Hands-on: iPhone X Leather Folio Case – like a Smart Case for your iPhone X [Video]

The iPhone X Leather Folio is Apple’s first attempt at a wallet-style case for the iPhone. It’s certainly not the first folio case that we’ve seen, with companies like Twelve South and Nomad being yearly players in this space. However, it will likely be one of the most popular cases of this style due to the fact that it’s made by Apple.

At $99, should you consider the iPhone X Leather Folio? Watch our hands on video walkthrough inside for more details.

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  • Made out of real high-quality Leather
  • Sleep/wake functionality
  • Hold bills, small notes, and several cards
  • Microfiber lining
  • Aluminum volume buttons
  • Works with wireless chargers, and won’t demagnetize cards
  • “Hey Siri” doesn’t work with cover closed
  • Four colors: Cosmos Blue, Taupe, Black, Berry
  • Price: $99.00

This is the first time that Apple has produced a folio-style case for an iPhone. All of its other cases have been simple, rather reserved silicone or leather deals. The Leather Folio Case is not only different in its form factor, but it brings extra functionality to the iPhone X by means of its sleep/wake mechanism.

Video walkthrough

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The iPhone X Leather Folio features leather on the outside and portions of the inside where your cards and bills might go. There’s also strategically-placed microfiber in the interior case to keep the finish of the iPhone X looking spiffy.

The portion of the folio where your iPhone is housed is essentially a Leather Case that encloses the sides and top of the device, with the bottom area partially exposed for the phone’s speakers, microphone, and Lightning port. In other words, it should do a fine job protecting the sides and corners of your iPhone X in case of a drop.

On the rear of the folio there is a cutout for the iPhone X’s dual camera housing. Apple redesigned the camera housing for the iPhone X, and not just with the obvious change from a horizontal to vertical alignment. Notice that both the flash and rear microphone are now contained within the same rear camera housing. This allows for a cleaner look when the iPhone X is enclosed in a case as the camera cutout doesn’t need to be as big as it needed to be with previous iPhones. This decision really pays dividends for a case like the Leather Folio, helping to keep the design as clean as possible.

Opposite the iPhone X enclosure is a flap with slots available for cards and bills. Being relatively svelte, I wouldn’t recommend stuffing the Leather Folio with lots of money and cards. The more cards you add, the more that it takes away from the sleekness of the case, causing it to bulge. Since the folio is comprised of mostly leather, it will wear in over time, but I still recommend keeping things as light as possible — 1-3 cards max — for the best look.

The portion of the folio for card storage is engineered in a way that allows you to use a wireless charger with the case without risking demagnetizing your cards. Just be sure to place the cards in the correct top housing, and all should be good for wireless charging.

Embedded at the bottom of the front flap is a magnet that is used to sleep and wake the iPhone X display. You’ll still need to unlock your device to start using it fully, but it allows you to quickly check time, widgets, or notifications.

When you place your iPhone inside of the Leather Folio, a new Lock / Unlock switch appears in the Display preferences. Now that the iPhone has both raise-to-wake and tap-to-wake, I’m not sure how useful the Leather Folio’s Lock / Unlock feature will prove to be for most users. You’ll still need to validate with Face ID, just like you need to validate with a passcode or Touch ID on an iPad, but with the iPhone X’s quick default screen timeout settings and the aforementioned wake features, the setting doesn’t seem like a significant time-saver in real world usage.

One negative thing about the Leather Folio is that “Hey Siri” does not work with the cover closed. I’m hoping this can be fixed via a software update, but that’s something potential buyers should be aware of.

Apple has gotten really good with its leather products in the last year or so. It released the iPad Pro Leather Sleeve and most recently the MacBook Leather Sleeve, and both feature high quality leather. The iPhone X Leather Folio follows the same trend with high quality materials and stitching. Obviously I haven’t used the folio long enough to speak on its long term durability, but it appears to be well-built.

What really makes the iPhone X Leather Folio work so well is not necessarily the case itself, but it’s design of the iPhone X. That mostly-screen design really pops when you open the front flap of the folio, and because the iPhone X is relatively small compared to a device like the iPhone 8 Plus, it doesn’t feel very bulky either.

Two cards inside of the Leather Folio

There’s more bulk involved than there would be if using a normal silicone or leather case, but most folio users will understand that’s part of the deal. Time will tell how well the Leather Folio hold up, but I imagine that it should hold up well if you resist the temptation to overload it with too many cards.

If you’re a fan of wallet-style cases, then chances are you’ll like the iPhone X Leather Folio. If you’re someone who generally doesn’t prefer these type of enclosures, then I think there still may be a chance that you’ll like the Leather Folio thanks to its overall quality and sleekness.

What are your thoughts on the iPhone X Leather Folio? Would you consider using one?

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Avatar for Jeff Benjamin Jeff Benjamin

Jeff produces videos, walkthroughs, how-tos, written tutorials and reviews. He takes pride in being able to explain things in a simple, clear and concise manner.