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Nomad Modern Leather iPhone 14 case review: my new favorite

Nomad's Modern Leather case on an iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Nomad Modern Leather iPhone 14 case
MSRP $49.95
“Nomad's leather case is so good it's a little unfair. It looks great, has a beautiful patina, offers great durability, and is cheaper than Apple's leather case to boot.”
  • Two leather options
  • Horween patinas beautifully
  • Excellent drop protection
  • MagSafe-compatible
  • Slightly expensive

The iPhone 14 Pro Max has been my daily driver since it launched in September — and I’ve loved every second with it. From the always-on screen and Dynamic Island to the top-notch camera system, it’s a tough phone to dislike. But I haven’t been using the iPhone 14 Pro Max on its own. Shortly after I wrapped up my review, I quickly threw it in a Nomad case. And I haven’t looked back.

Specifically, I’m talking about Nomad’s Modern Leather Case. Leather cases are often my go-to for any smartphone, and my iPhone 13 Pro from last year lived in Apple’s official leather case. But this year, I decided to go with a Nomad option, and it’s been a decision I couldn’t be happier with.

Nomad iPhone 14 leather case design and patina

Two of Nomad's Modern Leather Cases next to each other.
Nomad’s Horween Leather (from left) and Leather case Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Nomad has two flavors of its Modern Leather Case to choose from: Leather and Horween Leather. The former is a cheaper option Nomad created with the Danish leather tannery Ecoo. It’s real leather, but it uses computer-controlled tanning and has a more pristine finish. Horween Leather, on the other hand, is traditionally handmade and has a more natural appearance that’s not quite as perfect, but is much more natural-looking.

It’s the Horween Leather case you see on my iPhone 14 Pro Max in the Rustic Brown color. These photos were taken after daily use of the case for a little over a month, and as you can clearly see, the patina is in full force.

Nomad's Horween Leather case for the iPhone 14.
What a new Nomad Horween Leather case looks like Nomad

Although I forgot to snap a photo of the case as soon as I got it, Nomad’s above picture is an accurate representation of what the Horween leather case looks like out of the box. There are very subtle natural features throughout if you look closely, but for the most part, it’s a clean and well-presented piece of leather.

It’s really well done, but fast-forward to over a month of regular use, and the case becomes even more beautiful.

You see visible signs of wear and tear everywhere you look on my case. The leather is noticeably darker, there are visible scuff marks all along the edges, and a myriad of scratches/indents across the entirety of the case.

The leather from Ecco doesn’t patina nearly as quickly and retains its out-of-the-box appearance longer. If you prefer that, it’s great that Nomad has that option available! But I want my leather case to wear its history on its sleeve, and the Horween finish most certainly achieves that.

Nomad iPhone 14 leather case durability and MagSafe

The inside of Nomad's Modern Leather case for the iPhone 14.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Beyond the good leather looks, I’ve also been really impressed with the durability of Nomad’s case. I’ve dropped my iPhone numerous times while inside the case — onto the carpet floors in my living room, the hardwood in my kitchen, and the asphalt of a parking lot.

This is thanks to the TPE bumper that wraps around Nomad’s leather case and offers up to 10 feet of drop protection. Initially, I was apprehensive about the TPE (aka rubber) frame. Coming from the all-leather Apple case last year, having a portion made out of TPE seemed like a step down. But in practice, I’ve been quite thankful for it — largely because it absorbs the impact of a fall much more gracefully. The leather on my Apple case last year started peeling in one corner after a particularly nasty fall. Even after some big drops with my iPhone 14, I don’t have any such issues with the Nomad case.

Also present on the Nomad’s Modern Leather Case is MagSafe support. MagSafe is included by default for both leather finishes, and it works exactly as you’d expect. I’ve had zero issues attaching Apple’s Leather Wallet with MagSafe or its MagSafe Charger. MagSafe accessories snap on confidently and stay there until you’re ready to pop them off.

Nomad iPhone 14 leather case price and availability

You can buy the Modern Leather Case from Nomad’s website right now. The Leather style costs $50 and is available in black, brown, English tan, and natural; the Horween Leather option costs $70 and comes in black and rustic brown. And just in time for Black Friday, you can get the Modern Leather Case for 25% off from November 18 thru November 29 — no promo code needed. Simply head to Nomad’s website, add a case to your cart, and save some cash.

No matter which version you choose, you can get the Modern Leather Case for the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Nomad’s leather game for iPhone cases is unmatched

Two of Nomad's Modern Leather Cases next to each other.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

There’s not much more to say about Nomad’s leather case for the iPhone 14. It looks incredible, gets better with age, and does so without sacrificing durability. And if you opt for the basic Leather finish, Nomad’s case costs $10 less than Apple’s official one — while the Horween Leather is $10 more expensive.

So, is it worth it? I’d say absolutely it is. While I wasn’t immediately sold on the TPE bumper, it didn’t take long for me to convert and appreciate the added ruggedness it provides. I also think splurging for the Horween Leather is 100% the right call. It looks stunning, the patina finish is top of its class, and it still has a glorious leather smell that ties the whole package together.

There are dozens of faux leather cases you can buy for much less, but if you have the money and want something just as premium as the iPhone 14/14 Pro in your pocket, the Nomad Modern Leather Case is easily one of the best iPhone 14 cases you can buy — and very much deserves your dollars.

Editors' Recommendations

Joe Maring
Joe Maring is the Section Editor for Digital Trends' Mobile team, leading the site's coverage for all things smartphones…
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