The internet loves arguing and debating, especially when a popular brand puts out a controversial product. The case with Apple’s FineWoven products is no different. With their release, the company retired its Leather accessories, which had been fan favorites since their debut. So those buying a new iPhone will now have to settle for a Silicone, Clear, or FineWoven case — assuming they’re not interested in third-party options. This has expectedly caused an outrage, with unhappy customers and reviewers voicing their concerns about the new material’s inferiority.
A few months ago, I compared Apple’s Silicone and Clear cases to find out which $49 cover is superior. This time around, my curiosity has similarly driven me to test the $59 FineWoven case for iPhone 15 Pro Max, as the web failed to provide me with concrete answers. So, are the Leather cases’ replacements really that bad? Let’s find out.
About this article: I bought Apple’s FineWoven case for personal use and wrote this article 10 days later. Apple did not have any input in this article.
Designed (horribly) in California
A case not only protects a phone, but it also freshens up its exterior. As a result, we will be looking at the FineWoven case’s design first. For starters, you get to pick between five colors: Mulberry, Evergreen, Taupe, Pacific Blue, and Black. Colors, however, aren’t the concern here; the overall appearance and quality are.
While on paper the FineWoven texture has a unique look to it, it certainly doesn’t age well. The moment I slid my Black FineWoven case out of its box, I noticed a visible scratch towards its top-right corner — which you can see in the photo above. I hadn’t even touched it yet. Apple does warn that this case could show bruises with time, but I certainly did not expect to see one before use. I shrugged it off and moved on with my life.
I would say my main concern with the FineWoven case’s appearance is how dull it looks after active use. It quickly attracts pocket lint and loses its premium shine. Wiping it doesn’t help much, due to its texture, which makes properly polishing it a challenge. Even though Black is a generally perceived as a naturally dull color, it didn’t take long for my case to lose its utter blackness and transition to an unappealing shade of gray. A $59 case shouldn’t look worn out after 10 days of normal use.
Good luck with that
As I mentioned, my FineWoven case already had a scratch on it before I even touched it. So my first advice to you would be not placing it with sharp objects, such as keys, in the same pocket or bag. Furthermore, Apple mentions that using MagSafe accessories will leave a mark on this case. It’s true. Whenever I charge or attach my MagSafe Wallet to this case, a gray/white circle appears where the magnets align. Wiping it does pretty much conceals the marks, but it makes maintaining this case a headache. And if you stain it, well, good luck getting that sorted out.
For obvious reasons, I didn’t perform any drop or scratch tests. Based on its materials’ fragility, however, I wouldn’t expect it to dodge serious damage. Yes, it may prevent your iPhone’s finish from scratching if you drop your device, but I wouldn’t expect it to handle shocks as well as Apple’s Silicone or Clear cases. It certainly has a cheap feel to it, particularly when it comes to its build quality and thinness.
Well, not much
There aren’t plenty of advantages to using Apple’s FineWoven case, but I’ve noticed a couple of them. Firstly, the side buttons click nicely and produce a relevant sound. While I can see some users absolutely hating it, I personally find it satisfying. It makes clicking these buttons a somewhat more immersive experience.
Secondly, if you rely on Apple’s MagSafe Wallet, you’ll notice that it attaches to the FineWoven case more firmly when compared to a case-less iPhone. I haven’t had the chance to compare this behavior when using a Silicone or Clear case. Though, I presume that the FineWoven case’s texture contributes to the friction that makes removing the wallet more challenging, especially when it happens accidentally.
Lastly, I also appreciate that despite its thinness, this case still supports MagSafe charging and accessories. Many slim cases sacrifice this form of connectivity for their sleek build’s sake. This case manages to eat its cake and keep it. Consequently, it neither sacrifices my iPhone’s functionality nor adds a lot of bulk to it.
It ain’t a Leather case
Apple’s Leather cases are famous for aging gracefully. While they do attract bruises and show their age with time, these signs only contribute to their premium feel and classy look. The FineWoven case, on the contrary, looks cheap and only gets cheaper with time. While it doesn’t fall apart on its own if you don’t actively abuse it, it undoubtedly looks dull soon after you start using it.
More importantly, however, it certainly is way overpriced at $59, even when considering Apple’s standard overpricing. If you’re looking for minimal protection and don’t care about bruises, then the FineWoven will be just fine. It’s not as bad as some people are making it appear to be, but it certainly isn’t worth $59 when it’s less durable and protective than Apple’s $49 Silicone and Clear cases. That’s not to mention the endless case options available from third-party brands.
Apple FineWoven case for iPhone 15 Pro Max
The FineWoven case is made from microtwill and comes in five colors. It also supports MagSafe charging and accessories. While it doesn’t age well, it’s a decent option for non-perfectionists.