Mentioning the words leather and case in the same sentence, the first thing that comes to mind is Vaja. It doesn't get any better than a leather Vaja case, unless of course, you don't plan on asking for a small bank loan. In that case, the next best thing is a leather case made by one of our all time favorite accessory manufacturer, Spigen SGP. Spigen is known for making great quality leather cases that cost right. Spigen's illuzion Series for the iPhone 5 brings with it the same fine-looking leather flip-style case qualities in a much slimmer, better form factor. More after the break!
Spigen likes confusing people with calling the illuzion Leather Case a leather pouch when it isn't. The more appropriate definition would be to call it a flip case because of its front flap that flips open to reveal the iPhone unlike a slip-in leather pouch such as Spigen's Crumena S. Ranting aside, the illuzion Leather Case is your typical handmade genuine leather flip case for the iPhone 5 that features a hard polycarbonate construction wrapped in leathery goodness with no stitching or seams to be found. This gives you an amazing fit and finish which the illuzion and the Argos Series have been offering for quite some time now.
The only difference between the two is the metal logo badge on the illuzion vs the embossed logo on the Argos and the one more additional vintage suede leather choice made available for the Argos Series. The illuzion's $38 price tag doesn't bag you any of Spigen's screen protectors or jelly bean home buttons, just the flip case itself. Then again, none of those are really as necessary when using this flip case.
Opening up the illuzion Leather Case reveals a well padded, microfiber lining that snugly hugs the iPhone 5 when it is pushed into the case. Since I've reviewed the iPhone 4 variant of the illuzion Leather Case, Spigen significantly improved the microfiber interior lining that covers up the iPhone's display when the flap is clipped shut in order to prevent any imprinting and smudging done to the glass.
It was great flip case then, and it's a great flip case now. The illuzion Leather Case means business. Typical of black leather cases, the illuzion Leather Case has a professional and elegant looking clean design. A worlds apart compared to Spigen's Neo Hybrid EX offerings. The biggest advatage of using a flip case such as this is the amount of insane protection you gain. It might not be a Survivor or a LifeProof case, but the front flap which covers the iPhone 5's glass display entirely, keeps it protected better than any other case in the event of a drop. So long as you weren't using your iPhone at the time. In instances like carrying your iPhone in your pocket or throwing it in your purse with a bunch of ruthless objects, the illuzion Leather Case will do its job protecting your investment from literally every angle and corner. That's the power and the fundamental concept of a flip-style case in a nutshell.
As for using the illuzion Leather Case, well it's just like any other flip-style case. It isn't for everyone like a traditional open-front case is. You won't see many people using their iPhones with a flip case on just because not many people like the idea of the front flap hanging lose down below like a pair of balls. Surely it isn't a very appealing site to see, nor is it the most comfortable usage scanarios. But, if you're into leather flip cases, the illuzion Leather Case is one of the best there is. THe price makes it an extraordinary good value too.
You can flip the illuzion's front flap all the way behind the case itself if you don't like it hanging below, but that sort of creates a very bulky feeling that frankly isn't very comfortable way to be using the iPhone 5 in. At first, the leather is very stiff and makes it much harder to lay the flap flush against the back side of the case. And there's also a little hump near the bottom where the flap makes its connection with the case. It is seamless and unobtrusive when holding it in the hand however. Every flip-style case will have such a hump, it's inevitable really. If you just want to hold your iPhone regularly, it's quite nice to hold onto the illuzion case itself while the flap is opened below like an old school PDA case. Talking on over the phone can make you look quite ridiculous. People should mind their own business though, because you're a proud owner of the world's thinnest smartphone.
Then again, that all doesn't matter. While the illuzion Leather Case isn't a very thick case, the flap does make it feel clunky and bulky at times. Again, it's all part of the plan and you're going to have to live with it. One way of thinking of the illusion Leather Case is comparing it to an Apple Smart Case or any other folio style case for the iPad. Just not as useful of course in the iPhone's case.
Spigen's illuzion Leather Case for the iPhone 5 comes in black and white leathers to compliemnt your white or black iPhone 5. The quality of the this particular type of leather Spigen uses feels very good with a bold grown-up aspect. The leather grain has a smooth, flat texture to it with a very tight stretched-out feel. It also passes our sniff test for good smelling leather.
If you're not used to flip cases for the iPhone, you need to know that the flap will always hang lose unless you fold it back which will then make it like you're holding a very bulky case since the flap does not sit completely flush while it's folded back. It's not a problem getting used to it though and even without folding the flap back it's pretty comfortable to hold. The iPhone 4 sits tightly inside the Gariz without any edging of the case protruding over the screen. So you're not very protected if you drop your iPhone 4 while the flap is opened. That's really the only little drawback with this flip case and other SGP flip cases. Once you do however, have the flap closed up, your iPhone 4 is very secure and protected.
Another minor grip I have to point out is that charging your iPhone 5 will require you to open up the flap completely. There are however, openings for the headphone jack and speaker while the front flap is closed. There are also unrestricted openings for the iPhone 5's sleep/wake, volume buttons and the silent switch. There's also a cutout for the iPhone 5's back facing camera outlined with a blacked-out rim which doesn't cause any flashback washout.
No the illuzion Leather Case is not a must case have only because it'll appeal to a small group of iPhone 5 users. That said, if you like using flip style cases, then you can never go wrong with Spigen's leather flip cases such as the illuzion Series. It offers outstanding protection in a sleek, executive style with quality leather craftsmanship, fit and finish.