Product Review: Blacksmith-Labs Leather Phone Holster

Blacksmith-Labs wants people to buck the tradition of keeping their Android phones or mobile devices in their pockets. I know, it’s convenient (sometimes) to reach, and usually very accessible. But this elegantly designed, genuine leather phone holster might make you change your mind about whether you want your fat phone sitting in your pocket.

Blacksmith-on-hip

Check out my unboxing video of the genuine leather phone holster I received from Blacksmith Labs.

Blacksmith-Labs sent me the BARRETT model for Nexus 5 phones.

Intoxicating deliciousness

The first thing you’ll notice about this device is the intoxicating smell of genuine leather. It’s like sitting in a luxury automobile, tempting you to sniff.

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I’m not going to lie, the fragrance is deliciousness.

Durability

The phone holster features a high-tension, snap clip to attach the holster to your belt.

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I like these swivel clips, since they give you some range of motion for use. I tested this clip with and without a belt.

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The holster worked fine in either pair of pants, but onto the waist better when clipped to the belt. I was able to knock the holster loose really easily if it was clipped to the waistband or pocket.

The case has stitched seams and features four “security stitches” on the inside to help hold the clip in place.

Inside stitching

Unfortunately, even though the stitching looks strong, the leather around the clip isn’t.

Blacksmith Labs Clip FailureI easily pulled the top of clip from the clasp to reveal the glue binding the clip to the holster.

Clip out of holster

Sadly, I wasn’t pulling too hard, and I can imagine situations where you’d snag the holster and end up separating clip from pouch. Fortunately, I easily fixed my mistake with a letter opener by tucking the clip back into place.

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You need to be aware of this issue. Also, I don’t how vulnerable this is, since the leather holding the clip in place is substantial. I’m guessing, because I didn’t try, that only the top 1/3 of the clip would come out. I can’t think of any solutions for Blacksmith-Labs, but this problem’s a doozy. In fairness, I should mention that the company brands their clips as “indestructable,” which gives some comfort if the thing can stay on your hip.

The clip issue aside, I think the holster is well crafted and really looks good.

My Nexus 5 fit comfortably in the holster, and stays securely in place with a large metal “nub”.

Holster Clasp Nub

Clasped Holster

Priced out of the market?

Ultimately, I don’t know how many people — unless you’re a Texas oil or ranching tycoon who wants a matching accessory —will shell out $80 for this leather pouch. I prefer to keep my phone in my pocket, and I’m not a big fan of these types of accessories. At $79.95 (Amazon) or $119.95 (direct), Blacksmith-Labs’ holsters are the priciest holsters I’ve seen.  Alas, quality craftsmanship has a hefty price tag — this is genuine leather, people.

If you’re in the market for a new holster, and you want something to make you stand out, the Blacksmith-Labs line of genuine leather holsters is your answer. Overall, I’m giving the holster 3.5 of 5 stars.

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Jeff Taylor

I’m just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I’m also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.