Versatile leather iPhone case lets you stow your earbuds [Reviews]

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This wallet case holds more than just cards and cash.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

Touted as “the ultimate iPhone leather case” by its creators, the Guardian Leather case for iPhone 6 and 6s is a new wallet-style accessory with a campaign that just launched on Indiegogo. It’s designed with various functions in mind, but the focus on music takes the cake: You can control the volume from the outside of the case and even store your earbuds along the side of it.

I spent some time with the Guardian Leather to test the various functions it promises to deliver and the overall quality of the case. If you’re a fan, you have plenty of time to back the Indiegogo project — just under one month left.

Guardian’s design

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The inside has two slots for cards and cash. Oh, and a place for your iPhone.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

The Guardian Leather has a similar design to the Nodus Access case we reviewed a few months back: leather wallet case with micro-suction technology to keep the phone in place, plus a stand feature. But there are some important differences. The Guardian Leather nicely protects the corners of the iPhone from scratches and bumps while also giving it a bit more support if you’re holding the iPhone case sideways. Also, the leather finish is matte with the Guardian, while the Nodus had a slightly glossier look.

Open up the case and you’ll also see that the Guardian has specific compartments for holding items. Just two slots here, but one can be for cash and another for cards. Don’t expect to store your entire life in this case though.

Underneath the slots for money is a micro-suction patch, which also encompasses the entire right side. Together, they work to keep the iPhone in place whether the case is opened or closed. I placed my iPhone in and gave it a pretty intense few shakes and it didn’t budge one bit. The micro-suction here is super-strong — I just hope it holds up over time.

The iPhone case with a clever side flap

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The gap between the phone and case is purposeful so you can store earbuds.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

I love the look and especially the smell of the leather. It feels authentic though there’s obviously something inserted in between the stitching for the front and back to stiffen up the case a bit. One part that remains flimsy on purpose is the side so it can fold over. Built in are also covers for the volume up and down buttons, but they don’t work very well. This part of the case doesn’t press against the iPhone enough to properly align, but that’s on purpose.

This small side flap is also used for wrapping around the cord for your earbuds or headphones. I don’t see why you wouldn’t also be able to wrap around your charging cable too. The space between the case and the phone is so the cords can fit through. I imagine this is super handy for travelers to nicely pair earbuds with iPhone at all times.

I’m a fan of the Guardian Leather, but I do have a few gripes. One is that the stand feature doesn’t work very well. It’s extremely unstable and that’s quickly made apparent when you try to use the iPhone while the case is bent back holding it up. The other is that I despise how the front cover doesn’t properly align with the edges of the case when you try to close it. It’s annoying every time to have to manually align it to look nice.

The verdict

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It takes a few tries to align the camera just right.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

The Guardian Leather is a functional leather iPhone case, specifically for 6 and 6s. It looks good, it — dare I say one more time — smells good, it feels good in your hand, and for a wallet case it’s quite protective of the iPhone. Plus the side flap for wrapping cords is a win. The project has already exceeded its funding goal of $10,000 on Indiegogo. You can back it to get your case for $49.

Guardian provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article.