At first glance, the brand new Speck FabShell Luxe for iPhone 4/4S may seem like a regular case, but it’s not. The FabShell Luxe is a form-fitting hard-shell case that’s backed with an elegant top-grain leather. It’s one of the few practical leather iPhone cases that can live up to the demand of tough every-day usage.
As a Speck case, you can count on the FabShell Luxe to offer iPhone 4 or 4S fabulous protection. It’s not nearly as big and bulky as their CandyShell lineup. In fact, it’s fairly minimalistic. It’s as thin as it needs to be to be all around protective. It has a bezel that surpasses iPhone’s face by a couple millimeters on all sides. The edges are reinforced and the corners are shock-absorbent.
The FabShell Luxe is a one-piece design. The case has just enough flex to get it on and off iPhone. There’s rubberized button overlays for the volume and lock button, which we love. Unlike some other cases we’ve reviewed, the entire case isn’t covered in leather–which is probably better off. Instead, there are panels of leather. There’s a large ‘top-grain’ leather panel on the back of the case, surrounded by a thin perimeter of the case’s plastic shell. There’s another leather panel on each side of the case, which slightly wrap around the corners to the top and bottom of the case. The leather and the plastic team up to provide a handsomely elegant color scheme. It also provides a pretty nice feel.
The FabShell Luxe is a pretty snazzy and elegant case for iPhone. It doesn’t just look nice, but it’s an extremely practical weight and size that offers great protection and rubberized button overlays. The honest truth of the case, unfortunately, is that the leather doesn’t look or feel superior. In other words, we wouldn’t pay a premium for the leather, but as a regularly priced case, it’s fantastic. That being said, the Speck FabShell Luxe Case for iPhone 4/4S retails for $49.95. It’s a brand new case, so we imagine it will be half the price on Amazon soon, and at that point it will be a good purchase. It’s currently available from SpeckProducts.com in four different colors: Black, Cognac (pictured), Burgundy, and Hunter Green.
The Good: Protective, Small Form Factor, Button Overlays, Backed in Matching Leather, Durable, Elegant Design
The Bad: Too Expensive