[REVIEW] Nomad Leather Folio for the iPhone X

Adam Matlock

Trusted Member
Mar 28, 2017
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If knowing is half the battle, then if you read my previous Nomad review then you already know; Nomad is legit. How legit? Two legit to quit. No, that’s not a typo. I said two on purpose. Why? Because Nomad has a second case that’s just as awesome as the Nomad Rugged for the iPhone X. It’s called the Nomad Leather Folio, and it’s one sweet celebration of rugged excellence combined with high-quality leather.


For the uninitiated, Nomad’s motto is “modern tools for the modern nomad”, and they really hammer home some of the old world refinements, infusing them into fancy new products in a way that helps blend modern tech with 19th century old English leather. Their cases are made from the finest of the fine American leather, and prime-beef grade polycarbonate – spared no expense. Each one of their cases is unique and ages gracefully, as it develops its own individual patina for you to admire each time you pick up the phone. So… in a nut shell, they’re fantastic.


The Look: In the name of progress and super cool upgrades, Nomad decided to install a handy folio cover onto this case. The aptly named Leather Folio is all about the leather. The back cover is wrapped in leather, as well as the front folio cover. And inside the handy little folio cover is… you guess it, more leather; complete with three slots to put your cards, cash, or other cool things in for easy stow-and-go capability. The inside storage are of the folio has three card slots which will fit (2) cards a piece, and it even has a small wallet-like slot for you to store your cash, or maybe a dinner receipt if you feel so inclined. The Folio style case really offers a lot of cool options with it, in addition to looking rugged and stylish. As with the Rugged case, the Folio uses the same Horween American leather, which has been around since 1905, which means they’re really good at what they do. In addition to the craftsmanship and quality of the leather, Nomad even incorporates a protective microfiber lining on the inside of the folio, as well as the main part of the case, which helps to protect the backside of the phone from scratches, as well as your volume buttons. Keeping in line with the rest of Nomad’s leather products, one of the biggest selling points is the aging characteristics of the vegetable tanned leather. The changing process of the leather from the shiny, brand new look to the more aged, tested and worn look is called a “patina”, and it looks great – see the photo of the back of the case.


The Feel: The Leather Folio case has a manly, rugged and refined quality to it. It looks great and it feels great – like all real leather should. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill cheap pleather that you find down at the discount furniture shop. The quality on these cases could give the Italian leather industry a run for their money. The texture of the leather is soft and svelte, and really contours to your hands as you carry it. It’s not overly slick or sticky, but it does have a really solid finish that gives you a sense of rugged comfortability. If you have a good quality leather wallet then you know what I mean when I say that this case is solid, and feels well-made. The phone seats securely into the case and doesn’t have any wiggle room, and the construction feels really solid, all the way down to the stitches around the exterior seams. Every last bit of this case just oozes quality.


Security: The Leather Folio case does not offer any MIL-STD protection or have a drop rating assigned to it, but it’s solid enough to protect your phone from small bumps or drops. Be careful with it if you’re outside on the concrete because any impact on your case will leave permanent marks, which is one of the major downsides of leather. Any cut, scrape, scratch or drop will leave a permanent reminder on your case of the time that you accidentally dropped your phone, or knocked it off the counter. Another security consideration for your phone is the folio design. Your phone is well-protected while the folio flap is closed, but it’s not secured by anything so if you drop it from any meaningful height then it’s sure to open up and expose your screen – make sure you put a glass screen protector on your phone! As far as the exterior, the leather is dense and provides a great cushion for setting your phone down on flat, smooth surfaces. There isn’t a protective lip that provides an extra layer of defense over the front of the screen either. Really, this phone case isn’t very protective at all; but where it lacks in protective qualities it makes up with its refinement and storage characteristics. The Leather Folio is a sleek, professional-style case that’s meant to allow you to ditch your wallet and carry your phone in style.


Decision Making Concerns: The Leather Folio is the best folio style case I’ve ever used. I am a huge fan and I enjoy it. However, there are a few hang-ups that I have to fill you in on so that you can make an informed decision on whether you want to add this case to your collection or not. First, the leather folio cover is not magnetized or have a hasp, so it doesn’t secure itself to the case and stay closed on its own, which is kind of annoying. It’s not the end of the world, and many other folio style cases do the same thing, but I wish it had a way to stay closed. Second, the folio cover does not turn your screen off when you close it, and it doesn’t turn the screen on when you open it – this gets really annoying, and then you learn to compensate for it. My display doesn’t timeout for like 15 minutes, so if I forget then it really drains the battery. Finally, because of the active noise-suppression of the iPhone X when talking on the phone, people on the other end of the phone have a really hard hearing you when you’re talking on the phone. The folio cover doesn’t have an opening for the speaker so you can’t talk on it while it’s closed, and when you open it up and flip the folio cover around the back, it interferes with the microphone on the back and the phone’s noise suppression makes it where phone calls are nearly impossible unless you’re yelling, or you talk with the folio open but not flipped around the back. I did some research and found out that this is a common problem for ALL folio cases, and not just the Nomad Leather Folio. So… be aware of these issues if you want to get this case. Oh… and it makes it kind of difficult to play games. The folio kind of gets in the way, which means that you’ll have to adjust the way you normally hold the phone to compensate for the folio cover.


Conclusion: As I said, I love this case. I have learned to get around the whole dampened microphone issue and lack of phone wake/sleep when the cover opens/closes, and despite these issues, I still enjoy carrying my phone around in it. It’s made from fantastic quality leather and carrying it around is a real pleasure. Another nice benefit is that it really stands out. I was eating lunch today at a restaurant with some friends and two of them remarked at how fancy and awesome it was and asked who made it. So if you’re into leather, and you’re into folio style cases, then pony up and get yourself a piece of this Grade A quality leather in your life.

Interested in picking up the Leather Folio for your iPhone X? Check out the link to Nomad’s website, and have a peek at the Leather Folio, and all of the other cool accessories that they have: https://www.hellonomad.com/leather-folio-ix – Right now you can pick up the case for $49.95. There is also a built-in discount option for 10% off on Nomad’s website, which brings the case down to $44.95 (hey, every little penny counts!) Shipping is based off of location, but in the U.S., it appears that Standard shipping (USPS Ground) will run about $5* (only an estimate based off of my own address)
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