Apple's Silicone and Leather iPhone 6 cases compared
A few weeks after launch if you pop along to an Apple Store you won’t find many cases for Apple’s new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple likes to sell its own – we think rather over-priced – cases before opening up the market for others. Read our iPhone 6 review and iPhone 6 Plus review, and round-up of available iPhone 6 cases.
At least with the new iPhone 6 models Apple does offer a variety of colour options in two different materials: leather or silicone. There's a tenner difference in price between the two materials but are there any other differences you should be aware of before purchase? Silicone vs leather. Bring it on.
Silicone vs Leather iPhone 6 case: design
Both silicone and leather Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus cases are otherwise pretty much identical in design, if not material.
It’s a one-piece design that leaves the front and central party of the bottom open, so the screen and lower ports (Headphone and Lightning) plus Microphone and Speaker unobscured. This is great for ease of use (syncing, charging, and docking with accessories) and for both incoming and outgoing voice quality, but less so for ultimate iPhone protection.
The bottom edge is left exposed so if the phone hits the ground the aluminium might very well show some damage.
The case does hug the bottom corners so offers protection from a straight vertical drop. The protection is lessened when the drop means the exposed part comes into contact with another surface.
It’s obviously harder for Apple’s own designers to cover up their lovely new iPhone than it is for third-party case makers.
If you want ultimate protection we suggest you look for a case that isn’t so exposed at the bottom.
The two other cut-outs are for the Camera and Ring/Silent switch.
The Volume Up/Down and On/Off/Sleep/Wake buttons are covered, which means you need to push them a little harder than with a naked iPhone 6 or 6 Plus.
The cases have a raised lip at the front, which should protect the screen from drops and scratches.
The camera cut-out solves the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus “problem” where the camera stands a little proud on the back, spoiling the previously flat surface and meaning that the phone won’t sit quite level on a flat surface. This also means that the camera is better protected in the case.
Both Silicone and Leather Apple cases are lightweight and slim so don’t add much bulk to the phones. I’m used to carrying my old iPhone 5s around in a Mophie battery case, so these feel quite liberating – if rather useless in adding any extra battery life in times of need.
Both cases feature a subtle, recessed Apple logo, which you won’t get on third-party cases – if this is important to you; although there are cases with cut-outs for the Apple logo!
Silicone vs Leather iPhone 6 case: feel
Some have found the new iPhones slightly more slippery than previous models, so a case should add some needed grip.
For grip we preferred the cheaper Silicone case. The Leather case is certainly less slippery than a naked iPhone 6 but not as grippy as the Silicone.
I actually prefer the feel of the Silicone, too.
The Leather isn’t overly leathery’ indeed you need to look quite closely to notice that it is leather. We’re fans of the Sena leather smartphone and tablet cases, and you get a better feel for quality leather with Sena than with Apple.
Inside the case the material is a soft, colour-matched microfibre.
Both cases are nice and snug, so the phone is not going to slip out. Removing the phone from the case is easy, though.
Silicone vs Leather iPhone 6 case: colours
The Leather case comes in black, red, soft pink, olive brown and midnight blue.
The Silicone case comes in black, white, pink, blue, green and red. We like the idea of red but on both Leather and Silicone we were concerned that it looked a little pink. If red’s your thing you might want to check one out in real life to see what you think. As you can see above the difference between red and pink isn't huge, either.
Apart from that we won’t go into subjective ratings of different colours, other than to suggest the a few of the Silicone colours remind us of the cheaper iPhone 5c; only the yellow misses out.
Silicone vs Leather iPhone 6 case: cost
The Silicone case costs £25 for the iPhone 6 and £29 for the iPhone 6 Plus.
The Leather case costs £35 for the iPhone 6 and £39 for the iPhone 6 Plus.
The Leather case’s extra £10 gets you maybe a sliver of extra quality feel, and glares from vegetarians. We found the Silicone case offered better grip.
Other than that – and the colour choices – there’s really not a whole lot of difference between Apple’s Leather iPhone 6 case and its Silicone model.
While super lightweight and slim neither case is for the ultra cautious as the exposed bottom – while brilliant for docking – does leave room for dents and scratches if you’re unlucky.
For the more carefree iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners we can recommend the two models as well made easy to use, as well as unobtrusive in weight or bulk.