by Joe White
November 2, 2013
Company: Piel Frama Product: FramaSlim Price: €50 (roughly $67.50) Compatibility: iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s Website: www.pielframa.com Date: Nov. 2, 2013 Our readers will know that iPhone cases come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, offering varying degrees of both style and protection. Often we find that the latter is achieved at the expense of the former, but every now and then a case or pouch comes along that delivers excellent levels of both. Piel Frama's FramSlim is one such example - and a rather outstanding example, at that. For the past couple of weeks, we've been testing the case alongside an iPhone 5s, and the results are indeed impressive: FramaSlim is a great-looking, high-quality (and handmade) smartphone case that combines expert craftsmanship and intelligent design in a premium product. Of course, it can also protect your iPhone, too. If you’ve got the spare cash and have yet to find a suitable case for your iPhone 5s, read on and consider purchasing a FramaSlim of your own.
The ProductFramaSlim is a handmade, book-like iPhone case that offers protection for the front, the back, and left-side antenna of the enclosed handset (without blocking access to the mute switch and volume buttons). It’s available to purchase in a number of different materials, and in our testing we were able to take a look at the leather calfskin and the crocodile skin patterned FramaSlim cases, which we used alongside an iPhone 5s. Piel Frama’s products arrived in chic, designer label-like packaging, and not having ordered a product from the Spanish company ever before, this was a pleasant surprise. Not discounting this, however, perhaps the first aspect of the product that really struck me upon approaching FramaSlim was the means by which users can secure their handset within the case. Most competing products offering a similar book-like iPhone case use a plastic surround to “clip” the smartphone in place, and in doing so such cases put the handset’s metallic antenna in direct (and dangerous) contact with this hard plastic mount. Though secure, there’s a definite risk of scratching one’s iPhone antenna when using such cases, and as a result countless iDevice users avoid them - and rightly so. FramaSlim, on the other hand, secures the enclosed iPhone using a means which poses no risk to the handset itself. Along the interior of the case is what appears, to the untrained eye, to be a black sticky pad that’s protected with a thin plastic film. In fact, the material isn’t sticky, but rather consists of a huge number of small micro-suction pads. These attach to the rear-side of the iPhone, creating countless miniature vacuums, and firmly secure the handset in place. You can remove the iPhone from this suction pad by gently pulling the case off and away from the handset, and after doing this several times myself, I can confirm that no residue or mark is left on the smartphone. Furthermore, Piel Frama promises that this method of attaching one’s iPhone can be used again and again; the suction pad doesn’t lose its ability to secure a handset over time or after repeated use, and as such it is without doubt the most perfect and well-executed means of securing an iPhone that I have ever seen - in any capacity. Lining the case on the inside is a soft, microfiber-like material that will protect the iPhone’s screen when the case is closed, and there is room on the inside of FramaSlim for the case’s edges to reach beyond those of the enclosed handset. As such, if you position your smartphone carefully within the case, you can protect the exposed antenna - albeit to a degree. On the outside of the case is your material of choice: on offer are calfskin designs, and crocodile skin, ostrich skin, lizard, and iForte patterns. There are a number of color options available to choose from, too. As mentioned, we were able to go hands on with both the calfskin (in orange) and crocodile skin (in black) FramaSlim cases, and both are clearly high-quality products. Piel Frama explains online that its products are handmade, and as such in some instances customers must set aside additional time for delivery. However, the wait will be worth it: FramaSlim is the best-looking iPhone case I’ve used, and regardless of which design you choose, you can be assured that a lot of care and thought appears to have gone into making the product you’re ordering. The calfskin case, in particular, is especially nice; if I had to choose a case for myself, this would be the design and color I’d go for. Conveniently, FramaSlim includes built-in magnets which gently attach its cover to the front of the enclosed handset, meaning the case itself won’t flap open of its own accord. There’s also a small metallic “Piel Frama” logo tag along the edge of the cover - worry not, though, because thanks to the cover’s clever design this metallic tag doesn’t come into contact with the iPhone’s screen (see the below picture). The design of FramaSlim also allows owners to access their volume buttons without having to open the case’s cover; at the same time, a small space allows for phone calls to be made while the cover is shut, too. Finally, the iPhone’s Lock button, its Lightning port, and its audio port aren’t covered in any capacity, allowing for quick and easy access. Can you tell that I’ve been charmed somewhat by Piel Frama’s FramaSlim case? So far, it’s undoubtedly the best iPhone case that I have ever had the pleasure of testing, and I’ll be continuing to use the FramaSlim with my iPhone for the foreseeable future.
- It looks gorgeous
- It feels great
- Its micro-suction pad doesn't pose any risk
- Its micro-fiber lining protects the handset
- Its magnets keep the cover closed
- Its "Piel Frama" metallic tag doesn't come into contact with the iPhone
- It allows for access to buttons and ports
- There's a large selection of colors and materials
- It doesn't protect all of the iPhone's antenna (but I'm glad this isn't the case, because the look and feel of FramaSlim would change dramatically if this were so).