Oberon Design Large Smartphone Sleeve Review

It wasn’t so long ago that I reviewed the Oberon Design cellphone sleeve, and while that case was perfect for the iPhone and other similarly sized mobile devices, it isn’t quite big enough for all of the larger-screened mobile devices that are now so popular.

I’ve got the new Nokia Lumia 920, which has a 4.5″ screen and measures 5.13″ tall x 2.79″ wide x 0.42″ thick; it is simply too large for the original sleeve. Luckily, I was soon to receive the new Oberon Design Large Smartphone Sleeve. This larger sleeve measures 6.25″ tall x 4″ wide; these measurements are obviously taken on the outside of the sleeve, so the interior dimensions are slightly smaller. Even so, the sleeve can easily accommodate the Lumia 920 as well as the LG Optimus G I’m in the process of reviewing.

I decided to mix things up a bit and go with a black cover this time; in the past I’ve reviewed wine, orchid, red, and green Oberon leather accessories, and I’ve also purchased a cover in sky blue. I suppose I thought that black might be hard to photograph or that it might be boring, but I should have known better. The design I chose is called Bold Celtic, and I really like how the 3D knots manage to pop against the matte black leather; this design is also available in a deep green.

Oberon Design uses domestic leather that has been custom tanned for them in the Midwest.

To facilitate our art medium of burning images into leather, Oberon leather is drum dyed (tumbled in a rotating drum immersed in dye) and less processed with paint and coatings. To achieve the rich black in our imagery we typically avoid pastel colors that require the use of white pigments (paint) in the tanning process: White, pink, baby blue, pale greens & yellows, etc. Dyed leather containing white pigments produce a muddy grey color when burned that we find unappealing, even ugly.

Drum-dyed leather means the dye penetrates completely and should never scuff white. Only plastic or vinyl covers present a flawless surface. The plus side of less coated leather like ours is that it’s less processed and will absorb natural oils from your hands that guarantee your cover will develop a deep, glossy patina over time.

Unlike the smaller cellphone sleeve I’d previously reviewed, the large smartphone sleeve has the embossed design on both the front and back. How gorgeous is this? The only evident branding is the pewter base of the magnetic leather closure tab which says OBERON.

Here’s the Lumia 920 lying on top of the sleeve; you can already tell that it will be plenty big.

The interior of the sleeve is lined in smooth, protective leather.

This size sleeve is perfect for holding and protecting my larger smartphone when it is not in use, as I like to be able to toss my device into the black hole I call my purse. The only downside is that when my phone is removed from the sleeve, it is no longer protected. My solution for that was to install a full Bodyguardz skin on the 920, so I’m a little less worried now than I would otherwise be.

The Oberon Design site mentions that this size sleeve is good for iPod and earphone storage, mobile devices with or without their bulky bumper cases, and even some smaller digital cameras. This sleeve is the perfect size for many of the larger-screened smartphones now available, with the specific exception of the Samsung Galaxy Note and the LG Intuition. You can check a list of tested devices to see whether or not yours will fit by clicking, here. I can personally say that it works well with the Nokia Lumia 920, the Nokia Lumia 900, and the LG Optimus G.

Part of what I like about the Nokia Lumia 920 is its polycarbonate body and the way it fits in my hand; putting an already bulky phone such as this inside a play-through case would make it too large, and in my opinion it would ruin the phone’s elegant lines. Being able to slip my skinned phone inside the Oberon Design Large Smartphone Sleeve is the perfect solution for me.

The Oberon Design Large Smartphone Sleeve is available directly from the manufacturer.

MSRP: $45

What I Like: Fits many larger smartphones with or without their bumper cases; beautiful 3D embossed leather; great protection for your device — as long as it is inside the sleeve

What Needs Improvement: Bear in mind that when you remove your phone from the case, it is no longer protected. You might want to add a full-body protective skin

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

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