Review: Noreve Lumia 1020 Tradition leather case
The Lumia 1020 is still pretty new and, arguably, something of a niche device, but there have still been some decent case designs for it. After all, if you're going to spend £500 on a smartphone and carry it to the ends of the earth, it would be nice to keep it protected as much as possible, and in a premium way that enhances the phone hardware rather than gets in the way. Noreve's Tradition case is just such an accessory, with only a couple of small quirks to complain about.
Before even showing you the Tradition case, a word about colours. Noreve effectively stitch their cases to order, using the leather you want in the colour you want with the stitching you want(!) Partly explaining the price, around 50 Euros. However, what is a reviewer to do? Answer: accept whatever review sample comes his way, even if it doesn't match the colour of the phone itself!
In this case, we have the slightly odd-looking combination of a brown leather case on a bright yellow smartphone. Err... yes. I'm not sure this is going to be a popular combination - so disregard any colour cosmetic thoughts you might have regarding the photos below.
In essence, this is Noreve's classic Tradition design, with the phone clipped in-situ in a leather-clad metal frame and with a flap-hinged front cover, also (very thin) metal encased in leather. The closure is through a simple mechanical push-fit tab, which seems a bit amateurish but which actually works very well and with nothing to go wrong.
All ports and buttons are accessible with the case in place, so you can leave the 1020 in the Tradition permanently if you like. The feel in the hand is terrific, the main flap hinges off to the right if you're taking a photo, or right around and behind if you want to use the smartphone without too much leather getting in the way. There's even an easy way to half-wrap the main flap at right angles to the phone, forming a primitive kick stand, for easy consumption of media (e.g. Netflix).
While the design is largely immaculate, there were two oddities:
Firstly, on the back, there's a cutout over the two metal contacts for the 1020's optional wireless charging shell - what's the point of this, when you can't fit the charging shell on over the Tradition case?
Secondly, on the top edge, a small tab keeps the 1020 secure in the main cage, but why is it so small? Noreve's answer will be that it wanted to keep clear of the SIM tray opening, but how often do most people change their SIM cards? Surely, if you did want to change SIMs then taking the case off the phone wouldn't be too much of a hardship? A larger tab would certainly look neater.
Noreve's leather is pricey, to be sure, but you get to choose the exact colour and stitching - and it also passes the 'smell' test - is it just me who loves sniffing quality leather?
Although my own preference for smartphone cases tends towards belt-mounted pouches, the in-situ Noreve Tradition almost has me won over - it's a great fit and looks and feels as premium as the phone it's designed to protect. Recommended.
Reviewed by Steve Litchfield at