Twelve South SurfacePad iPhone 7 Plus/8 Plus case review

As we mentioned in a recent news post, the SurfacePad for iPhone is a thin, minimal leather cover for your iPhone 7/8, iPhone 7/8 Plus, or iPhone X.  It protects the front and back of your phone from pocket hazards and from getting surface scratches from tables and countertops.  Twelve South was kind enough to offer a SurfacePad to The Gadgeteer for review, and I was selected to put the cover for the iPhone 8 Plus/7 Plus to the test.

Hardware specs

  • Ultra-thin, full-grain leather cover
  • Applies like a screen protector, with an adhesive pad instead of a shell case
  • Hands free viewing & display stand
  • 2 card slots to streamline your everyday carry
  • Qi charging compatible for iPhone 8
  • Thickness: .07 inches (2 mm)
  • Weight: 1.6 ounces (45.3 g)

Design and features

I received the SurfacePad for iPhone 7 Plus.  I requested and received the deep teal color.  The case is very well made, with even, self-colored topstitching.  The phone’s screen is completely covered;  a cutout on the back leaves the back camera, flash, and microphone uncovered.  The double-row topstitching on the back acts as a hinge for using the SurfacePad as a horizontal stand for the iPhone.

Setup

There really isn’t a lot of “setup” involved, but you should make sure that the back of your phone is clean and dust-free for best adherence of the sticky pad.  Luckily, the adhesive that holds the case in place is removable, repositionable, and reusable, because it took me a couple of tries to get the phone centered and affixed to the case just as I wanted it.  There’s a video at Twelve South to show you how it’s done.

Performance

There are two slip pockets for IDs or cards that aren’t filed in your iPhone’s Wallet app.  You can see more of how the back is attached so it can be folded into a horizontal stand, which we’ll see later.

The front of the case is embossed with the Twelve South logo.  The interior of the front cover is branded with the SurfacePad name, and the Twelve South logo is under the adhesive pad flap.

You can see the interior edge with the silence slider and the volume buttons.  The leather is soft enough that you can operate the volume buttons through the closed case.  You’ll be able to adjust your playback volume while listening to music, or you could even trigger the camera release through the case if you don’t need to see the screen while you’re taking photos.

When I was taking photos with the back camera, I let the front cover hang down and I held it like a camera grip in my left hand while I operated the on-screen camera release “button” with my right.

You can see that some of the metal side is left uncovered by the leather hinge.

Even when closed, you can see that the entire side with the power button is left uncovered.  This of course makes it easy to access the power button, even when the case is closed.

The metal of the top and bottom is also left uncovered, which leaves a lot of metal open to scratching, but it also means you can hear the speakers and use the charging cable unimpeded.

The leather hinge is flexible enough that you can fold the case completely to the back to hold and use the phone one-handed.  I found it comfortable enough to hold for a couple hours on a call.

The case was also useful as a horizontal stand.  It was nicely stable in this position.  I could even tap on the screen while it was standing like this without fear of it tipping over.

What I like

  • Attractive leather case that protects the screen as well as the back
  • Front cover folds to the back for one-handed holding and use
  • Can be used as a horizontal stand
  • Room for two cards if you like to use your phone case as a minimal wallet
  • If your phone allows it, the cover is Qi-compatible for wireless charging
  • Adhesive pad adheres strongly to the back of the phone, and it can be removed without residue

What needs to be improved

  • Not really a needed change, but be aware that folding the front cover back will block the back camera

Final thoughts

The Twelve South SurfacePad is a beautiful, protective cover for the Apple iPhone 7 Plus.  It protects my screen in my purse, it serves as a horizontal stand, and it looks good doing it.
Price: $49.99
Where to buy: Twelve South and Amazon
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Twelve South

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2 thoughts on “Twelve South SurfacePad iPhone 7 Plus/8 Plus case review”




  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Hi,

    This is my second iPhone SurfacePad and they are realy nice
    But… my surface pad (iPhone 7plus) is not sticky anymore at the edges. In fact I can untach the whole pad far too easy.
    Should I clean it or something? But how?

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