July 16, 2024


The Intersection of Information and Insight

Which iPhone 15 Case Should You Buy?

4 min read

Key Takeaways

  • FineWoven is a fabric material that has a unique feel, similar to a cross between nylon and velvet. It may take some getting used to, but it feels natural to the touch.
  • While silicone cases are known for their shock-absorbing properties, FineWoven cases are softer and more resistant to wear and tear, making them capable of handling the average fall.
  • FineWoven cases have fewer color options than silicone cases, but if you prefer a sophisticated and professional look, it’s worth the extra $10 over silicone offerings. However, silicone may be more suitable if you prefer brighter colors and practicality.

In 2023, Apple ditched its leather cases for something more eco-friendly: FineWoven. It’s Apple’s fancy word for a new fabric style of iPhone cases and other accessories. But is it worth the premium over the familiar silicone case?

What Is FineWoven and What Does It Feel Like?

Image Credit: Apple

FineWoven is a fabric material Apple announced at its Wonderlust iPhone 15 event. As per Apple Store’s FineWoven product description, it’s “made from durable microtwill” and “has a soft, suede-like feel.”

That description does ring true. It feels unique in the hand—like a cross between nylon and velvet or microsuede. It may take some getting used to when you first pop it on your iPhone, but in time, it becomes very natural to the touch.

Overall, FineWoven is much more akin to fabric. If you’re looking for a true replacement for Apple’s old leather cases, you’ll have to look to third-party accessory makers or check out the best iPhone 15 cases.

Still, the new material is meant as a premium case option over silicone, coming in at $10 extra—the same premium Apple used to charge for its leather iPhone cases. It’s also more environmentally conscious than leather, given that Apple claims FineWoven is significantly lower on carbon emissions.

Does Silicone or FineWoven Offer Better Protection?

MUO iPhone 15 Pro FineWoven on Table
George Tinari/MUO

When it comes to protection, both Apple’s silicone case and FineWoven cases have their strengths. Silicone cases are known for their shock-absorbing properties. They’re soft, more flexible, and may cushion the iPhone effectively against drops and bumps. Being grippy, silicone should also help prevent accidents in the first place. However, a common issue with silicone is that it degrades over time.

That said, FineWoven cases are very soft and moderately flexible as well. While they might not be as shock-absorbent as silicone cases, FineWoven seems more resistant to wear and tear and should be more than capable of handling the average fall.

Early reviews from The Verge and 9to5Mac suggested that the material scratches too easily, quickly becoming a major cause for concern among potential buyers. So, it remains to be seen whether FineWoven will have superior longevity. ​​​​​​

Fortunately, I was able to rub off light scratches on my FineWoven case from daily usage quite easily with no marks. Considering the average user isn’t going to perform a scratch test on an expensive case, the whole situation is blown out of proportion.

But you should be wary if you’re the type of person who puts your phone in your pocket with other objects like keys or metal wallets. ZolloTech’s YouTube video demonstrates how quickly the case gets marked up by keys or nails.

Color Options for Silicone and FineWoven Cases

iPhone MagSafe Cases
Image Credit: Apple

The color variety is where these two types of cases differ pretty substantially. For whatever reason, Apple tends to give the silicone cases more bright, vibrant color options. FineWoven has fewer choices, and the colors offered are less saturated to align with what’s considered premium.

The colors offered for the iPhone 15 lineup of silicone cases are Orange Sorbet, Cypress, Winter Blue, Storm Blue, Guava, Clay, Light Pink, and Black. By contrast, Apple offers FineWoven cases in Mulberry, Evergreen, Taupe, Pacific Blue, and Black. These colors are consistent across all iPhone 15 models.

For this category, there’s an easy rule to follow. If you enjoy a fun iPhone case that pops, go with silicone. If you prefer the slick, professional look, go with FineWoven.

Ultimately, if the soft, fabric-like feel and sophisticated look of FineWoven align with your style, then the extra investment might be justified over silicone. This is especially true if you previously purchased Apple’s leather cases and aren’t married to leather moving forward.

On the other hand, if you prefer brighter color options and don’t care as much about a unique in-hand feel or you’re worried about the reported issues with scratching, a silicone case may be more suitable. Silicone is a practical choice for everyday use and does just as well for standard protection. It all boils down to personal preference and priorities, as both are great case options for your iPhone 15.

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