Since the dawn of time, man has done two things. First, he has created things. Second, he has looked for ways to make things nicer. This is readily apparently when you look at everyday products such as: furniture, cars, phones, and even phone cases. Honda has Acura, Ford has Lincoln, you can get tile or wood flooring instead of carpet, and now… you can get delightful high quality leather on phone cases instead of the cheap TPU cases. Additionally, since the advent of smartphones, manufacturers have looked for ways to keep them safe. Smartphones are expensive and have lots of sensitive features for aesthetics, such as glass surfaces, ceramic, and different metals. Well, Nomad has accomplished two things. First, they have found a way to make a high quality, designer-level case complete with Horween leather, and they’ve also incorporated lots of protection. Say hello to the Rugged Case for the iPhone XR!
The Look This is always the best part of any Nomad review. I have had the pleasure of reviewing several of their cases and various other products over the past year, and the new Rugged case for the XR is another wonderful piece in the Nomad collection of things. Of course, the Rugged case is made out of fine crafted American-made Horween Leather – they’ve been in the business since 1905, and it shows. The Brown color is classic and timeless, and the Black color just looks fantastic, and professional; and it pairs really well with their Apple Watch Wrist Straps – see picture below. The presentation is top notch, and of course, the case wouldn’t be Nomad if it didn’t have that fantastic leather finish that develops a rugged patina over time. These cases look great whenever they come out of the box, but over time they look even better as the leather wears in and begins to mature, changing in color and adding a few beauty marks. I have been using one of the Nomad wallets for quite a while now and the leather looks fantastic, and gets me quite a few questions and compliments.
The Feel: The case feels fantastic. The case has TPU material on the bumpers, which gives you added grip when you’re holding the phone. The case is made from polycarbonate and TPU, which means that it’s built well and has great shock absorbing capabilities, offering 6ft of drop protection! The leather feels great and feels even better as you break it in and the finish matures. At first, the leather does feel a little more on the dry side, but this is normal. It will be a little more slick when you first take it out of the box, but as it ages and breaks in, it will develop a bit more of a sheen to the leather and it also has a little bit better grip. The case isn’t naturally slippery and there aren’t any concerns with dropping it, but definitely be careful if you want to place it on a flat, untextured surface, like the dash in your car or your center console. It will be fine as long as you’re stationary, but if you hit the gas or make a sharp turn, it may slide off onto the floor. Otherwise, it feels great and has a solid feel. The buttons are near flush and aren’t accented heavily, which is nice for aesthetics, but makes it a little harder to find them when you’re not looking. This iteration, the power button seems to have a more tactile and responsive feedback than the volume buttons. It could just be my model, but the volume buttons seems to have a slightly softer keypress, but that’s nothing that really concerns me.
Security: Drop protection isn’t something that you would generally think about when it comes to such a polished and quality leather case, but the Rugged Case offers 6ft of drop protection, which fantastic. The polycarbonate shell and TPU molding offer great impact resistance, and so does the leather. However, the leather is the biggest concern here. The phone will definitely be protected, but the leather may get damaged in the process. Because it is leather, it’s prone to scuffs, scratches, gouges, etc… So, my recommendation is to not drop it, and you’ll be fine! The case also has a recessed cutout for the camera for added protection, and the bezel on the front of the case is raised slightly for added protection for the screen as well. Additionally, even though the case isn’t as thin as some of the other cases on the block, it is still perfectly compatible with wireless charging!
Conclusion: The Rugged Case for the iPhone XR is another solid offering from Nomad, that lives up to their tradition of well-made, high quality products. The leather and craftsmanship are top notch, and the overall carrying experience is a pleasure. It looks great, it feels great, and it’s a great addition to anyone’s phone case collection. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend it if you spend the majority of time your time outdoors or working or hanging out in environments that might damage the leather, but otherwise it’s a case that can be used in most day-to-day situations, absent professional fishing and snowboarding. Overall, it’s a great phone case that I think deserves a solid look, if you’re in the market for a leather phone case.
If you’re interested in picking up one of Nomad’s Rugged cases for your iPhone XR, you can find them on their website for $44.95 – https://hellonomad.com/collections/cases-iphone-xr/products/rugged-case-rustic-brown-xr – Again, the case is available in two colors: Black, and Rugged Brown. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please leave them down in the comments section.