What is it about fine leather that so many people just love? Is it the look? The smell of a well-made leather product? The tactile quality? All of the above? I don’t know, but I do know that Noreve Saint-Tropez satisfies all of the above as evidenced by the Nokia Lumia 900 case I received from them. For those unfamiliar, Noreve Saint-Tropeze of Saint-Tropez, France, nestled in the south of France on the coast between Marseille and Cannes, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. (For the culinary inclined, this is loosely referred to as part of Provence.) For the history buff, this was one of the very first provinces beyond the northern Alpine regions established by the Roman Empire, called Provincia Romana, and hence the source of its current regional name. I know you, dear reader, didn’t come here for a cultural lesson, so let us continue with the Noreve case review at hand.
Noreve does not skimp on packaging. Within the envelope was an impressed package, with the company logo(s) and the picturesque bell tower of the church of Notre-Dame de l’Assomption, which dates to about 1634. (NOTE: Feel free to click on any image, and in the resulting window, you can click again to see the image in greater detail.)
Opening the box, nestled snugly within was a red gilt bag with drawstring held the case:
Within was the “Sandy Vintage” schema case for my Lumia 900, here opened to show the holster accessories within:
The case I received was a light brown suede case with a flap protecting the screen when not in use. As with all Noreve cases, they are accompanied by an unobtrusive silver logo of embossed metal.
The soft suede exterior provided for a superior grip and was a joy to hold. Even the interior was attractive to behold, with the Noreve logo impressed into the fine-grained leather.
Permit me to demonstrate how the case cradles the Nokia. Here is my cyan Lumia 900 properly ensconced.
The fit is snug, so that there is no risk of my phone tumbling out unexpectedly. The edge flaps around the phone are reinforced, and while they will flex a wee bit, they likely aren’t going to be wearing out anytime soon.
From the side, the Lumia’s control buttons are easily accessible:
Moving to the top of the case, the top latches onto the phone fairly snugly.
My one concern here is that over time part of the phone or latch itself might start to wear a bit where the case and phone contact. That minor bit aside, note how the case front is padded and the 3.5mm jack is easily accessible even with a closed case. While the case is padded, it didn’t feel excessively bulky to me.
The bottom of the case. At first casual glance from this angle, a view might be concerned that the Lumia 900′s speaker is obstructed, but that’s not really the case here, as the bottom flap of the Noreve case bows out a tad. I didn’t notice any obvious muffling when receiving a phone call; the sound levels seemed more or less identical.
Here is the bottom of the case with the front flap opened. Notice the two “feet” supporting the phone and helping to keep it in place. Also note how they are precisely position so as not to obstruct the speaker at all:
From the back, ample space is provided for the camera and flash. A caveat…suede can show scratches more easily than smooth leather, though it should be possible to brush them out if they aren’t too deep.
Note the metal button below the camera opening. Not only can users slip the case into a pocket, but Noreve thoughtfully provided the tools to allow owners to wear the case in a holster…even a screwdriver is enclosed:
By unscrewing the button emblazoned with the Noreve logo, I can insert the knurled nut onto the back and secure it with the screw. Note how Noreve cleverly created the nut base with two protruding slots to prevent the nut from unscrewing due to repeated holstering/unholstering:
Et voilà ! A “holsterized” case.
Noreve’s reputation for high quality cases is well deserved. The Lumia 900 case is fairly simple, but elegantly executed. I especially appreciated the discreet molding around certain edges (note the camera hole above) that reduce snag and splitting of the leather layers, rather than just simply remaining a cut edge. The case snugly fits the Lumia 900 like a glove: there is absolutely no wobbling or slipping whatsoever. Oh, and I forgot to mention the stitching. Well done such that I didn’t notice it, with no big knots or anything obvious to easily snag and fray. The case is a bit pricey, but you are after all buying not just a simple mass-produced case but a luxurious case to house your phone.
Interested buyers may obtain the Nokia Lumia 900 Tradition at Noreve Saint-Tropez’s site here.
What I Liked: High quality leather; first-rate assembly; fits the Nokia Lumia 900 perfectly; ample cutout space for control button access; ability to switch between holster or pocket carry
What Needs Improvement: Slight concern about how the front flap secures itself against the phone in terms of rubbing