Review: Snugg leather flipcase and stand for iPhone 6 Plus
Two weeks into my iPhone 6 ownership and I have already explained how I decided to keep the larger phone instead of exchanging it for the 4.7in model. I like it and I do not find the size a problem. I also recounted my adventures with the cannibalised Logitech Folio Keyboard and I now have a serviceable, ultra-thin little keyboard to go with the 6 Plus. Just one thing was missing: some form of stand. The orange teapot was merely a temporary diversion.
Although I was very happy with the Apple silicone rubber back case, I decided to order a Snugg iPhone 6 Leather Flip Case for two reasons. First, it provides a cover for the screen, which cannot be a bad thing, and second, the cover folds back to create a stand to hold up the phone in landscape mode.
The case arrived last week, some two weeks earlier than promised, and I am impressed. The blurb says it is made from leather but often these days it is difficult to tell, so good are synthetic materials. Inside, the case is lined with a soft Nubuck fibre and there are two credit-card-sized slots and a full-length pocket for papers, receipts or cash. Personally I don't care much for filling a device case with other stuff. It just adds to the bulk and I always worry about damage to the screen.
The tray for the phone is made from a black, shiny plastic material and is well anchored to the case. The phone slips in easily and fits securely but I always worry a little about possible scratching from such a hard surround. However, I have never noticed problems with similar layouts in the past. I suppose it depends how often you remove and replace the phone.
There are cutouts for all buttons and the bottom of the phone remains naked. The only reason you would need to remove the phone from the case is to change a SIM card. I have two iPhone 5 Belkin docks and I am glad to report that the Snugg-encased phone fits without a problem provided the cover is left open.
The cover is secured by a magnetic clasp which is not bulky and clicks into place effectively. In a nice touch, there is also a magnetic connection to the inside cover when it is folded back for reading. This avoids the problem of having to cope with a flapping closure tab.
My main motivation in choosing this case was to gain a stand so I can use the phone with my little Logitech keyboard. The back of the case folds centrally so that the left-hand edge of the phone can rest on the plush inside of the cover. There is no physical restraint so the phone tends to slip down until it is at a fairly shallow angle. I find this a bit too shallow for easy viewing and would prefer a steeper angle. I don't like having to bodge, but it easy enough to place something under the first fold to stop it flopping down; this has the effect of holding the screen in a more upright position.
It is probably not a good idea to stuff the cover with credit cards and suchlike if you want to retain a flat surface to support the phone.
There is no doubt that the Snugg case adds to the bulk of the phone. For the past couple of weeks I have been using the Apple silicone back case which adds only 25g to the weight of the phone and hardly anything to the bulk. The extra size of Snugg-encased iPhone 6 Plus is noticeable. The device is definitely less comfortable to carry in a tight pocket. The 6 Plus is already pretty big, so any extra bulk is not desirable. The case with iPhone inside has a depth of 12mm compared with the 7.1mm of the naked device. The weight of the case and phone combined is 225g compared with 172g for the naked phone or 197g with the minimalist Apple silicone case attached.
On balance, I can put up with the small extra weight and thickness in return for the protection afforded to the screen and the convenience of having a stand always available. It comes into its own not only when using a keyboard but also when browsing, reading and viewing videos.
The Snugg cover works well and, in conjunction with a keyboard, offers a mini laptop experience which is ideal for writers. The main problem, which is not the fault of the case, is that relatively few apps have been optimised for landscape working on the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple has done a first-rate job of adapting the home screen and all its own built-in apps, including Calendar, Contacts and Notes. Many other applications have not been amended and it is therefore frustrating to be faced continually with sideways-on applications. I have no doubt that developers are working on this aspect as I write.
For £15 with free Prime delivery, the Snugg case represents good value for money. Compare it with £25 for the Apple's silicone back cover or £39 for the leather version. The Snugg is currently one of the few iPhone 6 Plus cases that incorporates a stand facility and, as such, is a worthwhile buy.