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Against all odds, I’ve fallen for dbrand’s leather iPhone skin

I'm usually a phone minimalist, but for this I'll make an exception

Because I was one of those kids who had a gunmetal carbon fibre skin on my iPhone 4s back in the day, a few years ago, I tested out dbrand’s pastel skins on several OnePlus phones, but none felt as premium as the leather option.

I’ve always been a phone minimalist and rarely use cases or skins anymore, but after testing out the OnePlus Open and its faux leather back, I decided to try out the dbrand leather option on my iPhone 14 Pro.

When installing the skin, I followed the company’s video guide. Overall, the process was pretty simple, but since the leather option is thicker than traditional skin, you need to rub down the edges to make them feel more flush with your device. With this in mind, if you have a phone with rounded edges, you may need to use a hair dryer to curve the leather around the phone.

The video demo used the small screen cleaning cloth to wear the edges down, so I did the same, but I think I rubbed too hard on the leather back since it left marks around the edge that you can ever so slightly see at some angles. They’re difficult to notice, and as I use the case more, the overall patina hides it better, but for the first few weeks, it was a lot more noticeable.

Looking back, I’d still rub down the edges, but I’d put more effort into keeping the pressure exactly on the edge so I don’t wear them down more than I need to.

After being rubbed down, the edges felt a lot better, and the cutout for the camera fits seamlessly with the thicker leather. The skin does come with a small leather section for the camera bump, but I liked the look of the raw camera instead, so I took it off. Since I was using black leather on a black phone, I think the effect blends pretty naturally, but with more colourful devices, the camera cover is likely more useful.

If I were to make one change to the iPhone version of this skin, I wouldn’t cut out the Apple logo. From a distance, it looks nice, but I find dust and grime get caught in there, and at the end of the day, a smooth back would be more pleasing to hold and look more minimal. However, after about a month, it hasn’t come loose at any of the exposed edges, so at least it’s stuck down securely.

When it comes down to it, the best part about the skin is simply how nice it feels in my hand. The leather just feels supple on the back of the phone and makes it feel soft without adding a bulky case. I also like the subtle look it adds to my iPhone 14 Pro without needing a case or adding anything noticeable.

dbrand’s leather skins are $34.95, which is more expensive than the accessory maker’s regular skins, but I think they’re worth it if you value how your phone feels in your hand.

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