Carved exotic wood skins for iPhone review

Carved makes iPhone and iPad skins with a twist -- an "exotic wood" twist. You see, these aren't your usual high-tech films or fancy carbon fiber stickers, these are custom crafted in Elkhart, Indiana from durable, sustainable woods. In fact, Carved claims every one of their iPhone and iPad skins is comes from a single block of raw wood. I, of course, asked to review one with an iMore logo.

If you don't want custom, there are several ready-to-buy designs available, including the fairly awesome looking wood Puzzle skin line. There's also Wild West, World Map, Rectangula, Little Monster, and Cyborg as well as plain finishes in redwood, olive ash, mahogany, paldao, padauk, English sycamore, cherry, bamboo, purple heart, and walnut. But really, who doesn't want custom?

What you get from Carved is a back plate -- and optional front plate -- that sticks on via an adhesive (which they say is unique). There are cutouts for the camera, the screen, and Home button. The engraving is done by laser and is quite beautiful and detailed. Every piece is also hand sanded and custom finished.

The result is stunning. You can see and feel the grain, and the contrast of the rich wood against the cold steel and glass is amazing.

Now while the Carved wood skin will offer some protection against scratches and impact for your iPhone's glass, it will likely do so at its own expense. This isn't some high tech impact proof, scratch resistant poly-something. It's craft, and you'll need to treat it with some care.

The good

  • Absolutely amazing looking
  • Easy to apply
  • High quality feel

The bad

  • Front plate adds significant recess to Home button and an edge around the screen.
  • Protection comes at the expense of the skin itself

The bottom line

The Carved exotic wood skin for the iPhone brings an incredible warmth and naturalness to the otherwise common, cold iPhone steel and glass. It's beautifully hand crafted and the wood grain combined with the laser engraving makes for a visually dynamic combination. It won't be for everyone, but for anyone looking to change up their iPhone, the Carved exotic wood skin is a fantastic option.

$29.99 and up - Buy now


Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector and Isometric podcasts, follow her on Twitter @Georgia_Dow and check out her series at

  • So you have to glue the plates on? Yikes!
  • I have used a similar product on my previous iPhone and if this one is the same it has a double sided adhesive tape that does not leave any residue behind if you remove it. Back plates are cool, but as Georgia noted the front bottom piece does create a significant recess for the home button. That is something I disliked.
  • Any Americans in the audience better hope Obama doesn't pull a Gibson guitar style shakedown on them.
  • Congrats - dumbest thing I have read all day.
  • There's a cool Canadian company doing something similar. They don't use the front plating and it's made from great Canadian wood.
  • This is beautiful. I think I"ll ask for one for a birthday present. THe date's not too far away.
  • It's wood. I -hate- when they append the word "sustainable" onto something that's just something everyone uses and claims it's "environmental". For goodness sakes, HOW MANY TREES DID THEY KILL TO MAKE THIS? Seriously now, the word "sustainable" added on makes me want to throttle the marketer. Trust me, it was not environmental to rip the "raw wood" out of that poor, unexpecting tree to make your iphone case.