Review: Terrapin leather folio cases for the Lumia 950 and 950 XL
Although I feel naturally more inclined to the back-replacement Mozo leather accessories for the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, there's also a lot to be said for a wrap around 'folio' case that provides a genuine layer of extra protection, adds storage for one or more cards (and thus aids as a wallet) and, potentially, provides landscape mode support for media consumption. Terrapin are a new name to me in this sphere, and I've been looking at three likely suspects from their extensive range.
First of all, the 'Slim Fit Genuine Leather Wallet with Stand', £16 at Amazon UK:
Kept closed by magnets in the edges (and necessitating putting any credit cards in with their mag stripe to the 'right' to avoid demagnetisation from the closure magnets), the exterior of the Slim Fit case is also treated with a shiny (protective?) finish that wasn't to my taste - it looked and felt rather cheap, which is a shame as the inside leather (without the finish) was rather lovely.
Happily, there's little else to complain about with this case, which offers quite a bit of drop protection while also offering access (just about) to the 950 XL's control buttons and two card slots on the inside flap.
In fact, the Slim Fit case isn't actually that slim, with the bulky leather hinge having lots of unnecessary empty space - at least, until you put in a couple of cards in, whereupon the dimensions make sense.
The leather is hinged behind the plastic insert that holds the phone, letting the case transform into a landscape viewing station, especially useful for ad-hoc YouTube or Netflix consumption. And, unlike some rival cases, the leather is sturdy enough that the phone stays in place, at around 45 degrees, perfect for media consumption while eating, for example. Or maybe for working, armed with a Bluetooth keyboard?
Second up, the 'Low Profile Wallet with Stand', £9 at Amazon UK:
Despite the low price, this is still made with leather and, in fact, my favourite of the designs here. Firstly, the wrap around leather is thin enough and tightly fitting enough that you're only adding a couple of millimetres, front and back (though you'd gain 1mm for each card added to the minimalist slots inside the front flap).
Secondly, and in keeping with the 'low profile' part of the name, the leather on the back is deliberately designed to stop short of the 950 XL's edges - this creates a more rounded feeling in the hand and prevents that awful 'folio edges sticking into the hand' scenario, all too evident from the 'slim fit' design above.
Finally, the device's side buttons aren't hampered at all, partly because of that fall-away back design. In landscape mode, this case shines too, with sturdy and simple support at the usual range of angles, with the strength coming from the case leather and plenty of friction from the folio's inside flap.
Third and last in this selection is the 'Genuine Leather Wallet', £13 at Amazon UK:
This is the grand-daddy of the leather folios here, with padded leather all round, plus four card slots and a genuine bill fold pocket on the inside of the flap.
The magnet in the closure is also slightly stronger and the usual notes about putting cards with their mag-stripe (if applicable) away from the closure apply here. Although the overall thickness here takes some getting used to, that it can obviate the need for carrying a separate wallet might be enough to sway a purchase. Though it's too thick for most pockets, so you might be more likely to carry it, which then means that if you lose this, you lose everything, so....
Top materials and an amazing price, but I don't think this design is one for me! Quite apart from the bulk, there's no hinged back and landscape viewing facility.
PS. Note that much the same designs are available for the smaller Lumia 950 and even 650, see Terrapin's web site for more.
Reviewed by Steve Litchfield at