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The Best Apple iPhone 5s Leather Case You've Never Heard Of

The Best Apple iPhone 5s Leather Case You've Never Heard Of

March 31, 2014
There are hundreds of different iPhone cases on the market. Some can survive a fall out of a small airplane, while others are designed to be little more than eye candy. Determining whether an iPhone case is truly great remains largely subjective. Still, most can probably agree the case should meet a few minimal requirements to make it worth considering. For this and subsequent iPhone case reviews, the accessory must, at the very least:
  • Fit the device securely enough that it won't fall off easily.
  • Not obstruct the iPhone’s buttons, switches, or input jacks, nor make them more difficult to use.
  • Not be constructed in a way that the phone’s mute switch could be accidentally turned on/off.
  • It must protect the phone from a minor fall.
Finally, we believe it's important that the case is made of materials that will allow it to be usable for a reasonable amount of time, thereby surviving normal wear and tear. Leather cases are not designed to be waterproof. They also aren't designed to protect mobile devices from a significant fall. Leather or faux-leather cases are, however, typically marked as “premium” or “high-quality” products. This claim has been considered when offering the following review.

The CalypsoCase Cabrio

CalypsoCrystal's new CalypsoCase Cabrio is the most impressive leather case for iPhone on the market today. It meets all of the protection requirements. It’s also worthy of its premium price. The all aluminum case features Italian leather on the backside, and special microfabrics on the interior. Unlike the more popular, and significantly less expensive Apple iPhone 5s case, this one actually looks and feels luxurious. It also feels much more durable, and is easier to remove. Additionally, the CalypsoCase Cabrio embraces the use of metal on the iPhone 5s by including an aluminum band around the case. By contrast, the less expensive Apple iPhone 5s case is made of leather and microfiber only. The CalypsoCase Cabrio also scores points for coming in four amazing and unique Italian leather hues: black, dark red, purple, and green. These are affectionally known as Adelaide Tranquility, Brooklyn Noon, Kyoto Sunrise, and Boston Reef, respectively. The rear shell on the CalypsoCase Cabrio securely envelopes the iPhone. Nonetheless, the fabrics make removing the case carefree. Simply place a fingernail behind the phone’s power button, while holding the case with your other hand, and pull to remove.


The CalypsoCase Cabrio comes with a CrystalShield for screen protection. This protective film includes a microfiber cleaning cloth and bubble removal tool. Additionally, the case arrives in a decorative (and reusable) black box. This might not sound important, but it does make for a beautiful gift presentation.


The Apple iPhone 5s case is $39. The CalypsoCase Cabrio is $159. This difference is significant, of course. Nonetheless, we believe it is justified when one considers quality and durability. Both cases are made of leather, of course. The material on the CalypsoCase Cabrio is noticeably superior, as one would expect from an Italian leather, which is hand crafted. The Apple iPhone 5s case is mass produced, by comparison. Still not convinced? Only the CalypsoCase Cabrio has a protective aluminum body. Despite this, the case doesn't feel any heavier than Apple’s own. Regardless, neither case adds much heft to the iPhone. We also like that the CalypsoCase Cabrio leaves the controls on the iPhone largely untouched thanks to the use of oversized cuts in the case’s metal band. Leaving the top of the iPhone exposed around the power button also makes removing the CalypsoCase Cabrio easier, which is also nice. Starting at $649 without a contract, we think the iPhone 5s warrants a premium case. If you like the CalypsoCase Cabrio, but still find $159 excessive, head over to where the Ljubljana, Slovenia-based company sells many of its items at a discount. Otherwise, CalypsoCrystal's products are available online through its official website.

Final thoughts and ratings

Many consider Apple a premium brand. For those folks, one premium product deserves another. The CalypsoCase Cabrio is the iPhone 5s/5 case Apple should have made, but didn't. Overall scores: Aesthetic Appeal: ★★★★★ Wow Factor: ★★★★☆ Build Quality: ★★★★★ Value: ★★★★☆

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