A Case for Cases

Yes, I bought a thousand dollar animoji machine. It's sleek, it's beautiful. It's made of glass. It's a wet bar of soap. That's the only way to describe holding an iPhone X. The first day I had it I didn't have a case. Every time I took it gingerly out of my pocket I looked like Jeremy Renner in the Hurt Locker handling live ordinance.

Granted, my past few iPhones have had a case. My 4S had a leather case which looked like old sneakers after a few months. My 6S had a silicone case. The question was which direction to go for the X.

I ended up buying both, getting the Cosmos Blue Apple silicone case and Saddle Brown Apple Leather case. I found a few YouTube videos reviewing each individually, but thought I'd give me own thoughts comparing the two.



Drop Protection

First, you will not find any drop protection claims anywhere for either of these cases. I can say that I dropped my 6S onto concrete twice with a silicone case without damage. Having both the leather and silicone case, I suspect the silicone one offers better cushioning, just based on the fact that it is soft and the leather case is fairly hard. They seem mainly designed to avoid scuffs and scratches, with a small amount of drop protection.

There are many other heavy-duty cases rated for six or ten-foot drops. I prefer smaller, non-bulky cases with a little bit of padding.


The Cosmos Blue silicone case feels slightly powdery and soft. Other than that, it is very grippy.

The Saddle Brown leather case feels very hard and slick. At first it was very slick. After a week it softened slightly, improving its grip.

In terms of touch, I prefer the leather case. Although it is slippery, it just feels great in your hand. Leather also slides out of my pocket easier. Silicone pulls up lint from my pant pocket.


The leather case comes with copper-colored metal power/volume buttons which have a clicky feel. The silicone case has fixed silicone buttons which have a soft feeling.

The access hole for the mute button is smaller on the leather case. It's difficult to fit my thumb into the notch and flick the switch. The silicone case doesn't have this issue.

The bottom of the leather case is more open than than the silicone case. I suspect the silicone case offers slightly more bottom protection. As an aside, I like that the bottom is open, because I constantly swipe up (it's the new home key) and it's nice not to hit the case with my thumb.

The camera cutout on the blue silicone case has a nice chamfer. The leather case does not, although the leather is raised to protect the camera.


The silicone case looks the same after time. It's fairly impervious to stains or color change. When it finally wears, it becomes shiny and hard along edges where the underlying plastic is exposed.

The leather case quickly (within a few days) starts to darken. It scratches if you look at it the wrong way. After four days mine had scuffs from fingernails and jean rivets. The case darkens from skin oil, so just touching it will gradually change its color. This isn't necessarily a bad thing for saddle brown, which goes from a caramel color to a leather-bound book appearance. When I set it down on a table at lunch, it picked up a fleck of food with oil, adding a permanent dark spot. Note my experience with other colors of leather cases was different. When I had a blue case, it darkened along all the edges, turning indigo blue. It looked stained, like an old tennis shoe.



At two weeks, there is no contest. The leather case looks much more premium than the silicone. I like how the leather is darkening.


If I'm going in the field where there's a chance of dropping my phone, I'll put on the silicone case.

For day-to-day use, I'll use the leather case. It looks great and feels nice to hold.