Twelve South’s RelaxedLeather case is a luxurious iPhone case for minimalists

By , Jan 24, 2017

Twelve South is already at it again, having just this month launched a new lineup of snap-on leather cases dubbed RelaxedLeather. They come in two flavors: slotted and non-slotted, depending on whether or not you like to use your iPhone case to carry credit and ID cards. More importantly, they also come in a variety of different colors, giving you a lot to choose from.

In this review, we’ll go hands-on with the iPhone 7 Plus version of the case and show you what the RelaxedLeather case lineup is all about, as well as show you all of the different colors there are to choose from.

A sleek new option by Twelve South

This is the first time Twelve South is going into the shell-style case business. Yes, the BookBook case from Twelve South we reviewed not too long ago also has a removable shell, but that lone shell isn’t as sexy as these leather-wrapped options are.

These cases are excellent for the minimalist who wants that fancy and luxurious iPhone case that isn’t overly bulky.

Crafted out of vegetable-tanned aniline leather, the tanning process is sure to keep a natural finish throughout its entire life cycle. More importantly, it’s slightly coated so that it can take a beating without the leather becoming destroyed by every day wear and tear.

Still, this leather will develop an aged patina over time, just as you would expect leather to. Obviously, these cases are brand new, so you won’t see that aged look in this review.

A closer look

Without further ado, you’ve probably already glanced at that header image in this review and started drooling, and I don’t blame you. It’s a really nice case. Leather cases, in my opinion, are some of the nicest luxury accessories to compliment an expensive iPhone, and Twelve South’s RelaxedLeather option is no different.

There are five different colors to pick from. They appear in the following order as you see from front to back in the image above:

  • Cognac (the brown one)
  • Warm taupe (the light tan one)
  • Marsala (the red one)
  • Black (speaks for itself)
  • Dried herb (the gray one)

As you’ve probably seen, some of the cases have credit/ID card slots, and some don’t. Twelve South offers all of their colors with or without slots, depending on your own personal preference. These slots are perfectly sized to hold one card each, and while it’s a tight fit at the beginning, this is leather and will loosen up over time with use to create a more comfortable, yet snug fit.

On the inside of the case, the interior is lined with what feels like a suede finish. This keeps your metal finish on your iPhone from getting scuffed up with any dust particles that might get caught up in between your case and the phone itself while put in or taken out of your pockets on a daily basis. The interiors are colored differently, depending on the case color you pick.

On the back, the Twelve South logo is embossed into the leather finish. I’ve always liked that Twelve South logo, and as a result, I think it simply completes the classy look:

Accessibility and protection

Twelve South’s cases are built with accessibility in mind. While they are going to protect your iPhone’s edges from wear and tear, they do have a wide-open bottom, which makes them compatible with your favorite iPhone docks, such as the HiRise 2, a personal favorite of mine.

The volume buttons, as well as the power button, are covered with a layer of leather, which protects them from wear and tear, but you will still feel a tactile click when you press on the button, which is a feature I really appreciate.

The ringer/silent switch has a small access hole, which is a little smaller than I would like, but if you have a finger nail, you generally won’t have any trouble getting to it.

The back camera is given a perfectly-sized cut-out to make sure the case never gets in the way of your images or videos, and a special black ring prevents flash glare from ever destroying the perfect portrait.

On the front, there’s enough of a lip to keep your iPhone’s screen from coming in contact with any tables you might lay it face-down on. No part of the case covers the front face of the iPhone.

Synopsis

Overall, this case is great for someone who just needs an everyday protection case and wants it to look great at the same time. Below, we’ve put together a short list of pros and cons for the Twelve South RelaxedLeather lineup:

Pros:

  • Lightweight and slim
  • Quality materials that will age great over time
  • Leather is coated to ensure durability
  • Good accessibility to Lightning port and buttons
  • Screen lip lets you place iPhone face down safely
  • Comfy interior cradles your iPhone with love
  • Looks stylish and comes in many different colors
  • Optional card pockets let you leave your wallet at home

Cons:

  • Leather isn’t a brand-name like some of the competition
  • Bottom of iPhone might be too exposed for some people’s tastes
  • Pocketed version can only hold two cards

For the most part, I had to nit-pick to find any cons to this case because I really like it. If you are into leather cases, then the RelaxedLeather by Twelve South should be one of the main choices you look into.

It’s available on Twelve South’s website for $39.99 for iPhone 7 or 7 Plus without card pockets, or for $49.99 for iPhone 7 or 7 Plus with card pockets. All colors showcased in this review are available to order right now.

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What was your favorite color RelaxedLeather case from Twelve South? Share in the comments below!

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