Review: Blacksmith-Labs Bruno iPhone 5/5S case

It’s hard to differentiate your company’s new iPhone case when there are literally hundreds to choose from at any electronics retailer. They range from cheap plastic covers to outrageously expensive and durable boxes, but Blacksmith-Labs is taking a different approach to make its cases special: style, elegance, and incredible handcrafted quality.


And let me be blunt about it: they are really special.


The first thing I noticed on the Bruno case was the oversized, incredibly sturdy belt clip that bears the company’s name. This case is meant to be clipped to a belt loop or the belt itself to give easy access to the iPhone and to show off the case’s elegance, so a durable belt clip such as this one was mandatory. It’s huge, and it’s heavy, but it makes the case much more appealing, especially given its function.

The case itself is made out of genuine leather. I got the (incredibly) dark blue with chrome clip version to review, but Blacksmith-Labs also sells the Bruno case in black and brown leathers to fit your style. You can also pick between chrome, gunmetal, and gold metal clips. Each case is handstitched with an appropriately-colored thread, which is thick and very strong.


Fittingly, Blacksmith-Labs is enamored with metal: the case is decked out with not only the metal clip, but also a metal “button stud” that holds a strong leather flap down to secure your phone when it’s in the case.

The reason anyone would buy this case is for the absurd level of quality that expensive cases offer. Luckily, the Bruno case fits that ethos quite well. The level of quality and craftsmanship here is absurd; I can’t think of another high-end company that even comes close to Blacksmith-Labs.


Every part of the case feels premium. And really, there’s no reason for it not to: at $119.95, the Bruno is far and away the most expensive case I’ve ever reviewed. As much as I could wax poetic about this case, it all comes down to price. The Bruno is a sixth the price of an unlocked iPhone 5S! Admittedly, you can get exceptional cases from companies like Proporta and Noreve. Those companies charge just a fraction of what a Blacksmith-Labs asks for its cases, but there’s a drawback: you’re paying for just a fraction of the quality, too.

If you’re looking for the best premium case that money can buy, you needn’t look further than Blacksmith-Labs’ offerings. The Bruno is the most well-made and beautiful case I’ve ever reviewed – it simply doesn’t get better than this. But it doesn’t get much more expensive, either, and that’s where you have to decide if it’s worth buying.

The Bruno iPhone 5/5S case by Blacksmith-Labs can be purchased for $119.95 direct from the manufacturer.

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Calob Horton

Calob Horton is an associate editor at Pocketables. He loves all technology, no matter which company it comes from. This unbiased view of the tech world allows him to choose the products that best fit his personal needs and tastes: a Microsoft Surface Pro, a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and a third-gen iPad.Google+ | Twitter | More posts by Calob | Subscribe to Calob's posts

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