Part of the fun of purchasing a smartphone is the amount of customization that can be done with after-market accessories. There is a wide array of protectors, cases, wallets and stickers to give your phone that personalized touch to match your personality. Truffol is a new entrant to this market with a line of premium iPhone 5 cases to appeal to the distinguished consumer.
Truffol offers a variety of case options and colours ensuring a customized experience for all. The company’s two main lines are the “Minimalist” and the “Classic”. I opted for the “Classic” in a navy aircraft-grade aluminum frame with a navy Italian leather backing. Yes – real Italian leather! Other colours include silver/orange, silver/red, silver/navy, and black/black. If that’s not opulent enough, there is also a 16 karat rose gold option to really make your case pop.
Installation is quite simple, but does involve some minor assembly. The sleep/wake button is a separate piece not attached to the frame. It needs to be inserted into the cut-out and then lined up with the iPhone’s switch. By inserting the iPhone at an angle, it easily slips into the frame and is held securely (owing to its very tight machined tolerance). The second part of the install requires sliding the back piece into place, taking care not to damage the plastic hooks which are slightly fragile. I’ve learned the retail kit also comes with a screen protector; however my review sample did not come with this option.
This case really alters the look of the iPhone. It gives the phone a noticeably more substantial feel as the aluminum frame and leather backing add to the overall weight. If you felt the iPhone 5 was too light, this case will address that! The thick corners give it a more squarish profile which can help protect the phone from accidental drops.
The navy brushed aluminum looks absolutely fantastic. It mimics the iPhone’s bevelled edges and the buttons have gorgeous silver finishes on the edges to really make it stand out. The feel of real leather on the back is also a joy to hold. It has a nice grain pattern and the Truffol name embossed to really give it that premium finish.
An important consideration with any case is how it will affect the antenna reception. Today’s smartphones are sensitive to blocking of the antennas that often run along the body of the phone. Happily I did not experience a noticeable decrease in call quality or any drop in network speed while surfing.
I have yet to find a perfect case, as each one has its own set of compromises. The Signature is no exception. The biggest concern buyers should be aware of is using the ports along the bottom. While, on the one hand, the case provides near total coverage of your iPhone, the design also means that only the official Apple earphones and Lightning cable will fit (again owing to the very tight tolerances used in the manufacturing process). If you have third party accessories (like a dock in my case) you’ll probably find it simply won’t fit. I was also concerned by the tiny wake/sleep button as it’s a piece that can be lost very easily. 1 or 2 spare buttons in the package would be well received.
Aesthetically there is the large seam that is visible along the edge of the case where the leather backing meets the frame. The plastic mount points can be seen, and the large gap invites dust and debris to get lodged within. In my view this slightly degrades the elegant look of the overall package. The final point to consider is the price. At $75 USD this represents the top end of the market. The price, however, is reflected in the materials and construction, something that cannot be achieved with a cheaper plastic shell. It also will set you apart from a sea of lesser quality cases that have flooded the market.
I was impressed by the attention to detail in the packaging and more importantly in the construction of the aluminum frame. It is no trivial task to machine a piece of aluminum to precisely fit a device and still have headphones and charge cables snap into place without issue. The brushed navy frame is simply gorgeous and really brings a smile to my face when the light hits it at the right angle. If you only plan to use the Apple headphones and cables and are not bothered by the slight intrusion of the mount points, then this is by far one of the more luxurious cases on the market.