What to Look for in Synthetic Leather Cases for Mobile Phones

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What to Look for in Synthetic Leather Cases for Mobile Phones

Synthetic leather is a popular choice for mobile phone and smartphone cases and covers. A synthetic substitute for leather, it is both sturdy and affordable. The material can also be moulded into any shape, making it possible to create radical designs for phone covers. Synthetic mobile phone cases are available in a range of designs, colours, and features for most phone models.

About Synthetic Leather Cases for Mobile Phones

Mobile phone cases have been used since the device was first invented in the early 1970s. Early consumer iterations of the instrument were expensive, fragile, and required delicate handling. In the absence of a strong consumer market, the demand for phone cases was low. Most cases were made from expensive materials such as leather and were available in a limited range of design and colour options. The proliferation of mobile phones in the 1990s eventually opened up the market for more radical designs and a broader range of materials for making phone cases and covers. Synthetic leather was an obvious substitute for the more expensive natural leather. Besides lower cost, it boasted similar properties as leather, such as durability and 'premium' texture and finish. Synthetic leather cases eventually exploded in popularity starting with the smartphone revolution of the late 2000s, starting with the iPhone. Synthetic or artificial leather can be made from a number of different materials. The most commonly used process involves mixing vinyl with a petroleum based plasticiser and dyes. In place of vinyl, polyurethane and PVC can also be used. The leather thus created is called plastic leather or 'pleather' as it is made from plastic compounds.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Synthetic Leather for Mobile Phone Cases

Synthetic leather offers several advantages over real leather. Broadly speaking, the advantages and disadvantages of synthetic leather can be encapsulated as follows:



Synthetic leather is made from plastic compounds and synthetic fibres which gives it a very high durability, although not as much as real leather.

Synthetic leather retains heat for a longer duration than real leather. This property can cause a phone to heat up quickly, especially while charging or out in the sun.

Synthetic leather is extremely flexible and stretchable. It can be easily moulded to take on any number of shapes.

Synthetic leather does not have the soft, supple and 'natural' feel of real leather.

Synthetic leather is very lightweight, making it an ideal material for making phone cases.

The material does not lose its stiffness even after prolonged use.

Synthetic leather is extremely cost-effective.


Synthetic leather is more humane as no animals are involved in the production process.


Synthetic leather is also very easy to clean and requires minimum maintenance.


Buying Synthetic Leather Cases for Mobile Phones

Synthetic leather cases cover a broad category that includes a variety of phone cases varying in design and features. The only common point of reference between these cases is their construction material – i.e. synthetic leather. The flexibility and durability of synthetic leather lends itself to a number of uses and design-types. Consequently, one can find sports cases, wallet/flip type cases, and acoustic enhancing cases made from synthetic leather. Therefore, when buying synthetic leather cases for mobile phones, a number of factors must be considered.

Types of Synthetic Leather Cases for Mobile Phones

Mobile phone cases are meant for different purposes. Some are meant to emphasise the phone's aesthetics, while others are more functional with a focus on protecting the device against tumbles and falls. Depending on the functionality and aesthetical qualities, synthetic leather cases can be broadly categorised as follows:

Type of Case





These cases have a flip or hinge mechanism with two flaps that cover both the front and back of the mobile phone.

Good protection for both front and back of the device. Easy access. Some cases also include additional storage space for stylus, cards and cash.

Can add to the device's weight and bulk.


A simple pouch made from synthetic leather. These are extremely cheap and easy to make.

Offer a good balance between cost and protection.

Suffer from accessibility issues as the phone needs to be removed from the case each time it has to be used.


A close fitting cover that sticks to the phone's shape. Skin type cases are typically made from silicone or rubber, though a few synthetic leather substitutes are available as well.

Do not add any bulk to the phone and help retain a slim profile.

Offer minimal protection against tumbles and falls.

Synthetic Leather Cases for Mobile Phone Features

Synthetic leather cases may be equipped with a number of features to enhance the phone's functionality or add to its aesthetics. The broad range of such features includes the following:

Belt Clip/Holster

Some synthetic leather cases are equipped with a clip or holster for enhanced portability. The case can be clipped onto the belt, providing easy access to the phone.


Straps made from synthetic leather can be attached to a phone case to improve grip. Straps are typically found in wallet/flip type cases. Straps are especially effective for holding the phone when taking pictures.

Passive Acoustic Enhancement

Most phone cases obstruct the speakers and muffle the sound. Phone cases with passive acoustic enhancement, however, are designed in a manner to reinforce the sound coming from the speakers.

Active Acoustic Enhancement

High-end synthetic leather cases can be equipped with powered amplifiers for actively improving the phone's acoustic performance.

Water/Fire Resistance

By adding fire retardant materials during the manufacturing process or coating the leather with a film of water resistant material, a synthetic leather case can be made water/fire resistant.

Improved Grip

A coat of rubber may be added to the side of a synthetic leather case to improve grip for use in sports and outdoor settings.

Synthetic Leather Cases for Mobile Phones Finishes

Synthetic leather closely resembles real leather in finish, feel, and texture. However, given the material's synthetic origins, the final product can be made in a number of different finish-types by altering the manufacturing process slightly. Consequently, synthetic leather cases for mobile phones are available in a number of different finishes, such as:


Synthetic leather can be imbued with a glossy finish through vigorous polishing. Such cases may also be adorned with glitter and patterns to enhance the glossy sheen.


Some synthetic leather cases are covered with glass gems. These are a popular option, especially among young girls.


Synthetic leather can be polished to a metallic sheen. Metallic cases may also utilise bits of actual metal to reinforce the case or improve aesthetics.


Synthetic leather cases embossed with different patterns, such as stripes, animal prints, etc., are covered under this category.


Cases printed with imagery or artwork is another popular option. Some manufacturers offer the ability to customise the print.


Plain cases in solid colours remain the most popular choice among synthetic leather cases. This finish-type emphasises the leather-like feel and texture of synthetic leather.


Synthetic leather is a very useful material for making mobile phone cases. It is flexible, cost-effective and easy to work with. At the same time, it offers the durability, texture, and feel of real leather. Synthetic leather cases are available in a variety of different design-types, such as wallets, sleeves and pouches. The phone cases also have various features such as belt clips, acoustic enhancement, and hand straps. For buying synthetic leather cases for mobile phones, eBay with its extensive range of phone cases and covers comes highly recommended.

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