According to noreve Saint-Tropez, they produce “haute couture for mobile devices.” Sounds a bit grand, but the iPhone 5/5s review case sitting in front of me does live up to that claim.
The noreve Saint-Tropez Tradition B iPhone case is a reinforced leather case with a snap closure. The reinforcements create a reassuringly snug fit for your iPhone with gaps to access all the necessary control buttons, as well as the camera and flashlight. The front cover even has two pockets for a credit card, driver’s license, etc. The pockets are initially as tight a fit as the iPhone case section—I was a bit concerned about tearing at the stitching with a credit card. The leather should stretch a bit for a more usable fit over time, but I would not count on putting more than 2 to 4 items total in the pockets.
On the back of the Tradition B case is a bit of cleverness—a kickstand of sorts. There is a small leather tab (45mm x 28mm) stitched to the back. It has a snap closure and a small fabric strip about 20mm long to set the stance of the support. When in use, it puts your iPhone screen at about a 45 degree angle for easy viewing.
The review unit I received is a color noreve calls Castan esparciate, which seems to be a rather fancy way of saying “tan” (I guess this is part of the haute couture…). There are many other fancy names which translate to colors like blue, red, light grey, burnt orange, taupe, etc—rather a nice set of options actually. Noreve will also supply custom fabric, but it does incur an additional 14 days to produce. The manufacturer will even gift wrap your purchase for an additional €6.00 ($8.13 as I am typing this article).
The Saint-Tropez has a good deal of sensory appeal for me. It is made of leather, which has a good look, feel and (oddly enough) smell. The fit and finish is very good and the materials are top quality. Depending upon the color and finish, the unit price ranges from €54.99 to €134.99 ($75.85 to $172.40 at press time), and the quality of construction makes this a worthy investment for several years of protecting your iPhone (not that you’re likely to have the same model iPhone for several years).
As a bit of an aside, the noreve website does mention there is no tax if this is purchased outside the EU.
The only real downside to the noreve Saint-Tropez Tradition B is that the credit card pockets are a bit too tight to start with, but they are usable. Also, the price is on the high side, so be sure you are ready to make the investment. Be ready to take care of the case, too; the suede leather will need to be kept clean or it will get dirty and matted over time.
The noreve Saint-Tropez Tradition B leather iPhone 5s case is not one you can easily use with a dock, but it doesn’t look like it was designed with that function in mind. The form and functionality are quite good given the design concerns. All things considered, this is a quality iPhone case and I have no serious issues, only minor concerns.
Provides: Scuff, scratch and minor drop protection for iPhone 5s, as well as credit card / driver’s license storage
Developer: noreve Saint-Tropez
Minimum Requirements: iPhone 5s
Price: $75.85 to $186.19 depending upon finish and exchange rate