I’m on a mission to find the best looking iPhone 6/6 Plus case. So far I have tested the Incipio NGP, the Griffin Reveal and the Mujjo Leather Wallet Case. Today I’m writing about the Maple iPhone case from Grovemade (which is beyond awesome).
I’ve always wanted to try a wooden iPhone case. There’s something about it that just seems cool. Maybe it’s the interesting contrast between organic and inorganic materials colliding; the best of nature and the best of technology, together. Or maybe it’s the unique factor: I haven’t actually seen another person walking around with a wooden phone case and the grain for each case is different from the rest. Perhaps I just like the look. Actually, I think it’s a little of each.
Prior to trying the Maple iPhone case, I had never used a Grovemade product before (they also make cases and covers for Macs and iPads). While I am aware that there are other makers of wood-based iPhone accessories, Grovemade always seemed like it sold the best quality and most stylish wooden products (based purely on what I saw online)—thus the company was a natural starting place for the category. Once the product arrived, I was instantly impressed.
The looks of the Maple iPhone case are indeed very impressive (I’m sure the walnut accessories are equally so, it’s just that I preferred a lighter wood to match my white iPhone 6 Plus). The attention to detail is actually incredible: you can see how perfectly the top, bottom and sides fit together at the corners of the case. The cutouts for buttons and cords are precise and attractive (but yet, thanks to the nature of the wood, not perfect upon very close inspection… which I love because it feels like it is one-of-a-kind.)
The case is very smooth to the touch (but not slippery at all) so you won’t be getting any splinters 🙂 The buttons make the most satisfying click too.
The wooden case does feel slightly bulkier than the other cases I have tested as part of this series—but I simply don’t care (or don’t mind I should say). My iPhone 6 Plus is already large—a few millimeters doesn’t make much of a difference. In my mind, it is clearly worth a bit of bulk for the unique look of a wooden case. I’m sure it comes down to the nature of the material… how thin can you get it without it being too fragile? Regardless, it feels quite comfortable in my hands (even in one hand).
One gripe I do have about the case is that it doesn’t fit all cords. It fits the lightning (charging) cord that my iPhone came with, but it doesn’t fit my portable power adapter for charging in the car. Also, while it does fit the default Apple headphones, it doesn’t fit my larger over-the-ear headphones—big bummer there.
One thing that threw me for a bit of a loop with this case was the stick back. I didn’t realize that the case was essentially a wooden bumper with a thin case that you peel and stick on the back. Once assembled, it looks like one unit, but I’m a bit leery of sticking anything to my phone. I have yet to peel it off, and I’m sure that Grovemade has done plenty of testing over the years to ensure there is no lasting residue or damage, but it was not what I was expecting: I thought the case was a one piece case. In the end, this really isn’t a big deal as I love the case and it does offer good basic protection (although there’s very little in the way of shock absorption—but again I’m not looking for a case that a tank can run over… I want a case that looks good).
If you want an iPhone case that looks good and is very unique I would very highly recommend the Grovemade Maple or Walnut case. I like it enough to call it my favorite in this series exploring the best looking iPhone cases so far (and by far).
Update 4/10/15: I’ve been using this case for exactly 2 months now and I decided it was time to see what happened when trying to remove this case. Because of the stickiness of the backing, it was a bit tricky. In the end, the back of the case broke in two instead of coming off in one place. One the one hand, this is good because you know the back is never going to come off. On the other hand, this means, at least in my case, that I can only use this case once. Also, there was a bit of sticky residue left on the back of the phone, but I was able to get it to come of pretty quickly and easily with a damp paper towel (without damaging the phone). Overall, this is one of my absolute favorite iPhone cases and certainly one of the best I have tested. Still recommended if you like the look of wood. Here’s a photo: