Even the box it ships in is luxurious...PC BRAD MOON

Minimalist Design

This is a case for those who are looking for basic protection from bumps and a drop from a coffee table, while adding some style to their iPhone. 

It’s not likely to save your iPhone if it takes a tumble down the stairs. It also doesn’t add anything to the weather resistance of an iPhone — in fact, the company recommends avoiding inclement weather, water, and prolonged exposure to sunlight.

So not the best choice for the outdoor adventure crowd...

As a minimalist case, it gets the job done, though. The Anson Calder Calfskin iPhone case is lined with soft material to protect the smartphone’s glass back. Edges have just enough of a lip to prevent the phone’s display from making contact with a surface it’s placed on. There’s a cutout for the cameras, but the case wraps around the buttons and ports altogether, leaving them exposed. This design makes for easier access, eliminates the risk of delicate cutout pieces snapping off (something I’ve had happen in the past with other cases), doesn’t interfere with the speakers, keeps the Lightning port free, and also makes it easier to pop the case off — handy if you want to temporarily swap it out for something more rugged.

The minimalist design keeps buttons and ports clear. PC BRAD MOON.

It adds no appreciable bulk or weight to the iPhone it’s protecting, which is key for a minimalist case.

Luxurious Calfskin in a Range of Colors

Anson Calder says its full-grain calfskin comes from a French tannery with roots stretching back to the 1600s. Expect it to develop a rich patina, while the natural oils in the leather will help any small scratches in the leather surface to smooth out. This iPhone case will get better looking with time — unlike plastic that tends to begin looking scuffed, scratched and worn.

The leather feels warm in hand and provides a better grip than the iPhone’s own slippery mix of curved glass and steel.

My review unit came in FSHD orange, which was a welcome and bright alternative to the usual brown or black leather. Of course you can get those traditional colors as well and Anson Calder offers additional colorful options including red and cobalt (blue).

Should You Buy It?

Beautiful French calfskin leather available in a range of traditional and bright colors. PC BRAD MOON

There’s no getting around the fact that the Anson Calder Calfskin iPhone case carries a premium price tag. The version for my iPhone XS Max goes for $90; the XS model is $85 and the XR is $80. That’s close to double the price of Apple’s own leather case for these iPhones. Add monograming and the price goes up by $15. 

However...

The calfskin on the Anson Calder case feels more substantial to me. I also prefer this design’s approach of leaving all buttons exposed, over Apple’s cutouts and button covers. The monogram option is a nice touch as well, adding a degree of personalization you won’t find in a mass-market case. The colors offered are very appealing and I found the FSHD Orange of my review unit was striking.

In other words, if you want a premium, minimalist leather case for your iPhone, the Anson Calder Calfskin iPhone case is a pretty nice option.

If you own an older model iPhone, prices are discounted while supplies last (for example the iPhone 8 Plus case was priced at $54 at time of publication), so the decision to wrap your phone in some luxurious calfskin gets a lot easier. 

Disclosure: Anson Calder provided an iPhone case for evaluation but had no input into this review.

See the Anson Calder iphone cases here