When the CalypsoCase by Lara Bohinc first came out, we liked what we saw. These cases were gorgeous: silver, black, and red leather with intricate designs covering them. They seemed like the perfect holiday gifts. So, we had to check one out to see if they were as functional as they were beautiful.

The Good

You simply can not beat the packaging on the Calypso cases. It comes entirely personalized. I felt like I was opening something from Tiffany’s. Definitely something that you can just put under the tree, as it’s already wrapped and ready to go.

The CalypsoCase packaging

There are three different cases in the Lara Bohinc collection: Rainbow (silver), Sunrise (black), and Rainbow Dream (red). I tried the Rainbow, which is more of a sleeve (as is the Sunrise).

All of Calypso’s cases are handcrafted from fine Italian leather. They’re very high quality cases. They’re also padded and protective, while still maintaining a pretty slim fit around your iPhone.

The Bad

Not sure how the other colors are, but with the silver, it seems to scratch really easily. This tended to ruin the shiny, designer finish, with tiny marks and scuffs.

Although this case is very glamorous, I don’t like the idea of hiding my iPhone 5 away in a sleeve. And although it’s easy to slide in, it’s rather difficult to pull the phone out of the case once it’s securely inside. I feel like I need a shoehorn for this thing. I spent most of my time struggling to get my phone out of the case, and that’s not good. I suppose you can let the top of the phone stick out a little bit, so that you can easily pull it out, but then what’s the point of the case? If you purchase a full sleeve for your iPhone, you want to cover your entire phone and protect it.

The Rainbow (silver)

Not to mention, you can forget charging your phone or listening to music or podcasts (with headphones or speakers) while your iPhone is in the case — those ports are all on the bottom and completely covered. I think the design of this case just needs to be rethought.

If you use your phone regularly, as any iPhone user in their right mind does, this type of case is not for you. However, if you don’t use your phone regularly and don’t have to take it out often, I don’t know why you would spend so much on a case to begin with.

The Verdict

The CalypsoCase is certainly gorgeous and of the highest quality, but for every day use, I just can’t recommend it, especially at a whopping $169. I realize you are paying for quality here, but if I have to cover up my entire phone in the first place (which I don’t want to do), getting it in and out should be easy. If I’m having to struggle to get it out of its case, it’s not worth it.

However, Calypso has a wide variety of cases, not all sleeves, of high quality leather that I think are worth checking out. This particular one just wasn’t for me, mainly due to the sleeve style and price.

If you think a different style of CalypsoCase would be perfect for a holiday gift this year, there’s still time:

The last day for placing an order with a guaranteed under the Christmas tree delivery is December 19th. We’ll wrap your gift and add a personal note to it. All you have to do is slide it under the Christmas tree.

You can find all of the Calypso collections on their site, at a variety of prices.