It’s easy to find a case that makes your iPhone stick out in a crowd. There are colors and styles for all tastes. But what if you like a more minimal look to your phone? How do you make it stand out without resorting to adding bulk? Adding skins to the iPhone is one way to do it, but if you want your iPhone to look truly unique, then you need something more special. I saw Toast’s gorgeous display of wooden etched back covers for the iPhone and iPad at CES, and when the opportunity came I jumped on the chance to review one!
I was sent the iPhone 4/4S back with the “bird on a branch” design in walnut. There isn’t much to it, just a very thin piece of wood with adhesive backing. The etching is impeccable, as is the cutout for the camera and flash. My favorite touch is that the bird cutout lines up perfectly over the silver Apple logo, giving the skin a bit of brightness.
Installation was incredibly easy. I cleaned off the back of the iPhone first (it was a bit dusty), peeled the protective paper off the adhesive, and then lined up the backing using the camera cutout as my guide. I am dreadful at applying skins and screen protectors, and I had the Toast back installed on the first try. Toast does say you can remove the backing and reattach it later, so I tucked the protective paper away for safekeeping. However, it is on there nice and secure, and it is a stiff enough piece of wood that I would not expect it to peel or twist off on its own.
There is almost zero bulk added with this backing, so if you want a nice minimal phone, this is definitely the way to go. It does add a small amount of grip, but if you want to really feel secure, the company also sells side and top wraps (not reviewed). You could probably also get away with a bumper case that did not come too far over the edges of the phone. Personally, I would look for something that doesn’t take away from the craftsmanship of the Toast design. The Toast wooden iPhone cover truly is striking — simple and yet beautiful.
Toast is a small company in Portland, Oregon, using natural materials, renewable energy, and give 1% of their sales to environmental non-profits. The roots to nature here clearly run deeper than just the wood used in the product! Prices are very reasonable, at $30 for most of the designs, and only $5 more for a personalized message on the back. It’s also only an additional $5 for the side and top wraps.
The Toast products impressed me when I saw them briefly at CES, and they have impressed me even more in person. They add the warmth of wood and the intricacies of a work of art to your iPhone!
MSRP: $30 for the back with a design; add $5 for personalization, and $5 for side and top protection (see all designs and options here)
What I Liked: Beautiful design; simple but adds some back protection and grip; reusable
What Needs Improvement: Does not cover the front of the iPhone, so consider investing in a good screen protector.
Source: Manufacturer provided review sample