Give it up. The search is over. I've found an iPhone case that does everything that I need.
My long-term review iPhone 7 Plus from Apple is rose gold. It's a nice colour, sure, but it's not exactly my style. I would have preferred a matte black or Jet Black, but beggars can't be choosers. So I need a case that covers up that rose gold finish. Sorry, Apple.
Why do you buy a case, though? You want it to keep your phone free from dents and scratches. I need a case that protects the iPhone's lovely curved aluminium corners most, but having enough coverage on the front lip of the case to prevent the face of the iPhone from slapping the ground face-first is also kinda important. I don't need hardcore screen protection -- that's what a screen protector is for. Oh, and it has to look nice.
I stumbled onto Nodus, a British accessories manufacturer, about a month ago. I got in touch, they agreed to shoot one of their leather Shell Case prototypes over ahead of the November 21 shipping date. Pre-orders are open now, by the way. I have it in my hands now, and it's awesome. It's actually the best iPhone case that I've ever used.
It's beautiful, for one. The leather finish is really, really nice, and the case itself is well put together -- not true for many other slim leather cases that I've seen in the past. Nodus' logo is an octopus, too, so you can pretend you're James Bond in SPECTRE except without the casual misogyny. Brown and black leathers are available.
The big advantage of Nodus' slim leather shell case over most other cases, though -- including Apple's own $75 leather cases -- is that in the centre of the case, hidden behind that leather, is a magnetic puck that holds the case very securely to an included magnetic micro dock -- which Nodus will sell additional units of separately for about $35.
That means I can mount my iPhone 7 with no silly clip-in docks or holders on my car's dashboard when I'm driving, or I can mount it on my desk at work or on my bedside table at home. And make no mistake, the magnet is strong. It ain't going anywhere, even over bumps. And it doesn't look like a magnet-mounting case. It's not ugly.
Sure, Nodus' leather slim case not going to be the sturdiest or most protective case out there. But it's gorgeous, it has that strong magnetic micro mount, and it covers up that I-promise-it's-actually-nice rose gold finish. Putting a leather case on your iPhone is probably the best way to keep it safe without making it look ugly, and I've found my favourite.
I've got a great Tech21 case and an equally great EFM case for my 7 Plus that I can switch to if I plan on taking my phone out on a run or a cycle. Make no mistake, Nodus' shell case puts fashion first, but for my everyday use that's exactly what I need right now. It's about $90 before shipping at current exchange rates -- again, not exactly cheap, but not ridiculously expensive for the style and the extra utility that it offers. [Nodus]