Hands on: Grove iPhone 5 bamboo case adds a touch of handmade beauty

Grove iPhone 5 case

So much for that early October shipment date Grove teased us back in September! But no complaints here; we finally got our hands on the latest handcrafted case for the iPhone 5 and it’s already gearing up to be one of the more unique cases available out there. But is it worth the $80 price tag? Here’s your first look at the finished product.

Look and feel

hands on grove iphone 5 bamboo case adds a touch of handmade beauty packagingBased in Portland, Grove is known for creating handmade, organic products while maintaining a low carbon footprint – down to the recycled cardboard packaging. When we popped the case out of its wrapper, we immediately clamored on the quality feel and artfully designed structure. The Grove iPhone 5 bamboo case breaks into two pieces, a lower and upper component, so you can slide your phone within the case. The inside of the case has a nice padding to keep your phone’s metal back scratch-proof.

With the case on, the iPhone 5 gains about one-third inches in width, which makes it almost as wide as a Samsung Galaxy S3. The phone also gets an added weight that feels more secure, because the iPhone 5 is so strangely light that we thought it was going to fly off our hands if we’re not careful.

hands on grove iphone 5 bamboo case adds a touch of handmade beauty side

One thing we enjoy is the limited branding on the side of the case. We’ve seen phone cases with obnoxiously large logos slapped on the back, and it’s nice for Grove to monetize on being one of the premiere brands to use wood, and stick the little logo where it’s still seen but not in-your-face.

Utility

hands on grove iphone 5 bamboo case adds a touch of handmade beauty topAlthough wood is certainly a sturdy material, small portions tend to make for a rather brittle phone case. Thankfully, with the padding inside Grove’s iPhone 5 case, the product is tough against scratches and light drops. But even the company admits the bamboo cases are not drop proof, and strong impact will damage the case. If you’re choosing to buy Grove’s case, you probably value look a bit more than protection, or want a happy compromise on both.

One cool design component is the bamboo Sleep/Wake button that sits right on top of the iPhone’s original placement. It’s a neat way to make your case look cohesive, while protecting the button from dust and grime. The wooden overlay is supremely responsive despite the extra width, which is always appreciated.

hands on grove iphone 5 bamboo case adds a touch of handmade beauty bottomWhile the Grove bamboo case adds a stylish and rustic touch to your iPhone 5, it does come with small complications. For one, the two-component design makes it prone for the case to slip off when you pull the phone out of your skinny jeans (sorry for being so fashionable here, guys). Secondly, while the design does boast Lightning access, kiss goodbye to your 30-pin adapters. Those babies are blockaded entirely, so unless you already have a new speaker dock with Lightning pins, you’ll have to remove the case before attachment. Removing the case only takes three seconds, but shortcuts would have been nice.

Bottom Line

hands on grove iphone 5 bamboo case adds a touch of handmade beauty inside

Again, at $80 (or $130 for graphical ones) apiece, the Grove iPhone 5 bamboo case is a luxury item targeted for those who don’t mind paying for uniqueness. If you have the cash, the case is a beautiful investment in a function-meets-fashion accessory – all while supporting a green cause. All Grove products are also handmade in the company’s own workshop, so remember take that into the pricing consideration.

Yes, there are issues with pieces sliding apart and Lightning-to-Thunderbolt adapters, but if these aren’t problems you see yourself facing then by all means, look into the Grove bamboo case. The product is available now, with shipment dates ranging between now to end-of-year if you order today.

Smart Home

The cordless vacuum gets a reinvention thanks to these Dyson disciples

Dyson has been a shining light in the home appliance industry for decades but a pair of its former employees are working to change the cleaning industry with a new cordless vacuum called Lupe.
Deals

Suck up the savings with these vacuum cleaners on sale for $100 or less

Keeping your floors clean around the home is a constant chore. To help make things a whole lot easier, we've picked out some great vacuum cleaner deals available right now, from full-sized upright models to robot vacs.
Emerging Tech

Uber Eats’ drone delivery service could see Big Macs hit speeds of 70 mph

Uber Eats is testing meal delivery using drones. The company wants to start a commercial delivery service using the drone this summer, but it still needs permission from regulators.
Smart Home

Amazon drops a deal on this smartphone-controlled MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener

Amazon slashed the price of Chamberlain's MyQ Smart Garage Hub in time for Father's Day. This deal is so good, however, the smartphone-controlled and Google Assistant and IFTTT compatible MyQ opener would be a great gift for anyone.
Deals

Amazon slashes the price on this TP-Link Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

We've found a great deal on the latest-generation TP-Link Deco Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System on Amazon right now that lets you do just that. Everyone can save up to $20 thanks to a coupon, but Amazon Prime Card holders can save even more.
Deals

Amazon hacks price of the KitchenAid Classic Plus Stand Mixer by 44%

There are a lot of mixers on the market today, but when it comes to great quality, there’s one brand that stands out – KitchenAid. Amazon is offering the KitchenAid Classic Plus 4.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer at a hefty 44% discount.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

The Ninja Air Fryer AF101 gets a steep 31% discount on Amazon

Whether you are a health-conscious snack seeker or a fried-food fan, you will find love with the Ninja Air Fryer AF101. Normally $130, it is now available for only $90.
Smart Home

Get a free Google Home Mini and smart bulb when you buy a Google Nest Hub

Walmart isn't shouting this deal from the rooftops, but if they did, Google Assistant smart home fans would break the internet to snap it up. Buy a Google Home Hub on sale and Walmart throws in a free Google Smart Light Starter Kit.
Smart Home

Amazon takes a huge bite out of the price of the 6.5-quart Ninja Foodi Cooker

The versatile Ninja Foodi combines pressure cooking, air frying, and crisping. Amazon just took a massive price cut on the 6.5-quart Ninja Foodi OP-302, the model that adds dehydrating to its repertoire.
Deals

The Shark ION Robot Vacuum RV750 gets a hefty 41% discount on Amazon

Household chores can be a drag. Lucky for us, we now have robot vacuums to make our lives easier. If you’re looking to buy one, now is the right time as Amazon is offering the Shark ION RV750 Vacuum for only $223.
Deals

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Leaked date and what you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a month away, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.
Smart Home

Walmart Grocery challenges Amazon with a new $98-a-year delivery option

The grocery delivery wars are hotting up. Walmart's latest effort is a $98-a-year subscription fee that offers free delivery on orders over $30. The service, called Delivery Unlimited, can be tried free for 15 days.
Smart Home

A new survey by Adobe shows an evolving market for voice applications

A new consumer survey conducted by Adobe Analytics has uncovered a growing desire for more diversity in voice-controlled applications and devices as well as growing engagement with voice ads.