a protective case is the most common accessory for iPhone, but to be honest, yours truly here is not a huge fan of bulking the handset up for even a wee bit. personally, i find that a case kind of destroy the phone’s beautiful form, but then again, i do, at times, crave for some adornment, you know, for aesthetic sake and to provide a minimal form of protection against scratches, if possible – and if such vanity mood strikes, i would opt for skins, which obviously, the market is in abundance. however, if you are looking for a skin that adds a bit of class to your smartphone, the Truffol Autograph Series Leather Skin is one of the obvious candidate. like the Signature Case for iPhone 5, attention to detail and quality are names of the game. but just how good (or bad) it is? well, that’s what we are going to find out in this review.

The Packaging and The Package
as always, we shall kick off this review with our initial impression of the Truffol Autograph Series Leather Skin, which is, not surprisingly, elegant and classy. the packaging is of hard paper, in an Academy Award-like sealed envelope, subtly decorated with Truffol’s branding, monogram-style, which kind of set a ‘classy’ tone right away. the sealed envelope opens up to the leather skin, along with a complimentary skin protector and the obligatory cleaning cloth (a white one, for an added touch of elegance, in my opinion) and dust remover (basically, a ‘light duty’ adhesive paper). no applicator here though, but the highlight here is not the screen protector anyways. on the inside of the envelope, you will find further affirmation of the product features in print, as well as a list of the additional contents. that said, there isn’t any instruction included with regard to the installation of both the skin and the screen protector. well, i guess they doesn’t quite need one. it is kind of a no-brainer task.

The Installation
the installation is as simple as peeling off the adhesive protective layer, aligning it to the handset and boom, it is all done without any drama. in fact, the adhesive is pretty awesome. it adheres to the device as it should and yet it could be easily removed for repositioning if necessary. trust me. i did just that, albeit only twice. this may come as a surprise to some, because some makes that also claim easy removal, ain’t so. we have one ‘good practice’ suggestion though; prior to removing the adhesive protective layer, do a dry run and align the skin over your phone to get a feel of the whole alignment thing, so that you be sure that if skin is cut to precision and if it is not, how much ‘spacing’ you will need to give in order to get the perfectly aligned skin. well, not that the Autograph Leather Skin needs this, but as said, it is always a good practice when applying any skin.

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Craftsmanship/Quality
believe it or not, we actually scrutinized the skin under a magnifying glass, just to be sure it is perfectly cut at the edges and again, not surprisingly, Truffol did a good job. as far as i can see, there are no strays or anything of sort and as for the fit, it was near-perfect. side-to-side is perfect, with the skin touching where the ‘diamond cut edge’ of the handset, but we can’t say the same for the top-to-bottom and round corners which if i stick up to edge of the handset’s diamond cut edge, will expose part of the handset’s back, but that is hard to distinguish if you eyes are already captivated by the beautiful textured Italian leather. what i did was, aligned it as much as possible to the center, leaving the ‘expose’ part barely visible, less you scrutinized it under a magnifying glass. the same thing goes for the corners. however, personally, i didn’t think of it as a flaw, but perhaps due to the limitation of the machine that churn out the pieces.

another thing that i noted is the cutout for the camera and flash; if you were to align the skin perfectly, the top of the cutout appears to be closed to the camera (but not touching). though it does not cover any part of the lens, and therefore no effect on the camera’s performance at all. being a perfectionist, i only lament that the lens and flash don’t quite look centered within the cutout, but that’s not a biggie. the textured leather feels much like the one you will find on the Signature Case and believe it or not, it still has the authentic leather smell (yes. i sniffed it, just to be sure). wrapping up the package is a ultra thin steel plate with the Truffol branding, which in my opinion, adds some style to the skin and to some extend, breaks the monotony of an uniformly colored back. the example we have was personalized with “MKE” embossed on it, which you can opt in at no additional charge. though, it is limited to just three characters, which for some, may not be enough as far as personalization goes.

Verdict
so what do we think of the skin? well, i maintain my stand that this piece of accessory is elegantly classy and with a thickness of a mere 0.6mm, you will barely feel that it is there. the phone feels exactly the same as before, but now with added protection on the back against potential scratches. on top of that, it offers a kind of premium feel and unique look to the phone, but at a cost that won’t break the bank. at just $18 a pop, i would think it is a money well spent, considering that some sticker variants already cost 15 bucks or more, and moreover, the 18 bucks sticker is inclusive of shipping worldwide and that my friend, is really a deal sweetener.

Published by Mike chua

Avid tech enthusiast, gadget lover, marketing critic and most importantly, love to reason and talk.