Review: Lumia 950 Mozo brown leather back cover

Some of you may recall a few weeks ago that we unboxed four beautiful back covers designed specifically for the Lumia 950, delivered to us by Mozo itself. Mozo is one of a handful of Microsoft partners that make smartphone cases “Designed for Lumia”. And it shows.

Lumia 950 Mozo Brown Leather 16

The engraved Mozo logo

Design

The brown back cover features brown, finely textured leather reminiscent of what you’d find on a premium wallet. Outlining the edges of the leather is white stitching that contrasts against the brown, added a certain classy, old farm kind of feel to it.

Lumia 950 Mozo Brown Leather 17

Unique white stitching on brown leather

It feels great to touch, to the point where I almost look for excuses to use the phone, so I fiddle with the back’s surface without looking like a weirdo.

Lumia 950 Mozo Brown Leather 8

Leather texture

Of particular note is the bottom stitching; some three stitches on the bottom seem to be double-stitched, creating an awkward asymmetry with the stitching found on the rest of the cover body. It’s impossible for me to say if this is an intentional design or not, but I don’t like it, and it feels like a craftsmanship defect in an otherwise perfect design.

Lumia 950 Mozo Brown Leather 10

Seemingly out of place double stitching

The sides of the cover is made of a material Mozo calls non-conductive vacuum metal coated PC Plastic. It retains a silver-metallic look that could easily be mistaken for real metal. This metallic look also colors the buttons. Also, like the default back cover, the Mozo case doesn’t fully cover the sides, leaving the black gloss that melds with the screen of the phone exposed.

Lumia 950 Mozo Brown Leather 1

All told, it adds a premium, even luxurious, feel to a phone that many have argued really needs it. During my week or so dawning the brown leather cover, I’ve gotten numerous compliments on it. Many were especially impressed with how it’s less of a “case”, and more of an integrated part of the phone, as it replaces the back cover rather than surrounds it.

Fit

Like the Lumia 950’s default back cover, the brown Mozo fits very tightly by simply pressing on all the sides and corners, snapping all the edges into place. Once secured, there is no creaking or bending, and it feels as if it was a part of the phone all along. The build quality is flawless. There isn’t really much else to say.

Lumia 950 Mozo Brown Leather 2

Ergonomics

The brown leather back cover adds a bit of thickness to the device, but in some ways this is actually a good thing, as it makes the rest of the body more level with the camera bulge. While I do notice the added thickness, I’m too busy fondling the leather to really care.

Lumia 950 Mozo Brown Leather 15

More level with the bulge

It’s important to note that this cover adds a noticeable amount of heft to the device. Mind you, this doesn’t make the device heavy by any means, but it’s noticeably heavier than it is with the default cover, and even heavier than the other covers Mozo gave us. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on the user’s perspective. On one hand, it adds weight. On the other hand, the added heft gives it a more “solid” or “premium” heftiness that a lot of users want, reminiscent of the brick-like solidity of the Lumia 920. I’ve always found “premium heft” utter nonsense and a terrible measure of durability or solidity, opting instead to admire a device’s build quality by its tightness than its weight. Even more impressive to me is if it can achieve its solidity while remaining feather-light.

Another subtle dynamic the Mozo cover brings to the Lumia 950 is the button feel. Whereas the buttons found on the default back cover feel a bit mushy when pressed, the buttons on this Mozo cover, when pressed, feel solid, sharp, and tactile. There’s never any doubt in my mind whether the click registered or not.

Lumia 950 Mozo Brown Leather 18

Beautiful and precise buttons

Another rather interesting improvement the brown leather cover brings is in heat distribution. The Lumia 950, especially when charging, can get uncomfortably warm, and very unpleasant to touch especially when equipped with the default back cover. When equipped with the brown leather back cover, the leather somehow absorbs and evenly distributes the heat, making it much more pleasant to use when under heavy load or charging.

Conclusion

The brown leather back cover is an expensive back cover that adds a much higher premium ambiance to the otherwise rather sedate Lumia 950. I personally am not an aftermarket accessories kind of guy, as I don’t think the added bling changes my ownership experience with the phone, but this is honestly one of the few back covers/cases I would actually consider purchasing with my own money. It looks great, and I love the fact that it’s a back cover that integrates rather than a case that surrounds. Say what you will about Microsoft’s cheap-looking standard plastic covers, but the company made a smart move by allowing it to be replaced, allowing third party accessory makers like Mozo to build an ecosystem of accessories around the Lumia devices.

Lumia 950 Mozo Brown Leather 13

I advise anyone looking to spice up their Lumia 950 give a good hard look at the brown leather back cover for the Lumia 950.

Thanks again to Mozo for providing these cases. You can buy them on Mozo’s website here.

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