A couple years back, I was bragging to you all about my groovy bamboo iPhone case, made by Portland-based Grove. Well, I recently upgraded to the iPhone 5 and, due to its new shape, I needed a new case. I didn’t even ponder it for more than a second – it had to be another Grove product.
When my new bamboo iPhone 5 case arrived in the mail from Grove, it was quickly apparent that they’ve stayed on top of their game these last few years, even surpassed it. In short, this new case has everything I love about my first Grove case, but with some added improvements!
Perhaps the most important new feature on Grove’s cases is that they’ve re-engineered these bad boys to make them even stronger. Now, while the old case I had was no slacker, I will come clean… I broke mine. It took several hard falls on unforgiving surfaces — we’re talking lots of hits — before finally, one fateful day, it flew out my hand (what can I say, I gesture a lot when I talk!) and connected with its killer blow. I knew I had abused it and it had held up well for a long time, c’est la vie.
But, Grove has recognized the humanity in all of us, and found a great way to toughen their iPhone cases up to withstand more of the rigors of everyday butterfingers. Their website explains that it’s a new state-of-the-art plant composite material, hiding underneath that attractive outer layer of beautiful bamboo wood, that makes it so durable. And of course, it’s made of sustainable bamboo and 100% post consumer plant materials, so it’s as just as planet-friendly as ever.
Another noticeable difference is that the fit on the phone is much tighter. The case slides on in two pieces and sort of ‘locks’ into position, and while it’s not hard to do, you can feel that the fit means business! My previous case was a bit looser, which meant that sliding my phone out of the back pocket of a tight-fitting pair of jeans sometimes worked the case loose. (By the way, I don’t actually seek to wear tight-fitting jeans intentionally, it’s just a side effect of the shape nature gave me.)
It still retains it’s sleek, slim lines and the black beveled edge facing keeps the whole look simple and classy. The only sticking point I’ve found, if you could call it that, is that something about the way the beveled edge sticks out over the volume buttons makes it a wee bit hard for my fingers to get in there. Grove decided to make an actuated bamboo button on top (meaning it sticks out a little bit) and something about pressing that little bamboo button is highly pleasing. I can’t really explain why – it just feels satisfying when it clicks under your finger.
In fact, the whole case just feels good! Grove hand-finishes their products, and they look and feel like top-quality goods. My takeaway? I love my new Grove case even more than my first one.
As always, you can order yours with featured custom artwork from super cool artists on the back, or you can have Grove engrave a case with your own custom pattern. Prices start at $79; order direct from these talented Portland peeps at http://www.grovemade.com.