Journey's protective iPhone 13 leather case feels just right [Review] | Cult of Mac

Journey’s protective iPhone 13 leather case feels just right [Review]

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I've already accidentally added some ★★★★☆
I've already accidentally added some "character" to this fine leather iPhone case. You know, scratches. Maybe they'll fade or blend in as the patina develops.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

Whether you’re getting an iPhone 13 series handset at a discount because iPhone 14 is coming soon or you just want to change up your case for the iPhone you already have, you can’t go wrong with the tasteful and tough Journey iPhone 13 Leather Case.

The company sent me a MagSafe-compatible, tan-colored case for iPhone 13 Pro to try out. I found it a refreshing switch from the Apple clear MagSafe case I’d been using, which had begun to blacken at the corners over the past several months.

Journey iPhone 13 Pro Leather Case

Journey, an Alogic brand, makes chargers and accessories, Apple Watch bands and leather cases for iPhones and AirPods.

The refined look and feel of the Journey iPhone 13 Pro Leather Case I’ve been using for several days impressed me right out of the box. And it continues to impress me.

Refined look and feel

The light-weight leather case looks terrific and feels good in the hand. It looks a bit lighter in color in-person than it does in some of the photos, by the way. The photos on the Journey website show the color well.

The light scratches in the leather, visible in some of the photos, were my doing, by the way. I accidentally added some “character” that I think will probably blend in more over time.

A nice aspect of the case is that the branding, like my scratches, is pretty subtle. A small, glossy “Journey” is embossed along one matte black edge in the same color. And inside the case the Journey logo appears.

You can find leather iPhone cases that are more supple and distinguished-looking than this one, but they will cost substantially more.

Reasonably protective

The Journey case feels almost as protective as the Apple clear case I use most of the time. The Journey case is rated to withstand falls of up to 6 feet, which covers most real-world drops. Just don’t drop your iPhone off a building.

The reason I say “almost” as protective is simply that the Journey case features cutouts for all button and ports, whereas the Apple case covers the buttons with thin TPU. Journey’s cutouts offer some protection, though, in that the buttons are in a recession, so the adjacent bumper material probably takes the punishment in a fall.

But Journey provides a bit more protection than Apple at the bottom of the case. Journey’s cutouts precisely encircle the Lighting port and speaker holes, whereas the Apple case is open. Its hard edge material stops at the corners of the handset.

The Journey case also features a hard, raised lip around the iPhones camera assembly. At 1mm thick, the black lip is not as thick as Apple’s, but seems just as protective. And the black color matches the bumper material on the case’s edges. It goes well with the tan leather.

The case’s microfiber lining feels like it shouldn’t scratch my iPhone at all.

Overall, the Journey case feels a bit smaller than Apple's clear polycarbonate case, but about as protective.
Overall, the Journey case feels a bit smaller than Apple’s clear polycarbonate case, but about as protective.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

Slim and light case made of supple leather

Journey’s case is just 0.07 inches thick at its edges, which his pretty slim for a case that feels this rugged. “Phones don’t have to be bricks,” Journey says on its websites, and mine certainly isn’t one in this case.

The company uses full-grain leather from Ecco, based the Netherlands. Its soft feel in the hand is a nice change from the Apple case’s polycarbonate exterior.

Leather like this should develop a patina over time, Journey says, darkening a bit in color. I hope any developing patina will sort of absorb or disguise any further scratching of the surface I manage to inflict.

MagSafe compatible

The case features a built-in array of magnets that ensures an iPhone sticks to MagSafe and other magnetic chargers. My iPhone in the case readily took to a third-party MagSafe-compatible 3-in-1 charger, as did the case by itself.

That circle tells you it's MagSafe-compatible.
That circle tells you it’s MagSafe-compatible. It fixes just fine to a magnetic charger.
Photo: Journey

Features and specs:

  • Slim profile (2mm thick) with rounded edges
  • Wrapped in full-grain European leather.
  • Smooth finish develops patina over time.
  • Polycarbonate core provides everyday protection.
  • Precise cut-outs allow button and port access.
  • Soft microfiber lining protects phone from scratches.
  • Compatible with MagSafe and Qi charging.
  • Available in tan, saddle brown and black colors.
  • Dimensions: iPhone 13 Pro Max: W 82.47 x H 165.24 x D 12.93 mm; iPhone 13 Pro: W 75.92 x H 151.1 x D12.9 mm; iPhone 13: W 75.92 x H 151.1 x D12.9 mm
  • 2-year warranty
At just 0.07 inches at its edge, it's a slim case, but it feels solid.
At just 0.07 inches at its edge, it’s a slim case, but it feels solid.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

Bottom line, if you want a refined and protective leather case for your iPhone that doesn’t cost too much, go with Journey. It’s not unusual to see cases of similar quality that go for $20 to $50 more.

Price: $39.99

Where to buy: Journey

Journey provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.

★★★★☆