Few companies can brag that buying their products is an experience as opposed to just a purchase and on that elite list is Vaja. I was lucky enough to get a Vaja Black Series for my iPhone 4 and after several days of use I’ve decided to post my review of it; only instead of just posting your everyday, emotionless review, I decided to bring you along with me on the ride, all the while pointing out what I’ve come to like and dislike about the case. I hope you find it both helpful and enjoyable. I don’t think you can forget a Vaja purchase or unboxing, be that because of the long, almost excruciating wait for the case to arrive, the deliciously intricate details or the appetite-inducing aroma of leather that fills your room instantly when you first open the box. As a result, this senses appealing experience leaves a unique and tantalizing imprint in your memory. So sweet is the rush, I find it could almost be addicting. My case arrived in the new Vaja packaging: a white box cover with designer, rectangular cutouts running in parallel verticals, exposing the rainbow colouring of the actual box underneath. The pattern is simple yet strangely hypnotizing and, as a result, you’d be forgiven for not noticing the subtle ‘Vaja’ logo in the lower right corner. A touch repeated equally as subtly on the inside of the case and a touch specifically created to emphasis the quiet graceful demeanor of Vaja and their cases. All Vaja cases are created using “Vaja Exclusive Leather” which are full grain cowhide representing the top 10% of Argentinian leather handpicked for “quality, strength, character and grain.” This particular case consists of “Floater” grained leather which offers enhanced resistance to everyday use and wear. The outside is black (hence the name Black Series) with Rosso red interior however, buyers are free to customize their interior from a plethora of colour options available. The build consists of a ‘main body’ to cradle your iPhone from which extends a flap that is used to cover the front screen with when the device is not in use. This effectively offers your phone full body protection, all the while exposing the silent and volume controls, the headphone jack and sleep/wake button. You’ll find that the back is adored on the bottom with the new Vaja metal logo a more tasteful and stylish branding as opposed to the previous, plain imprinted Vaja labeling. With the flap on, the dock connector is inaccessible and charging requires opening the case to insert the cable, a trade off buyers must take into account when considering this case. Personally, I find having the screen visible to follow the battery status while charging helpful. Another common concern is the interference of the flap with daily use, an issue I think ultimately boils down to personal taste, those who enjoy flaps, will love it and those who don’t, will despise it. I was one of those in the middle, considering this case but unsure about the flap, and after days of use, it’s become a nonissue for me, muscle memory making me not even aware of the maneuver anymore. All in all, I’ve not found these trade offs to be annoying or disabling in any way. The fit is best described like the feel of new straight jeans on your legs, snug and precise but not suffocating, even with a full body skin on. This “tightness” is welcome and adds a reassuring feel of solidity and sturdiness to the overall degree of protection. Drop tests that I performed from waist height failed to injure the device and if the Vaja 3G/3GS cases are any indication to go by, buyers should have no doubts that their phones will be more than satisfactorily protected. However there is one possible vulnerability, in order for the camera and accompanying flash to be suitably exposed, the corresponding corner is left exposed posteriorly and an unfortunate drop, exactly on this spot, could be damaging. Lastly the price and this is an area many people contest so lets dissect it. Some people may find it hard to justify an $80 price tag for this case but as White/Rhino (another Macrumors member) put it, “I would call a $30 rubber band expensive”. A comment that I think hits the nail on the head because it shines some perceptive on the price, especially if you remember that each case is delicately handcrafted, one case at a time, with the finest, exclusive leather available, to the colour choosing of your like. Another argument is that buying a Vaja for your phone would be akin to buying a Rolex or Bentley, you’re buying into an elite market to enjoy the pinnacle of luxury all the while also enjoying top class quality and protection. Only instead of paying thousands of dollars, you’ll be paying $80, $50 more for arguably the best leather iPhone case on the market, “It may be expensive but is it really that more expensive?” I’ll spare you the cliches of “it’s art, a masterpiece, etc..” and I’ll leave it to you to ultimately decide if that justifies the price or not. Instead let me sign off by saying that Vaja may just have found the ideal fusion of style with function, an expression few have managed to pull-off and for my money, I would definitely recommend the Vaja Black Series if you’re in the market for a leather flap case. Thanks for your time and if you’ve got any questions I’ll do my best to answer.