Grove Leather Back for iPhone 4S

Tech Test Lab

Product: Grove Leather Back
Price: $29.00 - $39.00
Rating: Recommend

One of the first decisions that any iPhone owner has to make is what kind of case to buy. When even your corner store carries a variety of smartphone covers, you know the market is saturated with product - which can make it a bit of a challenge to find a case that is unique, functional, and within your price range.
Ready to jump into the fray is Grove, a Portland, Oregon-based manufacturer that also brought us the Engraved Bamboo iPhone Case and the Reusable Leather Moleskin Covers. Grove recently expanded its line to include the Leather Back, a series of all-natural leather backs that can be plain or feature one of 42 lovely artist designs.

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The iPhone Leather Backs are 100% vegetable-tanned and crafted entirely in the Grove workshop. In fact, Grove handles every part of the process from working with artists to find the designs, to milling and oiling the leather, laser cutting the design, sewing and shipping the product. The Leather Backs have a special adhesive on one side that makes it easy to adhere them to your iPhone, but leave no residue when removed.

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Grove shipped us two Leather Backs from their line - the Submarine design by Ryan Chapman in Black, and Birdland by Sven Palmowski in London Tan. The backs were effortless to place on my iPhone, just peel away the protective plastic sheet and set carefully on the back of the iPhone to adhere, and they stick firmly in place. They never peeled or shifted, and the leather itself felt of good quality.

The designs and images on the Leather Backs are nicely chosen to fit within the space and constraints of working with leather as a material, and look fabulous. The precision tooling on the designs speaks to old-school craftsmanship married with high-tech advancements.

While I certainly enjoyed "putting a bird on it" so to speak, and thought the Leather Backs looked lovely on my phone, they're not going to do much in the way of protecting it from my clumsy fumbles and grabs. So, if you're concerned about dropping your phone or don't have insurance on it, you might want to stick to a more protective case option. However, if all you need is a classy addition to your phone, the Leather Backs are easily up to the task.

Pros: All-natural leather sourced from one of the last tanneries in the U.S., quality craftsmanship, easy to apply and remove.

Cons: Doesn't do much to protect the phone against impact and drops.

Our Ratings:
Strong Recommend
Recommend*
Weak Recommend
Don't Recommend

Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. This specific product was provided by the manufacturer for testing and review purposes.

Images courtesy author and Grove.

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