Twelve South’s SurfacePad for iPhone Review


Your iPhone is beautiful. If it’s an iPhone 5, its straight up sexy. If you’re like me, you paid a ridiculous amount of cabbage for your iPhone 5, sold your 4S on eBay only to have the postal service screw up, costing you an extra $450… I’m still a tad bitter. If you’re not like me then chances are you still feel the urge to protect your iPhone like a momma bear with cubs. You probably have some behemoth case on it that would protect it from more scenarios than you could ever get yourself into. And nobody really faults you for it. Although, it’s a bit of a crime to cover up the smooth contours and bulk up the sleek outer-casing. Even I am guilty of this. Truth is though; you really don’t need a case.

Aside from scratches and nicks, dropping your phone will likely not break it. Unless you work in some serious construction, you really don’t need an otterbox. These phones are designed to withstand some serious punishment. Now, do iPhones break? Yes, we all know that person that has broken every single iPhone they have ever owned. THAT person needs an otterbox, but for those of us without hotdog-fingers, cases mainly just add some personalization but add a lot of weight and bulk. Sad, in my opinion, I really love the look of the iPhone 5. The all glass iPhone 4 and 4S had me freaked out but I managed to never break it and definitely dropped it a few times. Every case I have ever owned has eventually come off, I just don’t like paying for a super-slim phone and then bulking it up. I like sleek things, and if there’s a case that I think I could use for a while. It’s the SurfacePad from TwelveSouth.


TwelveSouth also makes BookBook, the little leather old-fashioned book looking portfolio style case that can hold ID and other essential cards, and the SurfacePad follows the same style. It features genuine Napa leather which surrounds the whole phone in ultra-slim fashion. It sticks to the back of the iPhone and then wraps around with a cover over the front. It’s sleek, it’s sexy and its useful. It has the essential camera opening on the back and also can be folded for use as a stand. It’s not perfect however. I have a black SurfacePad on my iPhone 5 and I have to say, I’m impressed with the quality. It definitely has a strong leather smell and the leather is very soft and the case just feels well-crafted overall. The black leather has a good color to it and, while I haven’t handled them myself, the case also comes in white and red leather.

SPiPhone_centerimgclockThe secret to how the SurfacePad manages to add no bulk to the sides of the iPhone lies in how it attaches. The SurfacePad has a sticky adhesive on the inside back-cover and you simply line it up and stick it on. Unfortunately, this means that taking it on and off isn’t the best idea, I’m not sure how long this adhesive will… adhere. But I’ve taken it off a few times and it seems to stick on just as solid. The cover opens nicely and the soft suede on the inside is easy on the screen. Because of the double flap on the back which allows you to convert into stand-mode and the front cover, using your iPhone as a phone can be a little awkward at first. I simply choose to fold the cover back and hold it down with my thumb and pointer-finger rather than let it flop around or cover the peripheral of my right eye. It feels natural now but holding it one-handed still feels a bit weird.

The SurfacePad just feels right on your phone, it makes it feel a bit more complete, like Bruce Willis in a leather jacket.  I love how it opens in portfolio style and makes it feel more professional. Overall I think it adds dynamic to the iPhone rather than taking away from it’s natural beauty. When you open the case and even before, you still see the sides and bevel, which I enjoy seeing and most cases cover completely. For those who enjoy the au naturale  appearance of the iPhone but want something that adds not only protection but a certain element of elegance, this is the case. TwelveSouth certainly makes some of the most unique cases I’ve come across and for $35 I’m now a fan.

SurfacePad for iPhone is available in Pop Red, Modern White or Jet Black and retails for $34.99 over on