Sena Lugano Snap-On Case for Apple iPhone 4S/4 Review

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Sena makes great cases. We love them. Their leather is gorgeous and the build-quality is always terrific. What is also great about them is that they are continually coming out with new designs and trying to rethink how they approach something as simple as an iPhone case. Case in point (sorry, bad pun), the Sena Lugano Snap-On Case for Apple iPhone 4S/4. It is a simple, low-profile case, a design that is quite familiar, but because this is from Sena it has the added luxury of… leather. Let’s take a look.

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From Sena:

Lugano is the SENA’s Snap-On Case for Apple iPhone 4S/4. It provides light, thin, form-fitting and padded protection with colorful genuine leather options.

Hand-wrapped in finest quality full grain, Italian leather

Earphone, speaker, charger and camera openings

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The Lugano is a basic back shell-style case. It snaps over the sides of the iPhone and grabs the top of the metal band running around the iPhone 4 and 4S. We’ve reviewed this style of case many times over but never one that is wrapped in leather. The leather adds a bit of bulk and weight as compared to similarly styled cases but is also adds a degree of luxury not usually associated with the style.

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As you can see it is thin… VERY thin. The case is also surprisingly light although, as noted, not as light as some other shell style cases.

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Once snapped on the iPhone the case hugs the device. The Lugano does feel a bit looser on the iPhone than other shell cases but it is not so thin that it moves or falls off. It is, however, something I did notice as I have been using it.

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Because the case is a bit thicker than similarly-styles cases, after all it is a plastic case wrapped in leather, the buttons are a bit more recessed than usual. Again, this is not an issue as the controls are fully accessible, but it is something I noted during use.

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The real key to this case is that it protects the back, sides and corners but is barely noticeable from the front.
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That’s the reason people choose a case like this in the first place and the design let’s it disappear from view. That’s a good thing.


The Lugano comes in a number of different colors and textures. If this is a the kind of case that interests you it is worth going to the product page and getting a look at each one. Because, while the style case is the same, the look, and I suspect feel, of the case varies greatly depending on the leather you choose.

The Lugano is a case for people who love a snap-on back cover for their iPhone but don’t love the plastic or rubber feel of most. This brings the minimalist design together with the luxury of leather in a way only Sena can. It isn’t for everyone but it just might be for you.

What I Like: Low-profile case; Sena leather and craftsmanship; Nice range of colors and leather available

What Needs Improvement: A bit looser than other snap-on cases I have used

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.