Noreve Tradition B “Dark Vintage” Review

On May 20, 2009

I was excited to receive my Noreve Tradition B iPhone case, which arrived in the mail this week.  Upon opening the package I was struck by the care taken in packaging the case. Every Noreve case comes with a black gift box to store your case and/or wrap it as a gift for somebody else. What’s more, the lid of the box is stacked under the bottom so that you can see your case in all its glory before opening the package. This made unboxing the product especially pleasurable.

The build quality of the case itself is quite superb. I received the Dark Vintage, which is a dark suede outer coat and a leather inner coat. It is incredibly soft to the touch and looks quite classy.  While I initially thought that the softness of the case would detract from its ability to protect my iPhone, there appears to be stiff inserts in place to protect the device.

As far as protecting the device goes, Noreve has but a fair amount of thought into their cutouts. The screen itself is left open, which allows you full access to the screen and home button without worrying about having to flip away fabric. In addition, there are cutouts for the speakers, microphone, charge connector, light sensor, volume controls, silent/vibrate switch, camera, and lock button. In short, the Tradition B protects the body of your iPhone while allowing the device to function properly with all controls and i/o devices left accessible.

I took the case out for a test drive over the last week to see how it held up to moderate use. The case performed quite well. In fact, once the case was broken in, it felt quite comfortable in even the tightest of pockets. Furthermore, the case hugs the device pretty well without adding too much bulk. The stitching, which is a common area of concern for fabric accessories, remained intact.

As with any good accessory, the details are what matter.  The case is held on to the device using a magnetic latch, which loops on over the top of the iPhone. The latch clings very well and promises to resist the wear and tear normally associated with Velcro and other latch types.

The company logo is displayed on the back of the case. Normally, this kind of branding is looked down upon, but the beveled logo both looks and feels good to the touch.

Speaking of look and feel, the suede fabric is of high quality and shows only a few minor imperfections upon first use. Obviously, using the case will result in further wear, but you won’t find yourself with any significant damage as a result of normal use. To be honest, the minor imperfections add a certain charm to the case that can’t be overlooked. Given how intimate a device the iPhone is, enclosing it in a unique looking case makes you feel like it’s your device. Given how many iPhones there are, having a case that will never look like any other definitely adds a sense of ownership to the device.

That said, there are a couple of issues worth pointing out. While the cutouts are appreciated, some cutouts are too generous while others are simply confusing. The cutouts around the corners are too large and could leave the device vulnerable to scratching. What’s worse, however, is the oddly misaligned front speaker cutout on the face of the device. While being large, it is also aligned too far to the left of the actual speaker, making the case appear as though it’s not on correctly. This is obviously a design choice meant to align the cutout with the latch at the top of the device. That said, that fact does little to relieve the confusion that one feels when looking only at the face of the device.  I wouldn’t recommend Noreve continue with this particular cutout design in future iterations.

These caveats notwithstanding, the Noreve Tradition B is a case worthy of recommendation. Not only is it functional, it both looks and feels great. While the softness of the case many not appear to be a selling point at first, consider that this is a device you’ll be holding for hundreds of hours. Taking that into consideration, shelling out the extra money for a case that will make the device feel good will be a worthy investment. If the odd cutout design isn’t a deal breaker for you, the Noreve Tradition B is a fantastic luxury case.