Just like any type of smartphone case, quality products can sometime be hard to come by. Fortunately, with Labato’s leather folio/flip cases for the iPhone 5/5s (Twitter, Facebook), you won’t have to worry about that. In this review, I’ll be taking a look at the black (LBT-IP5-15C10 on Amazon for $13.50 at the time of this post) and blue (LBT-IP5-15H40 on Amazon for $15.99) leather cases. You can also find them on AliExpress and eBay.
Please note that both of these cases are exactly the same, minus their outside colors.
Straight out of the simple and clean box is the case itself. Given the price of the case, I don’t particularly mind that no extras come included, such as a screen protector.
In terms of materials, the outside of the case features what seems to be synthetic leather with the added bonus of a leather-like smell that’s really quite pleasant. On the inside is a smoother type of leather with Labato branding in a nice looking pattern. The right side is where you’ll insert your iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s, seated rather well and tight. The camera cutout on the rear isn’t oversized and works fine.
The flap is where some of the real benefits of this particular case come into play. At the top is a cutout for the earpiece, allowing you to make and take calls without actually have to open the front cover. Below that is another cutout that can be used for checking the time via the iOS 7 lockscreen. Lastly, the one below that is for answering calls. In addition, the flap itself works really well, and results in a nice sound when closing it. It also doubles as a stand, but only for steeper angles. Unfortunately, there’s no way for it to stay closed (no clasp mechanism at all), so this might be a problem for some.
When the cover is closed, you can still feel and press the two volume buttons pretty easily. The silent switch? Not so much, so it’s better to open the cover should you need to access your silent switch. Lastly, the top and bottom of the phone are completely exposed, so you won’t have any issues accessing the power button or anything that’s located at the bottom of the iPhone.
For the most part, this is a fantastic and simple folio-style case for both the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s. Given their very fair prices on Amazon (they’re also eligible for Prime shipping, which is a plus for those members), this is a no-brainer purchase for those who wish to get into these types of cases. I especially enjoyed using the black one, as it really feels like a “professional” accessory.