Grovemade, a high-quality shop out of Portland, Oregon makes some killer wood products ranging from wood speakers to planters, to pen cups. Grovemade sent two of their iPhone 7 Plus cases, the Walnut Bumper and the Walnut & Leather Case for review. Crafted out of real wood, these gorgeous cases warm up your modern technology and start at $59.
Grovemade makes all of their wood iPhone cases in their Portland wood shop and they even feature a neat graphic illustrating how the cases are made on their blog. The wood cases start as a plank of wood, get laser cut, glued together, CNC milled, machine sanded, hand sanded, and stained with vegetable-based oil.
Each of the wood cases features wood power and volume buttons that are separate from the rest of the case that allows them to be pressed down to actuate the iPhone’s buttons. Grovemade is careful to note that although the wood will protect your phone, the wood may crack or break if dropped. They also recommend that if a case that may break isn’t your style, you should check out a plastic or rubber case.
The Walnut Bumper features a minimalist all-wood design that protects the sides and corners of your phone while still allowing the screen and back of your phone to be completely visible. The Walnut Bumper is available for the iPhone SE ($49), iPhone 6/6s ($49), iPhone 6/6s Plus ($59), iPhone 7/7s ($59), and iPhone 7 and 7 Plus ($69). The wood buttons feel good when pressing and allow the click feeling to come through to your fingers. The lightning port is decently sized and is made to allow third-party charging cables as well as Apple’s OEM chargers. There are also holes at the bottom of the case to allow the music from your speakers to play through the case.
The Walnut & Leather Case is almost identical to the Walnut Bumper, except that it has a soft piece of black leather covering the back that attaches to the back of your phone with single-use peel-and-stick adhesive. All buttons, charge ports, speaker ports are identical to the Walnut Bumper. The leather used for this case is minimally treated in order to retain its natural beauty. Keep in mind, however, that the single-use adhesive means that it’s not meant to take on and off your phone. Once you take it off, that’s all she wrote. The cost of the Walnut & Leather Case ranges from $79 for the iPhone SE to $119 for the iPhone 7 Plus.
Grovemade’s Walnut Bumper and Walnut & Leather Case are simple, gorgeous cases. They add a touch of warmth to the brick of circuits and silicon in your hand and they draw compliments wherever they go.
My biggest complaint, however, is that the Walnut Bumper does not fit my iPhone 7 Plus as snug as I’ve come to expect my iPhone cases to fit, to the point where the case slips off the phone as I pull it out of my pocket. This is likely due to the fact that wood is not as flexible of a material as plastic or rubber, so in order to be able to get your phone in and out of the case, the case had to be designed slightly larger than similar cases made of unnatural materials. While it may not be a total deal breaker, the case came off often enough that I became uncomfortable carrying my phone around for fear that my phone could fall out of the case and onto the ground while transitioning from my pocket to my hand.
Strangely, the Walnut & Leather Case fits much better even though it appears to use the same bumper as the Walnut Bumper.
While aesthetically pleasing, the Walnut Bumper seems to falter in the functionality department. Of course, I want a case that looks good, but the main purpose of a case, in my mind, is to protect my phone. If I’m afraid that the case will fall off at any moment, that does not provide the peace of mind I look for in a phone case. The Walnut & Leather Case is the best of both worlds, as it provides good protection for the sides and back, fits well and looks great!
You can purchase any of Grovemade’s gorgeous wood products from their website.
Source: The Grovemade iPhone Cases were manufacturer provided review samples
What I Like: Absolutely gorgeous; Natural materials; Handmade in the USA
What Needs Improvement: Walnut Bumper does not seem to fit my iPhone 7 plus well