5 Ways To Give Your Smartphone a Luxe & Elegant Look!

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You carry a cell phone around everywhere, right? It goes with you to work, to the gym and when you travel. While we’re huge advocates of keeping them at bay when you talk and in another room when you sleep (use a safe tubular earpiece connector and put your cell phone on Airplane Mode when it’s on your body — be sure to read our write up on EMF concerns), it’s hard to do without our phones. Truth be told, we use them for Skype, messaging, surfing the web, watching videos, listening to music, email and more, so with a device that is that prolific in our lives, why not give it a luxurious looking skin?

We discovered several brands we love where both the quality and design made our cut for top cell phone accessories in the oh so luxe and chic category!!

Piel Frama

This Spanish brand offers a number of stylish and elegant choices for your cell phone and for other items, like business cards, wallets and trinkets.In other words, they’re not just about making your cell phone luxe, although I’d argue that this “carry all” leather case could also serve as a great carrying case for your phone while being able to store other things you need on the road as well, such as currency, your passport, credit cards and even keys.

This Carry All Bag is handmade and created in a high quality calfskin. It’s a bit like an oversized wallet but with lots of compartments — it has its own section for a small cell phone and space for twelve credit cards.  What’s nice is that it comes in RED, BROWN and BLACK as well.

In fact, one of the things that really drew us to this brand was their wide array of color choices, regardless of the product, from vibrant oranges and deep reds, to daring greens, turquoise and pinks. BRAVO!! Shown below is their Frama Slim on the left and the Wallet Magnum on the right.

They go beyond solids as well! The Piel Frama iMAGNUM iPhone 6S case also in calfskin has an inner thermoplastic polymer structure, which gives a high resistence and a perfect fitting to your iPhone — below it is shown for the iPhone 6S. Talk about luxe and custom tailored — you can put in your own perfume, talk with the case closed, sync and charge through a travel cable.

These iPhone cases have a completely rotable and removable belt clip for belt, handbag, etc., and the knob is also removable. They tout that the Ultra Belt Clip is significantly stronger and it offers more security than anything similar on the market although we didn’t test this one out specifically but we really love the design. It has a soft leather lining and a foamy material inside the case for additional cell phone support.

They also have wallets and business card holders as well, all made of high quality leather. The business card holders are FUN as they come in a variety of fun colors — even purple and turquoise. My only wish is that they had larger card holders as they’re on the thin side, so hold very few — not quite big enough for a business networking event or a trade show. That said, they’re oh so luxe and beautifully elegant, that it’s worth having a couple in different colors that you could use to collect other cards on the road, using a different color for each category of peeps you collect.

They have cases for iPods and iPads as well and because they’re based in Europe, they offer a much wider range of support for other devices, including Samsung, HTC, Sony, Nokia, Blackberry, Huawei, Google, Microsoft, Motorola, LG and others. More information can be found at https://www.pielframa.com.


What drew us to Burkley cases was their Ostrich and Snake Leather cases, although we didn’t end up testing one of them out. Why? Too many other great choices. Their ostrich and snake leather cases however are oh so fabulous and have a snug fit in the inner shell of the phone case so you have a tight fit, a great feature for travelers who want to ensure their phone is secure. The outer layer is bonded to the premium impact resistant polycarbonate and a smooth rubber finish inside the case protects the back of the handset against scratches and smudges. It is also covered with natural suede inside – oh so luxe!! They even have matching cases for iPhone watches if you want to really up your look!

We also liked this handy Wallet Case for the iPhone (5 and 6) and Samsung S5 and S6. It is handcrafted and hand stitched and can hold your phone and other valuables. It also has a snug fit for extra protection and unlike so many cases we’ve tested out in the past, it is easy to take out and put back in — ahhh yes! Hats off to that!  It is designed to hold 2 or 3 of your essential cards and has a card pocket for your phone, money and credit cards.

They offer simpler clip on cases as well with card pockets on the back as well for those who want a simple but elegant look!

What was our favorite? My personal pick is this unusually textured leather style cell phone case that comes in a host of fun colors. Labeled as the Wallet Case in Antique Purple with Special Effect Leather (or yellow, green, etc.), depending on what color you want.

These are not bright vibrant colors that teenagers might gravitate to, but subdued sophisticated and elegant colors in a rich soft leather. It comes in an antique yellow, red, green and purple and its antique pattern reflects the most natural form of leather with optimum thickness. I LOVE this look! Like the others, the inner shell gives your cell phone a snug fit to prevent loss and its outer layer is bonded to the premium impact resistant polycarbonate inner shell.

The smooth rubber finish inside the case protects the back of the handset against scratches and smudges. We applaud the inside design which includes three card slots and money pocket to make it easy to carry around your ID, credit and debit cards, and cash without having to take your wallet with you. They also include a magnetic clip on the back for quick fastening and access without any hassle. More information can be found at http://www.burkleycase.com/.

VRS Design

VRS Design was originally started as a third-party Apple accessory company in South Korea and has grown to support both iOS and Android-compatible products in the US and abroad. Their latest re-branding effort shows that they truly care about style and fashion and well, making you and your phone look fabulous on the road.

My favorite of all of their offerings is the Layered Dandy Series, which comes in black, a light brown, dark brown and a deep rich red, which we love. It has a lush leather texture finish and offers card slots and a money compartment on the inner left hand side. I love the very strong fasten which closes magnetically — we found that it is stronger and of higher quality than many of the other cases we’ve tested out with magnetic closes.

Below is the Dandy series in a rich dark brown – oh so elegant, oh so refined!

Their vivid two tone Klop Series comes in a fun pink/black, blue/black and a neon green/black combo.  A little simpler in design, this wallet case comes with color accented card slots and a money compartment and also doubles as a kickstand and fastens magnetically as well. Fun, fun, fun!!

Lastly, another product worth mentioning from their line is the The Verge, which is a  fully-adjustable magnetic car mount, which basically accommodates all horizontal car vents. In the theme of fun meets elegant, they offer 5 different color options as well, something most productivity product brands shy away from — BRAVO!!

DoDo Case

Next up is the DoDoCase! Truth be told, I had a toy named DoDo when I was a child, so when I first heard the name, it brought a big wide smile. It was a mini hippo on wheels with a string if I recall and I dragged the thing everywhere. What originally drew me to them was their ability to offer customers a custom built case, which in the end we didn’t review, largely because it didn’t have pockets to store credit or business cards on the inner left. That said, what we discovered on their site once we began to explore was a wealth of other great options that are both fun and chic.

Take, for example, these wooden covers for your smart phone with a satin-coated “soft touch” polycarbonate shell and a genuine wood backplate in four different color tone variations. It has an ultra-slim snap-fit design, clear matte finish for lasting protection and a wide camera hole which is worth noting since a lot of cases don’t have a tight enough fit on the back and often cover up part of the camera. It’s also ultra lightweight at only 10 ounces which travelers will certainly appreciate.

A big high five that the wooden cases come straight out of America’s Pacific Northwest. Crafted in Recover’s original wood from Oregon, each case features a natural wood backplate inlayed into a satin-coated polycarbonate bumper for a premium blend of long-lasting protection and originality. The low profile, snap-fit construction makes this the slimmest wood iPhone case on the market.  Two thumbs up for the creativity!

My top pick from their line goes to the Lorna Wallet Case and there are four two-tone color options to choose from: Black/granite, blue/harbor blue, red/granite and brown/dove gray. They use a premium Pergamena Leather exterior, a vegetable tanned leather which apparently darkens over time. I went with the dove blue but was told that after several months of use, it would become more of a royal dark blue, which btw, hasn’t happened yet.

A fabulous feature for travelers is not only does it come with pockets on the inside left like many other cases do, but it’s wide enough with the elastic band closure that you can actually fit up to 4 times more cards and bills than any other case we tested. We LOVE this as it serves as so much more than a smartphone case with this built-in functionality that is incredibly practical.

We also found it super easy to remove the phone when needed, which with earlier models of many manufacturers we tried was frustrating at best.   I cant’ tell you how many nails I broke attempting….thank God for progress!

The below shot gives you a much better idea of just how spacious the inside storage area is — and, the colors are elegant and sophisticated with enough color range to go with any purse, backpack, briefcase or bag.

They also offer beautiful leather wallets and custom cases as I referred to earlier. You can literally customize your own case and even add your own initials to the top if you wish. Below was something I created, but never ordered. Elegant and beautiful right?

Additionally, they have fabulous waxed canvas cases for devices, the most luxe and elegant being the ones for iPad models. I LOVE these!! We also liked this very simple but super handy Leather and Canvas Phone Clutch. This sophisticated clutch is made from genuine Logger’s Leather from American Tannery and is available in natural or black waxed canvas. Either choice comes with a lovely antique brass snap closure and has internal webbing to organize cash and cards.

It has an additional large backside pocket for other items, including your phone. Their small size fits iPhone 6/6s, iPhone SE/5, Google Nexus 4/5, Moto X 2nd Generation Samsung S3 and their large size fits iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus, Moto X Pure, Samsung S5, S6, and Note 5. Sweet!!

More information can be found at http://www.dodocase.com.

Phantom Glass

Meet Phantom Glass, a tempered glass screen protector designed for smartphones, tablets, and cameras. Phantom Glass is made using the most durable tempered glass which guarantees that Phantom Glass will resist most impacts and scratches, and ensures that your device is protected. The glass protector is also engineered so that in the event of breaking, it does so in a what that is 100% safe to the touch. There are no hazardous shards of glass or sharp edges. Bravo!
Their proprietary and patent-pending silicone nano-adhesion layer ensures that Phantom Glass installs in under 30 seconds, with no bubbles, liquids, or special techniques. To use, simply align Phantom Glass with your device, and Phantom Glass will install itself. The silicone nano-adhesion will never leave gross residue on your device when removed, which we found to be a great feature.
Unlike any other screen protector out there, Phantom Glass is treated with a specially engineered oleophobic nano-coating to ensure that fingerprints and residue wipe off with ease, another great feature as we’ve had “fails” with other products in the past. This coating is applied using a unique electric infusion process, and will not degrade for up to two years of everyday use.
Phantom Glass will work with most cases and won’t peel or bubble like film protectors. Their silicone nano-adhesion layer ensures that Phantom Glass will allow a seamless fit with most snug, form fitting cases without any issue. It’s 100% clear, with zero image distortion.  Below is the protector for the iPhone 5, which is what we tested it on.
The silicone forms to the surface of the device, and will overtime, reduce the visibility of most surface scratches to zero — we’re looking forward to this as we have iPhone 4 and 5’s in-house and they’ve traveled to many countries with us. Phantom Glass is available for Apple, Samsung, Blackberry, Canon, Nikon, and Sony products, among others and range in price from $34.95 to $59.99. The iPhone 4 and 5 screen protectors are $34.99 each. More information can be found at: http://www.phantom.glass/. 



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