I’ve stuck by the official leather iPhone cases for years, mostly because I’m the kind of predictable person who walks into the Apple store and buys whatever Steve Jobs tells me to. But I also have a real thing for wooden phone cases: they give a good feel in the hand, offer lots of protection, and look fantastic.
Unfortunately, most of the ones you find are being hawked by street vendors, and don’t last a week. But a company called Pad & Quill have started making slim wooden cases for the newer iPhones, and they’re not bad at all.
The cases are constructed from two pieces of hardwood with Kevlar sandwiched between, but you’d never know it. The case really just looks like a very thin, very hard shell made out of wood. It’s a straight hardwood pattern, with the only detail a small logo on the back.
The minimalist design doesn’t offer much by way of protection — you might still shatter the screen in a face-down fall — but the corners, which I destroy the most, are well covered. Best of all, there’s cut-outs for all the buttons, which I much prefer to the mushy button covers on the leather case.
Given how stiff it is, it takes an unnerving amount of force to get on the phone, but that also means it’s never coming off accidentally. There’s just enough space in the back to slip in a $50 bill and a credit card, thankfully.
It’s not all perfect: in just a week of light use, I’ve already managed to put a little dent in one corner, and a small crack in the other. Then again, my Greek god alter-ego would be “destroyer of electronics,” so the fact it’s lasted this long is honestly impressive.
The case comes in four colors, all of which cost $50.