[REVIEW] Nomad Rugged Case for iPhone XS Max

Adam Matlock

Trusted Member
Mar 28, 2017
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A day late and a dollar short is usually a good expression for expressing something unfortunate that just didn’t happen on time. Well, sometimes the chicken does have to come before the egg. What am I talking about? Well, the last 11 years have given us two great things: the iPhone, and Nomad products. The year 2007 brought us the very first Apple iPhone, which was game changing for the phone industry, and the world. Following it their footsteps 5 years later, Nomad released their very visionary first product, and laid the foundation for many fantastic products. Apple perfected the smart phone, Nomad perfected the leather case, and video killed the radio star... or something like that. In keeping with the fine tradition of awesomeness, both companies are firing on all cylinders, with their respective XS Max phone, and of course a brand-new Rugged case to keep it toasty and warm! So, without further ado or lame cliché, I give you the Nomad Rugged Case for the iPhone XS Max.


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 XS Max 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. This go ‘round there are two different colors to choose from: Rugged Brown, and Black – I opted for the latter. This is the first time I’ve got my hands on one of the Black versions of their cases, and I have to say that I like it a lot! The Brown color is classic and timeless, but the Black color just looks fantastic, and professional; and it pairs really well with their Apple Watch Wrist Straps. 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 - see the picture above for an example of the leather, so you can see the transition in the color and finish over time.


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. The leather feels great and feels even better as you break it in and the finish begins to age. 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 its 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 your 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. They have ample feedback and don’t feel overly spongy, but they aren’t clicky either.


Security: Nomad has really upped their game recently in the security department. The case offers 6ft of drop protection, which is really good for a not-so-bulky leather case. 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.


Conclusion: The Rugged Case for the iPhone XS Max 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 XS Max, you can find them on their website for $44.95 - https://forums.imore.com/e?link=htt...cts%2Frugged-case-black-xs-max&token=XQESuHeI - 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.
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