Over the last few weeks, we have shown you a number of the top leather case brands for iPhones, but another that we feel deserves attention is Alto.
Hand-crafted with fine Italian leather, Alto cases are subtly formed out of what feels like surreal perfection. If you’re one to judge products closely, and every bit of quality matters to you, then Alto’s attention to detail is likely to impress.
Amid all of the leather cases you have to choose from out there, Alto just might be one of the top contenders. At first touch, the leather feels very conditioned, and holding it in the hand is incredibly comfortable.
You will notice from every seam of the case that Alto takes pride in their craftsmanship. You won’t find ripples in the leather around the corners; instead, you see very smooth seams and every aspect of the case is precision-manufactured, inside and out.
It’s all in the details
Alto doesn’t miss a single detail. These premium aniline leather cases are available in ultra-vibrant colors, which are quick to grab the eye. The color choices are almost as diverse as Twelve South’s RelaxedLeather lineup, but Alto’s color choices scream a little bit louder and aren’t as mellow.
There are five different color choices to choose from. They appear in the following order as you see from front to back in the image above:
- Raven (black)
- Coral (red)
- Navy (blue)
- Caramel (brown)
- Lemon (green)
Yeah, lemon is kind of a weird color name for something that looks green – it should be called Lime – but who am I to meddle with the naming process? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Just like the Twelve South’s RelaxedLeather case lineup, you have the option to go with a plain leather case, or with one that has a pocket on the back for carrying 1-2 credit/ID cards and some dollar bills. Interestingly, Alto goes with a two-tone color on the pocketed cases, which I personally like very much.
The inside of the case is lined with a microfiber padding that prevents scuffing of your iPhone’s finish. This is standard in all leather cases we’ve shown you so far.
The back of the case has the Alto logo embossed into it, similarly to the way many other leather iPhone cases have their branding stamped into them. It’s a bit large for my taste, but the leather feels so good in the hand that the logo spends most of its time against my palm rather than in my eyesight.
Being that Alto’s cases are crafted from treated aniline leather, it will develop wear patterns and a patina over time that give it that vintage look everyone seems to like.
As far as everyday usage is concerned, Alto isn’t very restrictive. The entire bottom of the iPhone is exposed and welcomes all of your Lightning accessories. Even if you’re using a dock to charge your iPhone, like the Henge Docks Gravitas, Twelve South HiRise 2, or the Grovemade Walnut dock, it’s going to work well with an Alto case.
All of your buttons, including the volume up/down and power, are exposed to the elements. Some people really like this as it lets you feel the tactile ‘click’ just how it was meant to be felt, but for some people who have delicate finishes, like Jet Black, this could make you more vulnerable to micro abrasions, which is something to keep in mind.
Because everything is exposed, you won’t have any problems accessing the controls, and even the ringer/silent switch is easy to toggle on or off without having long finger nails.
In terms of the camera, you can expect that a case of this quality has a decent-sized cut-out meant to stay out of its way. You will notice that the camera is recessed inside of the case for added protection against table tops.
Because of the nature of snap-on cases, there really isn’t much screen protection with Alto. For that reason, we would recommend a screen protector of some sort to prevent any surfaces from coming in contact with the screen from everyday use.
For the most part, the case rates at about a 9.5/10 in looks and 6/10 in protection, but such is the norm for luxury leather cases, where you’re paying for style more-so than ruggedness. When the latter is needed more, there’s a wonderful invention known as an OtterBox.
You’ve seen the pictures, you’ve heard what we’ve had to say, and now you’re wondering: is the Alto case good, or bad? Here’s a comprehensive pros and cons list:
- Stunning high-quality Italian aniline leather feels great to the touch and smells good
- Multiple vibrant colors to pick from
- Optional pockets to hold your credit/ID cards and cash
- High accessibility for your favorite Lightning accessories
- Smooth design without any ripples or crinkles in the leather
- Protective interior prevents micro-abrasions to iPhone finish
- Develops a patina over time
- Exposed screen and buttons
Overall, Alto makes a great product, and perhaps the only thing that might have you shaking your head is the price. Nevertheless, if you take your leather iPhone cases seriously, and still want to try one, Alto sells leather cases for iPhones of pretty much all shapes and sizes, including the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6/6s, iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus, and iPhone 5/5s/SE.
All models of Alto are available to purchase from Amazon via the following links:
- iPhone 6/6s – $43.90 (pockets / no pockets)
- iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus – $50.90 (pockets / no pockets)
- iPhone 5/5s/SE – $44.90 (pockets / no pockets)
- iPhone 7 – $62.90 (pockets / no pockets)
- iPhone 7 Plus – $72.90 (pockets / no pockets)
What is your favorite Alto case color showcased in this review? Share in the comments below.