Stylish phone cases on a student budget

Desk with mobile and headphones

We were lucky enough to get our hands on a couple of cool iPhone cases from Snakehive, so asked Heather, one of our Student Blogger reviewers, to test them out…

You know what it’s like – you spend a fortune on a brand new mobile and when you get it out of the box it looks so pristine and shiny that you daren’t put it down for fear of it getting its first scratch. So if you want to keep your beloved phone looking box-fresh for longer, you’re probably going to want to get a protective case. As well as helping to stop your phone getting damaged they’re also a great way of personalising your phone – especially good when all your friends have the exact same model.

There are some great-looking cases out there that can add a touch of style to your phone, but with many costing upwards of £30 it’s not surprising that lots of us are willing to take the risk and do without one – especially if you’ve just splashed the cash on an expensive phone. Luckily, the prices of Snakehive’s collection of premium protective phone and tablet cases are student-friendly compared to similar products on the market – especially as they pride themselves on using high-quality materials.

The Snakehive range is impressive, and includes a selection of premium leather and hand crafted wooden cases in a wallet, back case, flip case or pouch design and in a variety of styles for a range of phones. I tried out two iPhone cases from their Wilderness Collection, which offers beautifully crafted cases in a selection of sustainably-sourced woods, such as bamboo, cherrywood, maple, rosewood and walnut.

iPhone 5 Back Case in rosewood

Snakehive iPhone 5 Back Case

The iPhone 5 back case slotted on quickly and fitted like a dream. The design has obviously been well-tested as the cut-outs for all the buttons, ports and camera are perfectly positioned enabling you to have full and easy access to them. The inside of the case has a sturdy rubberised holder to help keep the phone secure – and testing it out there were no problems with movement of the phone, as the case fits well. Having the cover on also made the phone seem a lot easier to pick up from a flat surface than without a case, so hopefully there’s a lot less chance of dropping and damaging the phone.

Snakehive iPhone 5 Back Case

The case was only tried out for a few days, but it does look to be a well-made product that would prove to be hard-wearing. It was a pleasure to use knowing that you weren’t scratching the back of the phone every time you picked it up or put it down and the rosewood definitely adds a touch of style to your phone. The surprising thing about this case is that it sells on the Snakehive website for just £12.95*, and when you consider the materials used in making it, along with the look and fit of the product and compare it to equally stylish products on the market, this did seem extremely reasonable – a definite competitor in the high-end range of mobile phone protectors.

If I had to find a drawback of the back case, it would be that the strip that sits around the edge of the phone is black and it would be nice to have the option of buying it with the strip in white, as some people may prefer this option if their phone is a white model rather than a black model.

iPhone 7 Wallet Case in rosewood

Snakehive iPhone 7 Wallet Case

The iPhone 7 Wallet Case offers protection for your phone from the front and back, so great if you want a little extra cover from dirt and scratches. Again, the case has been well thought out and the cut-outs for ports, buttons and the camera were all spot on. The wallet case once again has a rubberised matt holder inside to keep the phone secure, and when the wallet is open, the left-hand side includes two very useful credit card slots, so is fantastic if you don’t want to have to carry your wallet around with you.

The case makes the iPhone 7 really easy to pick up, and having the wallet design protecting the screen was really reassuring when the phone was being carried around in a bag (or in a pocket with scratchy keys!). The design of the case has a clever little function in that you can open the wallet up and stand the phone up at an angle, which is great for watching videos on YouTube.

Snakehive iPhone 7 Wallet Case

The Snakehive Wallet Case looked very stylish in the rosewood, and at £14.95* seems to be very reasonably priced for what you’re getting. Again, the only fault I can find (bearing in mind it was tested for just three days) is the same as the back case – it only has the option of the black trim. As I tested it with a black iPhone 7 it looked very sleek, but it would be great to have the option of having it in a white trim as well.

Snakehive packaging

One other nice touch with the Snakehive cases is the packaging. The phone cases are packed in very classy neutral-coloured boxes that add to the high-end feel of the product, making them an ideal – and relatively inexpensive – gift for a friend with a shiny new phone.

You can check out the full range of cases and wallets at the Snakehive website.

*Prices correct at time of publishing. Top image: Daria Minaeva/

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