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Tested: A closer look at Bellroy’s vibrant hybrid leather iPhone 12 case

Founded in 2009, Bellroy is the maker of a wide range of accessories, from bags, cable folios, and backpacks to wallets, laptop sleeves, and more. But today, we are taking a closer look at the Australian-based company’s new covers for Apple’s latest handsets in our Bellroy Phone Case review. Head below for a closer look in the latest Tested with 9to5Toys.

Bellroy Phone Case review

The Bellroy Phone Case falls into the mid-tier hybrid leather category. It features “environmentally certified” materials, a perfectly snug fit around the iPhone 12 Pro, and a warranty long enough to keep you covered until you’re ready for a new handset entirely (three years). It comes in several colorways and for all of Apple’s iPhone 12 models (as well as older models and iPhone SE). 

The brand’s base-model iPhone 12 cover — you’ll also find a couple wallet cases in the line-up as well — is made of an environmentally certified leather and polymer mixture. Bellroy says its hides are “tanned under gold-rated Leather Working Group environmental protocols” and “dyed through so they age gracefully.” This results in what feels like a sort of smooth, barely textured leather sheath covering the back panel with a chamfered black rim around the edge of the case. In some of the marketing images, it appears as though the leather has a slight pebbled or tumbled texture to it, and this is the case, but in person, this texture is much less pronounced and extremely smooth to the touch. 

The expected protection rim surrounding the camera array on the backside as well as the display is present and accounted for, protecting your devices’ precious screen and photography sensors from tabletops. The thoughtful touch to your expensive iPhone continues with a nice microfiber interior that will leave your device in pristine condition for resale or when switching out to another cover to match your outfit. On that note, getting the iPhone 12 Pro in and out of the Bellroy Phone Case is a simple process and quite easy on the iPhone’s extruding pieces (power button, volume, etc.)

Bellroy Phone Case features:

  • Particularly slim profile
  • Compatibility with Apple’s MagSafe charger and Qi charging
  • “Environmentally certified” leather and polymer mix
  • Microfiber interior lining 
  • A protective chamfered edge surrounding the entire case
  • Bellroy 3-year warranty

Tested with 9to5Toys

After going hands-on with quite a number of iPhone 12 cases this year, one avenue with which the Phone Case stands out is its slim profile and snug fit. The case adds barely any girth to the iPhone 12 in your hands when slid into your pocket. This also results in a particularly non-intrusive protective edge surrounding the display. While the lip wrapped around the camera sensor array is in fact a little bit more pronounced than many of the models we have come across this year, the front lip leaves just enough to keep the display off the table. For me, this is ideal. Having just a couple millimeters too much can hinder the feel and usability of the device for me, but Bellroy has completely nailed it here. It is among the most comfortable front-lips of the year, while still remaining perfectly functional. 

The Bellroy Phone Case for iPhone 12 comes in eight different colorways, one of which is the Cobalt Blue on display throughout this review. From there, Bellroy offers up a slew of almost primary colors alongside Basalt, Graphite, and Black options. These days, it feels as though these bright, vibrant colorways are becoming harder to come across from some of the well-known third-party case makers, in favor of those akin to Apple’s latest lineup, or a muted approach. 

The overall functionality of the case itself is top-notch — all of the cutouts are well-designed while the covered power and volume buttons lineup perfectly and feel nice when depressed beneath your fingertips. While some of the models I went hands-on with this year required a good week or more of using the covered volume buttons before they were pliable and easy to use, the Bellroy Phone Case is ready to go on day one. 

However, the showcase leather does leave something to be desired for me personally. While some might really appreciate the smooth, almost slick texture of the leather, I generally prefer something with some grit where you can really tell there’s a piece of animal hide (ethically-sourced, of course) in your hand. Referring back to earlier in today’s Tested review, just be aware the textured leather look in the marketing materials is actually (to my eyes and touch) a little bit more plastic-feeling and smoother than it might appear online. A very minor disappointment for me, sure, but this may very well be ideal for those looking for a super-clean cover that won’t “age beautifully” quite as quickly as some hide-based solutions on the market. 

Buy Bellroy Phone Case for iPhone 12

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