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Product: For the past couple of weeks, I have been using Vaja’s premium leather Grip Hardshell Case and Executive Leather Flip Cover for the iPhone 5. These cases are built-to-order and handcrafted in Argentina. Vaja’s website allows customers to completely customize both the inside and outside designs of the cases. The process takes 20 days, according to the company. However, a series of in-stock, pre-chosen configurations are available.

Performance/Features: Both cases are very structurally sound, and compared to other cases that I have tested in the past, putting the iPhone 5 in and out of the cases is a simple task. In terms of leather case quality in general, I have usually found myself with a mixed bag of results. However, my past experience with Vaja’s leather quality has been outstanding. The leather iPhone 4/4S Vaja case that I reviewed all the way back in 2010 is still in use, and it is in good condition with only minor nicks and a lack of tears.

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Both cases offer easy access to the iPhone 5′s camera, audio controls, Lightning connector, speakers, and sleep/wake/power button. The Grip case offers a completely open face for the iPhone 5′s display, while the Executive Leather case has a front flip that will keep your display covered while the iPhone is in a bag, pocket, or elsewhere. The flip case uses a magnet system so the flap stays intact.

In terms of protection/performance, both cases will do a solid job of preventing dents into the aluminum band surrounding the iPhone. If you drop the iPhone 5 on its rear, the camera/LED is seemingly protected as the cases are a bit higher than the flat camera face. Because of the front flap, the Executive case offers more protection than the Grip case.

Why: Vaja’s latest iPhone 5 cases are perfect for those who want to protect their iPhone 5 with some of the best quality leather cases materials for a phone. The handcrafted process adds a touch of elegance to your already high-profile device. However, Vaja is a brand that focuses on style and materials, so if you’re looking for a case that is built specifically to protect your phone, check out the Otterbox Defender (my full review).

Price: The base-model Grip case costs $70 and the base-model Executive Flip Cover case costs $90. Certain leather and color options can yield an extra  $20 on top of those prices.

Hands-on image gallery:

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2 Responses to “Review two-pack: Vaja’s latest premium leather cases for iPhone 5”

  1. In my experience with Vaja cases I have found that they do not hold up well to moderate use, particularly if the leather is light in color. After about six months the two pieces of leather that were sandwiched together to become the hinge start to unglue. Now if these two pieces were sewn together they would probably have held up better, but only a rubber cement was used to keep the two halves together. As time passed the separation became wider and began to expose the inner white plastic core.

    To make matters worse, the leather’s finish could not take the level of abuse a typical $20 wallet could take. The case I had was light in color and when scratched by change or keys would show a dark line with the underlying leather exposed. This leather was much darker and had the texture of suede. It could never be polished back to the original color or finish.

    While the cases are beautiful when new, they won’t last nine months without beginning to look ratty unless you makes sure to never put them in a pocket with anything else. Even then the hinge would need to be re-glued periodically.

    On the plus side they do a good job protecting the phone, but the same could be said for far less expensive cases.

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  2. @Mark3785, thanks for your feedback.
    @9to5Mac, thanks for the in-depth review. Do you think $90 is a fair price for this iphone accessory. It seems rather high to me.
    Kind Regards
    Bibi

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