Beautiful, but hard to get perfect

When purchasing through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

  • Leather “skins” bring a sense of natural luxury to iPhones without bulky cases.
  • I’ve tried Nomad’s Leather Skin, and I love the way it looks and feels.
  • However, it is difficult to apply perfectly, and I was not able to get a perfect alignment.

You can dress your iPhone in premium leather without using a bulky case by simply putting a leather “leather” on its back.

Being a hater of the case, I decided to try Nomad’s Leather Skin for the first time to give my iPhone 13 Pro Max a bit of a natural luxury while keeping it bare.

What does Nomad’s Leather Skin look like in person?

Hand holding iPhone 13 Pro Max in rustic Nomad Leather.

Antonio Villas Boa / Insider

The skin is very uniform and has a very fine and tight grain, and any blemishes you see in my photos have been made from normal use. The texture of the skin is super smooth, thanks to those fine and tight grains. There’s no padding, so the leather feels solid, but not as stiff or stiff as the iPhone’s glass back.

The iPhone doesn’t feel heavier or heavier when I hold it, and the leather adds a nice, luxurious feel to the back of the phone. It also provides more grip than you get with iPhone glass, unless your fingers are completely and completely dry.

The leather also creates a smoother “stroke” than the bare glass on the back when you place your phone on a surface. You can still hear the sharp effect of the glass because the iPhone camera is not covered in leather.

I tried the “Rustic Brown” version of Nomad’s Leather Skin, which is on the darker side. It’s a beautiful, classic and natural color that contrasts amazingly with the Sierra Blue color option on iPhone 13 Pro Max. Since the leather is made of genuine leather, it will have an outer layer that will darken the leather over time.

There is also a black leather version, and it will get a little darker over time, but it doesn’t look like it will be as noticeable as the brown version.

Plus, an added bonus is the fragrant leather scent coming from the phone’s skin. Very few scents are as satisfying as the skin.

Nomad’s Leather Skin still works with Apple’s MagSafe, but the magnetic connection is a bit weaker.

Hand holding iPhone 13 Pro Max in rustic brown Nomad Leather and the included PopSockets PopWallet Plus MagSafe wallet.

Antonio Villas Boa / Insider

Nomad says its leatherette is compatible with Apple’s MagSafe charging and accessories, and rightly so. I haven’t had any problems charging my iPhone with a MagSafe charger.

It also works with MagSafe accessories such as wallets or batteries. However, the skin does not have MagSafe magnets, and the magnetic connection feels somewhat less secure with the MagSafe PopSockets PopWallet Plus. It still feels secure enough that I’m not too worried about the wallet coming off, but the magnetic connection is a bit stronger with Apple’s MagSafe cases that have magnets built into them.

Nomad’s Leather Skin is hard to apply perfectly.

Keep in mind that this was my first experience applying the skin to a phone, so your mileage may vary depending on your experience with skins.

I watched Nomad’s simple video tutorial on how to apply the skin, and still had a hard time fitting it perfectly to the back of our iPhone 13 Pro Max review unit.

Only after the fourth try did I manage to get a good enough look, especially around the iPhone cameras. My notes on Nomad would be to make the skin cam cut out a bit more, as it leaves no room for error and requires perfect alignment.

There was a faint air bubble after the skin was placed, but it smoothed out easily at the edges.

Does Nomad’s Leather Skin offer any protection?

iPhone 13 Pro Max camera with Nomad Leather in rustic brown.

Antonio Villas Boa / Insider

Leatherette won’t do much at all in terms of drop protection, since it doesn’t have padding and doesn’t cover the edges of the phone. However, it will protect the back glass of your iPhone from scratches.

If you’re looking for more drop protection, your best bet is to use a case. Nomad offers a leather bag in rustic brown, black and a natural option not available for leather. The Nomad Leather Case is also compatible with Apple MagSafe charging and accessories.

And while leather doesn’t affect the iPhone’s water resistance, I’ve been trying to avoid water more than I usually do to prevent water spots on the leather.

bottom line

Nomad’s Leather Skin for iPhone products can add a great feel, look, and even fragrance to your phone, especially if you’re not already in cases. If you know you don’t have a firm enough hand to apply the skin, however, I suggest finding someone who does.