Big companies like Apple spend millions of dollars on smartphone designs. Research and development costs add up fast, and countless man-hours are devoted to perfecting every internal component, every material and every curve of a handset’s housing. People buy these modern marvels for hundreds of dollars and fawn over their sleek lines and smooth curves, openly adoring them online and in person with friends.
Then, they cover these amazing smartphones with $2 worth of atrocious, glossy hard plastic.
Since I ran that post, about 30 different case makers have contacted be looking for coverage for their iPhone cases. We don’t often cover smartphone cases here on BGR, as you well know, so most of their requests went ignored. A handful of companies make cases that truly are worthy of your attnetion though, and I’ll try to feature them here on the site from time to time.
One such company is Alto.
To look at Alto’s gorgeous leather iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases, one would think this company is based in Italy or elsewhere in Europe. While Alto does indeed use Italian leather, it is actually a small company based in Taiwan.
I have been testing four of Alto’s cases over the past week or so, and I am genuinely impressed with the look and quality of these cases.
The leather on Alto’s cases is smooth and supple, but it’s also remarkably thin so it barely adds any bulk to the iPhone’s housing. Of course, Apple’s new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are so thin that case makers have some extra room to play with their designs, but Alto didn’t need it.
These cases add just a few millimeters of thickness to the back of Apple’s handsets. Then the cases wrap around the sides of the phone and sit almost flush with the display, so no thickness is added to the face of the phones.
Since Alto uses real Italian leather on its cases, they act like any other genuine leather. They change over time, darkening from oils that are transferred from hands and scuffing from rubs and scrapes. This adds character that no synthetic material will ever achieve, and it makes every case unique.
The leather is real and the craftsmanship is quite impressive, so these cases are not cheap. Prices range from $55 for leather and coated denim iPhone 6 cases to $68 for all-leather iPhone 6 Plus cases. You also have to pay for shipping from Taiwan, which starts at $17 to the United States.
As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
Of note, Alto is currently holding a one-day sale that offers 20% off of all of its cases, including iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models. No coupon code is needed, and the sale ends at 10:00 p.m. EST Tuesday night.