Apple has ditched leather accessories in its latest line and instead switched to a new FineWoven fabric material for the iPhone 15. But, after Using the FineWoven for a while just reminds me how good Google's old fabric cases were for the Pixel.
Google has offered fabric cases with its smartphones for years Pixel. Cases were often made primarily from recycled materials and were made of fabric that covered all sides of the device. The fabric weaves were fairly thick and stiff, and while the cases did get dirty often, they were fairly easy to clean.
None of this is true of Apple's attempt to implement the fabric case idea with the “FineWoven” for the iPhone 15.
The current opinion on FineWoven is: well, it's just not good. 9to5Mac's Chance Miller said the cases feel “incredibly cheap” and called on Apple to stop selling them. Allison Johnson of The Verge called them “categorically terrible.”
And after using one of these on my iPhone 15 Pro for a few days, I largely agree.
I just think the texture of the FineWoven is not bad in the hand. It is soft and pleasant to the touch, but that's where the compliments end.
The case's rubber bumper is certainly durable, but it feels a little cheap and really just ruins the idea of a “fabric” case. The ultra-fine weave that Apple uses is also not durable. After just two days of use, my case developed some very minor but visible scuffs and marks that I couldn't get rid of, and that's on a case that costs a whopping $60.
A particularly startling example comes from Parker Ortolani on Twitter/X, where display models in Apple retail stores are showing insane damage in less than a day.
Again, Google's durable weave completely covered the outside Pixel fabric cases and did a pretty good job of hiding damage in the first few days and over months of constant use. I've used these cases almost exclusively for three generations of Pixels and have never had any major damage.
However, there is one thing both fabric covers have in common: they are easy to get dirty. FineWoven picks up stains quickly and easily, as is often the case with Google. iFixit showed that stains, especially oil-based stains, do not disappear, as can happen with pixels. The Pixel 4 XL case pictured below was notorious for picking up stains and colors as it aged, but the one pictured below has been used for a few months as my daily driver and as a result it doesn't look too badly worn .
My feelings about FineWoven are generally mixed. I don't hate the texture, but I definitely feel like they're a lot worse than Google's old fabric cases, and that Apple could do a lot better here – especially for the price.
Most of all, I just want Apple's choice to show Google that fabric cases are worth reviving, because plastic replacements are bland and boring by comparison (and there's really no reason not to have both). .
Best comment from Ollie Francis
The Pixel Fabric cases were beautiful and surprisingly hard. I'd love to see them come back.
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I also think iPhone 15 buyers will be disappointed across the board here (and Apple is clearly preparing its employees for this). Apple's efforts to create a more environmentally friendly case option are commendable, but by releasing it, all the company is doing is creating a case that will lead to more returns and more replacements, which could completely negate the environmental improvements.
Octavia Spencer, Mother Nature, will be disappointed.
As for me, I'll happily stick with the single Nomad leather case, which will age beautifully and, if previous experience is anything to go by, says he will probably grow old. never need a replacement as long as I have this device.
I wish Nomad would still make cases for the Pixel…
Learn more about Pixel & iPhone:
- I'm a die-hard Android user, but here's what I liked and didn't like about the iPhone 15 Pro after the first day of use.
- Pixel 8 Pro leak shows “Super display” Actua.” ' for viewing in direct sunlight.
- iPhone 15 and Android phones will be able to charge each other thanks to USB-C [Video]