Noreve has a storied past revolving around the creation of high caliber, genuine leather cases for tons of different mobile electronics. They have released a whole slew of new cases for the Galaxy S5 in tens, if not hundreds, of style and color combinations, and we have just gotten our hands on the Tradition D model which utilizes a vertical, front flip with a window cut-out for quick data access. You can currently customize these for your Galaxy S5 at their official website, and here’s what we think about our experience with the model.
When you first receive your Tradition D case from Noreve, the first thing you’ll notice is the packaging which is top notch for a case in our experience. Included is a solid box which has a certain “air tightness” to it that a lot of phone cases actually utilize. Inside, your leather case is protected by a free draw-string bag that the company includes. When you remove the case from the pouch, you can immediately smell the aroma of genuine leather. After laying out for a few minutes, the aroma dissipates and is not overpowering at all.
The exact model we received from Noreve for this review was the Abaca Nero Tradition D, which has a very textured external skin that is almost reptilian in look and aesthetic. Since these are genuine leather products, the feel of the exterior is exactly what you’d expect. This design isn’t printed on the material, it IS the material and it’s not too obtrusive where it seems tacky. It still maintains a somewhat soft feel that is great in your hand and will definitely turn some heads.
Noreve has added a few minor details to the case that set its quality apart from its competitors, namely the built-in speaker grilles for the earpiece and rear speaker. These design choices further protect grit from getting into these areas and potentially interfering with the volume over time. Even though the Galaxy S5 does a great job on its own of keeping these two speakers protected, they can still get dirt and dust trapped inside and while it may not cause damage, it will definitely diminish audio quality over time, so it’s good to see Noreve not cutting corners with protecting these two vital components of your device. These built-in grilles appear to be made from metal, too.
The interior of the case is covered with the Noreve logo pressed in, which not only looks cool but also helps dissipate heat which emits from the battery of the device. With a flat interior, heat may not be able to properly ventilate and cause overheating or some sticking. This won’t be the case with these protections in place.
The Galaxy S5 fits easily yet firmly into the holding brackets molded out of the leather and is also easy to take out. In the past, some of Noreve’s cases would keep a VERY strong hold on the devices they protected which would sometimes make it difficult to remove them. With the Galaxy S5 case, the company has appeared to have shifted to a more compression-based holding technique as opposed to “claws.” But even so, the Galaxy S5 manages to remain firmly attached and would not fall out even when shaking it upside down with the flip open.
There are cutouts placed all throughout the case to accommodate all of the Galaxy S5’s feature-set, including the USB 3.0 port and plug at the bottom. On the interior of the flip cover is also a soft cut-out so the Home button isn’t accidentally depressed while in transport. There’s also a reinforced bar in the place within the flip itself in that area.
The flip cover emerges from the bottom of the case and flips up and down vertically. No stitching is visible, as it’s actually connected within a small slit they’ve designed to keep it from getting worn out. This design choice drastically increases the longevity and durability of the case compared to similar flip cases on the market. The window on the front flip is cut out very smoothly with no sharp edges as it’s all rounded out and molded over with the leather. There’s no screen or plastic implanted, just complete access to your screen. We have found that plastic in place reduces the feel and sensitivity and also shows scratching easily, so we prefer the decision on Noreve’s part to opt for a completely cut out window. The glass screen of the Galaxy S5 is more than resilient enough to protect against most things anyways.
In terms of protection, the Tradition D does an awesome job against drops and other accidental events. All four corners are protected, which is a must for any case worth its weight. The flip cover also fastens securely enough to not flip open in most situations, but could come open under extremely violent circumstances. If your Galaxy S5 and case gets wet, it’ll hold up well but you may want to dry the leather off as soon as possible to prevent cracking. The leather used in this case is a little more resilient to water than other leather, but one time I left my sunroof opened during a rainstorm and my leather seats got drenched and I didn’t dry them off. Long story short: Dry leather if it becomes wet!
Overall, we feel this is the best leather case out for the Galaxy S5 for all of the reasons we listed above. The price is above average, but the shipping is free internationally, the leather and quality is the best quality we’ve seen, and these are still priced lower than other luxury cases out. With the amount of customization options available, you can also get a truly unique design that fits your style and tastes. No other company offers such an elaborate array of options.