As its name implies, the Boost Case Leather Flip Case combines an enveloping leather case with a small (1300 mAh) battery. The case looks very classy but its front cover makes many aspects of using the iPhone much more cumbersome. (Sometimes the product page refers to HRL Technologies Leather Flip Battery Case. HRL Technologies is the company that makes Boost cases, but they don't use the HRL name so prominently with their other cases.)
The Leather Flip comes in four different lambskin leather choices: smooth black or tan, or grainy red or purple. I tested the tan case. The battery is attached to the interior back of the case. The case then wraps around the bottom of the phone and up the front before snapping shut to the back with a magnetic latch. While this design provides a lot of protection for the phone, the front cover meant that I had to open the case to use the phone and see call, email and other notifications.
I was never really sure how to hold the phone in the case. You can let the front cover dangle down when you're talking on the phone, or you can fold it back around so it’s essentially inside out which doubles the thickness of the already thick phone/case combination. If you dangle the cover, you can close the cover with a flick of the wrist.
Unlike other iPhone battery cases, the Leather Flip doesn't have a top cover that obstructs the any of the controls on the top or side of the iPhone. The case’s top latch doesn't get in the way either, so you can easily listen on headphones with the case closed and any headphones will work with the case. I had no problem using the iPhone's speakerphone with the Leather Flip but the awkwardness of the cover made it impractical to insert the iPhone into the Arkon dashboard mount in my car.
The Leather Flip's battery is among the smallest among the cases that we reviewed. Whether or not it's big enough will depend on your typical usage. Over the slow Thanksgiving weekend, my wife’s iPhone 4 lasted 3 days before it needed to be charged but she used the phone very little during the period. I got about one day of usage with my iPhone 4S in the case. To charge the phone, you'll need a surface large enough to keep the case open and fully extended so you can reach the microUSB connector in the battery base, or you'll need to turn the case inside out.
Unlike the other cases, the Leather Flip doesn't have a battery gauge. The power button on the front has an integrated blue LED that illuminates when the phone is using the case's battery. The glowing button is annoying and distracting. Incipio has a better approach to front-mounted controls, illuminating its gauge only when the user presses the button to check the battery's status, but they're not working with leather.
If you care more for style than substance in an iPhone battery case, the Boostcase Leather Flip Battery Case is worth a look. This is a very good looking case that provides a lot of protection, but its design make detracts from the iPhone's efficient user interface.
The Boost Case Leather Flip Case is stronger on style than substance. It has a small battery, makes it awkward to use the phone, and has no battery gauge. But it looks good doing all that.
Capacity: 1300 mAh
- Looks and feels good. Several colors to choose from.
- No top cover to block phone controls
- Cover flap hangs awkwardly while you make calls
- No battery gauge
- Small battery