There are many, many cases available for the iPhone. Plastic in every form, color, and style. Bumpers, wallet-style, simple covers, and cases with stands built-in. Sometimes you want something a bit more classy, and that’s where leather cases make a great option. But what if you could combine the look and feel of a leather case with the flexibility of a case with a built-in stand? That’s where Mapi Cases Orion case shines! Is this the ultimate case for entertaining and professional iPhone use? Read on to find out!
At first glance, the Orion looks like a simple leather case with a front flap. The flap comes up from the bottom and attached with two magnets. That means there are no snaps to worry about when you secure it. But unlike a regular leather case, this front flap has a bit of a twist. It is segmented with three metal pieces sewn in that fold up and attach to a magnet on the back, giving the iPhone a stand just like a Smartcover for the iPad. The magnet/cover anchor on the back rotates, so you can hold the iPhone in both vertical and horizontal positions while in “stand mode”.
Everything about the case is incredibly high quality. The leather is soft, the stitching is well done, and the stand/magnet setup feels solid. According to Mapi, they use high-quality Turkish leather, and it is very, very nice. There is some texture to the case as well as some softness, and in just a few days of use, I can tell it will only get softer as it breaks in. The iPhone is snapped in from the top, and the front magnets hold the flap tightly enough that it didn’t come loose while in a bag or my pocket, but slid off quickly for easy access.
I did have two quibbles with the case. One, there’s a big logo of what looks like horns on the flap. Aside from a small MAPI embossed along the back, it is the only branding on the case, and since it is silver it really stands out. Second, the leather on the case covers the bezel. It comes close to interfering with your typing and access to the notification drop down. A few days after I began using it the case did loosen up a bit, but it definitely took careful finger placement to pull down notifications easily. That noted, all the major buttons and ports were accessible, including the power button, volume buttons, and mute switch.
While it is nice, the real reason to buy this case is the stand system. When your iPhone is vertical it makes it very easy to keep an eye on incoming notifications, quickly skim emails, etc., all from the perfect viewing angle. When it is horizontal it is obviously great for watching movies, but I also found it to be nice for casual gaming like Angry Birds. Instead of being hunched over the phone, you can play it at a more comfortable viewing angle, and the stand is sturdy enough to keep the phone steady. Another bonus of the magnets and the flap system; if you hate front flap cases because the flap gets in the way, you can fold this one up against the magnet in the back. It is still a bulky package, but it is more comfortable and less awkward than a stiff piece of leather along the front.
Overall, the Mapi Cases Orion iPhone case is an extremely classy way to dress up your phone. It is definitely a bit of a niche; you need to like leather, flap-front cases and need or want a stand setup. If you’re looking for any of those, this is a great fit. It’s pricey, but you get what you pay for…and what you get with the Orion is a luxurious case with a fun and functional side! And if the Orion isn’t your style, be sure to browse Mapi’s full line of iPhone cases!
MSRP: $80 From Mapi
What I liked: Amazing build quality; clever integration of a stand; Use of magnets cuts down on potential bulk.
What Needs Improvement: Leather frame encroaches on the bezel and screen; Large silver logo on the flap.