreciate the exactness of the measurements as I always prefer a precise fit.

Essence stitching

Kouros Essence opening

Another well crafted accent is found in the nylon stitching style. The stitching around the sleeve edges is sewn inside, preventing an unsightly exterior stitch running the length of the device, therefore removing an unnecessary seem flap. What remains is a soft, curved edge that is unobstructed by excess leather. Now, because the seam is inside, it does prevent a completely smooth entry for the crisp edges on the iPhone 5 volume buttons. The catching is not distracting, but is worth noting because of the interior seem.

Best of all, the high grade leather. I prefer not to use cliche terms to describe products in reviews, but “supple” really is the best word in this instance. Pulling the cases from their well crafted product boxes, I first noticed the genuine leather smell and then the feel. The leather is not rigid or dry. A quality, soft, and moisturized feel reminds me of an expensive purse found on the pricier side of the isle.

Looking closely at the images above, it is clear there is no tabbed opening or particular way to remove the iPad mini from the Essence sleeve. It lacks the side slits found on the iPhone sleeve pictured below. A word of caution, when using the mini sleeve for the first week, it is extremely snug. I often had trouble springing my mini from the clutches of the tight leather. However, after use, the leather has loosened slightly to accommodate the mini and it now slides in and out more easily. My only true complaint is the branding. On the Essense, the Kouros logo is debossed on one side and the Prime displays a “K.”

Kouros Prime

Conclusion

Overall, I really like these sleeves. I have been using the iPad mini sleeve everyday since it arrived in the mail. The sleeve genre of protection is one of my favorites because it protects the device when necessary, but allows you to otherwise use it naked. Other cases must be installed or cling to your device. Shed the weight and go for a sleeve.

Little details set this product apart. Like the Alcantara interior fabric to prevent scratching and the similarly soft exterior. Between the leather and fabric, a semi-rigid structure even keeps the sleeves from losing their shape over time.

These sleeves in particular are impressive because of the quality, genuine leather. Many providers make a similarly styled sleeve but opt for fake leather or cloth. If you want the real McCoy, prepare to pay the price, however. To bring home the Prime for iPhone 5, you are looking at €40.50 in black, red, or tan, and the Essence for iPad mini is €50.25 in black or tan. However, I argue you will be happy with your purchase.

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