- Editor Rating
- Rated 3.5 stars
- Very Good
- TMBR Wood iPhone 5/5s Combo Case
- Reviewed by:
- Published on:
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- Cosmetic AppealEditor: 80%
- Design & Build QualityEditor: 70%
- FeaturesEditor: 50%
- FunctionEditor: 70%
- Value For The PriceEditor: 80%
TMBR makes iPhone 5/5s & 4/4s cases in a variety of wood colors & finishes.
We've reviewed a variety of iPhone cases and a handful of them are out of a wood materials since it has been a trending material in the tech industry. Today, we are going to take a look at a new line of wood cases for the iPhone 5/5s from a company called TMBR. The company sent us a sample of both their iPhone 5/5s and 4/4s combo cases so this review is based solely on our hands-on experience with the products and no outside influences have had any affect on the outcome of the review.
Since the iPhone 5/5s is the most popular smartphone on the market currently, I'm going to focus on this model over the outdated 4/4s model although most of the review will be relevant for both since there is only a few small distinctions between the two. For those of you that like the TMBR samples yet you don't own an iPhone 4/4s or 5/5s, the company also makes wood cases for the iPhone 5c, Galaxy S3, and Galaxy S4 (as well as device skins, watches, and sunglasses).
TMBR offers cases in a multitude of different colors, finishes, and designs. Both of the cases we received were in their “combo” style which means they are made out of a combination of a wooden back piece that was adhered to a standard matte black plastic case. The design is appealing and cost-effective for the company, but the adhesive wasn't applied as cleanly as I liked and upon close examination, the rear wood piece is spaced slightly uneven in some parts and on the 4/4s case you can even see a bit of excess glue coming out of the gap. While I admit this is nitpicky and something the average person wouldn't likely notice, it is still worth mentioning for those who are extra sensitive about the quality of their cases.
Besides that, the build quality of these cases are quite good since the back wooden piece is thick enough to last and appears to have some type of coating to help protect against scratches and dings. This coating doesn't take away from the natural wood appearance and unlike competing models from Carved, it still looks, feels, and smells like real wood. Our 5/5s sample features the “cross hatch” design which oozes elegance and the cuts are very precise when examined close up.
As you can probably tell from the photos, the 5/5s version is Touch ID compatible and supports the newly redesigned LED flash found within the 5s. There is no integrated screen protection although you can always couple it with 3rd party adhesive screen protector for only a couple of bucks. Of course, this case will not offer the same type of protection as the LifeProof fre or OtterBox Preserver Series, so don't expect any protection from the elements like water, sand, snow, or dirt. Similar to the Carved wood case, it does offer a basic layer of protection from the everyday wear and tear that your iPhone faces and while it may potentially save your occasional drop from a low to medium height, I wouldn't count on it.
Applying the case to my iPhone 5 was a bit tighter than expected although once it was fully secured, this meant there wasn't any chance of it becoming separate accidentally. Because the device is so snug within the case, it can also become difficult to remove. I've found that if you separate the top left side where the buttons are first then the rest should will follow suit quite easily.
After using the TMBR “cross hatch” Combo Case for the iPhone 5 as my “daily driver” for about a week and a half, the case showed little damage and held up very well after experiencing the everyday wear and tear. It doesn't hinder any of my iPhone's features and doesn't add any significant weight or bulk so carrying my phone around all day doesn't become anymore of a hassle. Since I'm constantly taking my phone in and out of my pocket, I was pleased to see that the wood finish doesn't catch on the inner materials of my pocket like some competing iPhone cases which ultimately can become a large nuisance.
After putting the TMBR Wood iPhone 5/5s Combo Case to the test, I've found it to be a solid option that closely resembles its Carved competitor in terms of price, appeal, and protection benefits. The main advantage to the TMBR cases is that their wooden piece which is slightly thicker and more durable while still maintaining the look, smell, and feel of real wood. If you're in the market for an affordable wooden iPhone case then I'd recommend either a TMBR or Carved case as they are both good choices and between the two of them you're bound to find the perfect style or finish that you're looking for.
As a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and our Managing Editor, Colt loves testing out the newest tech products/services. His goal is to help better educate other consumers to ensure the most satisfying purchases decisions on consumer electronics and services. When he is not working on creating new content, Colt enjoys spending time with his two Australian Shepherds, Mia and Zoey.