Every time there's a new iPhone, there's a struggle between keeping it protected and enjoying the beauty and svelte figure of the new design. The new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are gorgeous devices and a real treat to hold in the hand, so it'd be a shame to sacrifice that by putting a bulky case on it. Apple's own cases are fairly slim and pretty darn good, but even those do take away from the beauty of the phone.
To solve this problem, Twelve South has created the SurfacePad. It's not a case, they say — in fact, they're very clear about that. It's an ultra-slim luxury leather cover, and it's absolutely fantastic.
To call the SurfacePad design "minimalistic" would be an understatement. There's nothing complex about the design, and like most Twelve South products, it's an incredibly simple and functional aesthetic. Made of Napa Leather (and yes, it's real leather), it feels wonderful in the hand. It's soft but durable, and smells of a quality leather product.
The inside is lined with a light gray microfiber material that will gently coddle your iPhone's display when the cover is closed. It feels great, looks great, and gives the entire cover a very high quality feel.
The SurfacePad attaches to the iPhone 6 with a special adhesive that can be re-applied "dozens of times". It's very strong, easy to install, and more than secure enough to alleviate any fears of it coming unstuck during use. The adhesive leaves no residue, and comes with a thin plastic cover to protect it from dirt or dust should you decide to take the SurfacePad off and store it for any length of time.
Once the SurfacePad is installed, its purpose becomes very clear. It's not heavy, and it's not thick, but it adds a certain feeling of reassuring heft to a notoriously slippery phone. Suddenly you feel more confident holding the iPhone 6 one handed, and flipping the cover open and closed becomes second nature. It makes the iPhone feel more like a nice notebook than a phone, and is incredibly charming to use.
The SurfacePad also has a kickstand function that allows you to prop up your iPhone in landscape mode. It works as expected, albeit with very little control over the angle your phone is resting at. I imagine this will improve in time as the leather folds become softer and more pliable.
Speaking of which, when the iPhone is sitting flat on a table, the SurfacePad does not fold completely flat on the screen. Again, I imagine as the leather loosens up and it takes the shape of your phone, this will improve. For now, it's a very minor annoyance.
I'm very impressed with the SurfacePad, and will continue using it on my iPhone 6 daily. It feels incredible in the hand, appears to be constructed very well, and adds a decent amount of protection to the phone without sacrificing the beautiful design. It doesn't offer true protection from drops or major damage, but if you're careful with your device, this should be enough to keep it looking fresh for as long as you have it.