Three leather cases from France up for review right now!
The premium leather case segment has a new major player in French Noreve. Looking at the competition Noreve has the widest selection available for new devices right at the start. Be it the HTC One, Sony Xperia Z or Samsung Galaxy S4. It is a bold business model to get new designs to market before knowing how big a hit the new device is.
The leather used is high quality, and comes in a wide array of colours and treatments. It makes it easy to find a personal style that works with the device. I have tried a number of different leather treatments from Noreve: the standard smooth version, the soft Ambition version and the rougher Vintage version. All have their pros, and cons. One thing they share is the great build quality, and no matter what treatment the leather hugs the case.
Another aspect the cases share is an absolutely awesome grill covering the speaker on the back, and the earpiece on the front for those using a front flap. This gives the cases both a classy, and a cool edgy look.
One thing that Noreve is lacking is a set of interesting names for their cases. Having them all called Tradition with different letters is both confusing, and slightly boring. I sincerely hope to see a development in this regard to give better distinguishable names.
This is a quite basic back cover using a rigid plastic frame wrapped in high quality leather. The case does add some bulk considering there are both a plastic, and a leather layer covering the phone. It compensates by giving the device a premium feel, and you will soon forget that the back of the S4 is made from plastic.
The case protects the back, sides and some of the screen. Dropping the phone back down will not harm it, but the case itself might get some scuffs.
It is a really beautiful case that enhances the grip, and gives the phone a premium feel that the naked product lacks.
Yes there is a case in the Tradition series named solely Tradition, and it is a tad confusing. Basically this is the Tradition E above with an added front flap.
The front is quite thick, and protects the screen very well. When open it is easy to fold it to the back of the case. Another function the flap adds is that it can double as a stand. Just fold it out, and the phone can stand at a quite high angle that is perfect for those watching movies in bed. I just let it rest on my chest, and can fall asleep without the phone toppling over.
For added protection this is a great choice, and as the front flap is so well integrated it doesn’t detract from using the phone.
Now this is one hefty case doubling as a wallet, and a stand. The basic construction of the back is shared with the cases above with an inner plastic layer, and outer leather finish. The back is thicker though to incorporate a stand that is held in place by a button when not in use. I found the stand to be tilted in a quite low angle making it less suitable for bed, and more suitable for watching a movie when eating out or sitting on the train. I am not sure that I think the trade-off with the thicker back makes the stand a good idea.
The wallet flap extends from the left, and is held in place using a magnet on a leather strap extending from the right side. I would have preferred some other solution, as the piece with the magnet tends to be in the way when using the phone.
There are three slots for credit cards, or business cards. There is also a large slot for bills, and notes. It takes some time for these to stretch, but once they do it is easy to use it as a wallet on the go.
The thickness is more than doubled by the case, and when you fill it with cards it is even tripled. I would have liked a slimmer back instead of the stand function, as it feels like lugging around a brick when filled with cards. Still this might be better than having both a wallet, and a phone in your pocket or bag. Worth noting is that NFC still works despite the thick back.
The Tradition B is a great alternative for those looking for a case that does it all in style.