Review: Mozo Lumia 650 cognac flip cover

Not content to be repetitive, the Mozo train for the Lumia 650 concludes with a beautiful cognac flip cover, which adds card-holding functionality to the back cover mix.

Design

Despite initial appearances to the contrary, Mozo does not describe the cognac flip cover as being genuine leather, and it doesn’t feel like it either. Despite this, the cognac flip cover for the Lumia 650 looks great, with two-tone appearance that resembles the brown leather Lumia 950 cover I reviewed earlier, only much crispier, more modern and precise.

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Of particular interest is the difference between the two sides of the flip cover. The front side is the standard brown leather with white contrast stitching. The back side is the same, only with a black plastic bracing outlining the sides of the cover.

Functionally, this outer ring serves as the chassis for the flip cover: the mounting mechanism that fastens the cover to the device itself. This same plastic housing can also be found on the opening for the camera bulge. Visually, in my opinion, it makes the cover look much more striking. It adds more serious, richer, perhaps even more “prestigious” feeling to the cover’s ambiance.

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Or at least it would add all of those things, if that black bracing was found on both sides. That its only found on one side of the device is actually kind of distracting, because it gives the device two distinct personalities depending on which side of the cover you’re looking at. It’s a weird, though perhaps necessary, concession, and I’m not a big fan.

Inside of the flip cover looks great, with a much less saturated, cotton-textured, cognac colored card holding skin and a downright fascinating bead mesh texture beneath the skin’s surface, visible only through the openings in the card’s slots.

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Fit

Like the other two Lumia 650 covers, the flip cover replaces the factory back cover by fastening itself into all the jagged hooks found inside the device’s exposed back side. No creaks, no unstable wobbling from the danging other half of the cover, and just pure tightness.

The same can be said of the magnetic strap, which attaches to its counterpart on the other side with a resolute clacking sound, and very little can accidentally upset the connection in transit.

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Ergonomics

Of particular interest to the ergonomic discussion is how the two card slots fit into the overall scheme. The two slots can each comfortably and tightly hold your typical credit card sized cards with aplomb.

Normally, when cards are added to these kinds of accessories, the laws of physics mandate that the overall mass of the augmented device becomes thicker. While technically true in this case, this flip cover manages to subvert the added thickness in a rather tricky way.

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With cards.

When closed without holding any cards, the flip cover is not exactly as thin as the Lumia 650. There’s a noticeable gap between the front face of the phone, and the better half of the flip cover. As such, the flip cover doesn’t stay completely faithful to the Lumia 650’s original chassis thickness, but the consequence of this is that the added cards only fill that gap, and don’t really add thickness.

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Without.

If you intend to use the flip cover to hold cards, then this is a great thing, as it doesn’t cause the cover to stretch by the force of accommodating the extra cards. If, however, you’re using the flip cover exclusively to shield the Lumia 650’s precious AMOLED screen, you might want the thinness back.

The magnetic strap that fastens the front cover closed is so painfully designed with this physics game in mind that it almost closes itself. Full of grocery cards or not, I have never once had to guide the magnetic strap to its tail end, as it just magically finds its way there as if powered by satellite navigation and autopilot.

Other observations

For covers like these that obscure the front screen, there’s a modern day semantic that occurs where closing the front cover in this manner will lock the phone, much like they do on the covers found on iPads and Surfaces. I regret to inform that, predictably, the Lumia 650 does not react to this semantic. Not that it really matters.

While the texture found on the cover’s is aesthetically quite pleasant, it can be a bit bothersome, as it has a subtle, rubbery grip that makes sliding it in and out of tight pickets rather unpleasant.

Finally, if you intend on reversing the magnetic strap to have it hold the front cover open on the other side, don’t bother. While it’s doable, it’s so obviously not designed with that in mind that it’s not worth the hassle.

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Conclusion

Sometimes I feel like Mozo cares more about the survival of the Lumia devices than Microsoft itself. While the flip cover has some strange nuances, it’s so meticulously and carefully designed that it gives the Lumia 650 a premium feeling that I think it frankly doesn’t deserve.

While I had no use for the cognac flip cover’s wallet cargo capacity, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it and can definitely see the value of being able to replace a thick wallet with only the daily essentials.

The cognac flip cover is a magnificent (if a bit aesthetically questionable) cover for a beautiful phone that was poetically designed to fall short of greatness.

You can buy the cognac flip cover here.

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Would the cognac flip cover's added card-holding functionality be useful to you?