The Nomad Magnetic Leather Back is my new favorite iPhone accessory — here's why

Nomad Magnetic Leather Back on an iPhone 15 Pro Max, from the back
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

I am not currently using an iPhone 15 Pro Max case, despite the fact I would recommend one to any other phone buyer so it can help keep their new handset safe from bumps and scrapes. The problem is I don't always want the additional bulk that even slim cases offer, which can make an already large phone even more difficult to handle or type on. However, I've been trying something a little more unusual that is perhaps the best compromise between having and not having a case.

Nomad Magnetic Leather Back

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Nomad Magnetic Leather Back, freshly launched for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, is like if you got a regular case but trimmed the sides off to leave only the rear panel. And it has proved surprisingly practical and enjoyable to use.

Nomad Magnetic Leather Back for iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max: $40 @ Nomad

Nomad Magnetic Leather Back for iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max: <a href="https://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-8900245-14535369?sid=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https://nomadgoods.com/products/magnetic-leather-back-rustic-brown-iphone-15-pro-max" data-link-merchant="nomadgoods.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$40 @ Nomad
A cross between regular case and phone skin, the Magnetic Leather Back from Nomad offers the latest Pro iPhones a handsome new look and protection for the back glass and cameras. The MagSafe magnets within ensure it's easy to fit and still works with other accessories too.

If you're not familiar with Nomad, it's the maker of some of the most luxurious phone accessories around, especially for iPhones and other Apple devices. It sells regular cases of course, but this new $40 back cover (available in either Rustic Brown or Black) is something new, that it claims has taken two years of development to get right.

Nomad Magnetic Leather Back on iPhone 15 Pro Max, from the side

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The cover attaches to your iPhone via MagSafe and micro-suction sticky pads. That makes aligning it simple and secure, while also being easy enough to remove when you want to swap to a different case. All without leaving any sticky residue. There's no sticky pad by the camera block, which helps with removal but also means there's a distracting loose corner.

Nomad Magnetic Leather Back inside view

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Once in place, you can admire the Horween leather back. Previous leather Nomad cases I've used have developed unique, attractive patinas over time, giving your device an aged look that they'd never gain by themselves without being catastrophically damaged.

Nomad Magnetic Leather Back being installed on an iPhone 15 Pro Max

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

That said, I appreciate not everyone wants leather on their phone for various reasons. So I do hope Nomad will convert its other cases, like its PET Sport case, to this style.

Since the Magnetic Leather Back is indeed only a back panel, the sides and front of the phone are left unprotected, similar to using a vinyl skin. However, the Nomad cover offers one extra protection advantage with a TPU lip around the camera, hopefully keeping your lenses from getting scratched and ruining your photos. 

Nomad Magnetic Leather Back on an iPhone 15 Pro Max, from the back

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Most importantly of all, the cover's still thin enough to let your iPhone charge wirelessly. I've been using it alongside my usual MagSafe charger stand, and the iPhone still powers up as it should.

I'd assumed up to a few days ago that the phone case was something of a solved problem, with no real innovations left to make. However, Nomad's attempt at blending case and skin together with the Magnetic Leather Back has proved both novel and effective. I think it'll be staying on my iPhone for some time to come.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.