Noreve, makers of fine leather protective cases, sent me a very nice one for my Note II. I’ve been using it since it arrived about a month ago. I’m going to review this a bit differently than I would games or even other devices. Check out the full review inside.
The case itself it’s very nice, made from a soft but durable leather. The minute I opened the elegant red and black box, I could smell that familiar leather aroma. When I was a kid, my mother was a leatherwork hobbyist, so a comforting feeling of being home washes over me whenever that particular scent arouses my olfactory senses. I knew it was a leather case, so it’s not that I wasn’t expecting some level of scent, but it smelled like it was just made, fresh, just for me. I liked that.
After the unboxing, I noticed that, unlike all of the other Note II cases I’ve seen, this wasn’t unnecessarily large or bulky. I quickly placed my phone inside its new home. Immediately, I was alerted to the fact that I could not charge my phone while protecting the screen from my cat’s midnight maniac jaunts around my house. See, the back clips tightly around the phone, securing it in the rigid protective design, but the screen is covered with a flap that comes from the bottom of the phone and clips over the top. The USB charging jack just happens to be right where the two halves connect. Despite having access ports cut for the s-pen, camera, volume, notification light, and power buttons, there is none on the ‘hinge’ so that I can charge the device while it’s fully protected. It should also be noted that the cutout area for the s-pen is just big enough for the pen to fit through. Large fingers may have a difficult time removing it, especially if the front flap is folded back. I am afraid that my fingernail will cut or wear the leather with repeated use, but so far it remains unaffected.
Another design decision I’ve found to be a bit of a setback is that I have to unclip and open the top flap just to see what time it is. On some of the iPhone cases they sell, there are two slits on the cover, one to give access to the slide to unlock area and another right where the clock sits on a stock iPhone. Perhaps because the Note II is an Android device, and things like this can be anywhere on the screen, they opted to keep it simple and just give the best protection they could. Furthermore, with the cover folded back, taking pictures is impossible even with the camera hole cutout. To take pictures, you have to keep the cover flap hanging down. It proves very troublesome when taking horizontal photos or videos. These are annoying downsides, but I don’t think that Noreve cases are entirely about convenience, but rather status.
These cases are pure quality and have a distinct air of class to them or as the box it comes in calls it, Haute Couture. This level of fine craftsmanship is noticeable to anyone who lays eyes upon it. If you see the way I dress, this accessory is clearly not a match. That doesn’t mean I don’t like nice things. On the contrary, holding something nice like this makes me feel like I matter just a little bit.
Being high class is one thing, but a phone case’s main function is to protect your phone. Since I have a very sound protection plan, I played a little bit with dropping it from various heights. Now let me start by saying that Samsung phones seem to be very resilient to begin with; when I first got my phone last year, it fell out of my pocket from a height of about ten feet, suffering only a small dent on the corner. When I took the phone with the case, I knew I would have to be a little more inventive in the testing. I threw it across the room, dropped it down stairs, and even stepped on it once by mistake, and still my phone is in the same condition as it was prior to placing it in its leathery cage. I’m not sure if I’m impressed with the case or the phone, but I’ll give some credit to Noreve here because unlike the last time my phone tumbled to the hard pavement, there were no scratches, bumps, dents, or anything. Even the case has no visible marks.
After looking at several of their products, I am convinced that they have something for just about every purpose. Even the Note II line has a case that addresses some of my earlier complaints. I’m really looking forward to picking up a pouch for my iPad. Noreve’s prices are reasonable with my case coming in at a few dollars shy of $70 and larger cases going just a bit over $100. For anyone who is looking for a high class, sleek leather case for their phone, iPad, or other device, I can’t think of a better place to start.