As a general rule, I’m not a huge fan of flip cases for phones. I tend to find the flap is a little awkward and can get in the way of the phone use. However, the Issentiel Prestige Ultra Slim Leather Flip phone case I was testing does it’s best to minimise those issues, it does have so much else going for it that really make up for any little practical issues the phone case causes.
Issentiel is a French designer company making luxury high quality leather cases for the most popular mobile devices. All the cases are cut and assembled in Europe by hand, using traditional methods, and I have to say, it shows! It is, by far, the most beautifully crafted case I’ve seen. Without question, it’s an extremely high quality product. The version I was trialing was for a Samsung Galaxy S3 (although they make similar products for iPhone, Sony, Nokia, LG, Google, and HTC, as well as for laptops and tablets). There’s clearly a lot of care taken in the production of their cases, and it shows through in the quality and styling. Even the packaging has had care and attention paid to it. If you’re buying it as a gift for someone, they’ll know you’ve bought something special, even before they see the actual product revealed. It’s one of those items that you want to open.
The rigid, leather covered, shell grips the phone tightly when the case is open, and there’s good access to the jack input, side buttons, and the charge point on the bottom, even when the case is closed. The flap is held firmly shut by a small curved (again, leather covered) clip at the top, without the need for magnets or metal clasps, and is extremely well padded on the front giving ample protection to the screen should you accidentally drop it. It’s also surprisingly lightweight (only 50 grams), and slim for the style of case.
As I mentioned earlier, with this sort of flip case, it does bulk out the unit a little, but they’ve kept that to a minimum, and it still fits (albeit tightly) into the cradle i use in my car. However, I would like to see a small hole added to the front of the case so you can see the LED when the case is shut, as it’s very handy on the S3 seeing it flash when you’ve got new messages.
Overall, despite very some minor niggles, Issentiel have made a beautiful, high quality phone case, well worth the price tag. Plus, as it’s real, high quality leather, it smells lovely! ;)
8/10 – An extremely beautiful, high quality phone case.