Gizmo Geek: iPhone Wrapped in Wood

Gizmo Geek: iPhone Wrapped in Wood
Gizmo Geek: iPhone Wrapped in Wood

What good is a high-end luxury phone that costs more than most laptops if it looks just the same as everyone else’s? This is a sentiment Hadoro understands perfectly. This Paris-based company specialises in—if you haven’t already guessed—luxury customisation of phones and accessories, including for the latest iPhone XS and XS Max.

There are four types of upgrades: Carbon, Alligator, Sapphire Glass and—this one was a surprise—Wood. There are limited numbers, but each piece, they promise, is handcrafted to as-near-perfection as human skill can make it. Assembly, polishing, fitting, everything is done by hand.

The Wood range really does use wood. The Hadoro iPhone Emerald Wood is crafted from “relic Karelian wood dyed in vibrant emerald green and protected from environmental impact without using any varnishing substances”. It is encased in a carbon fibre frame with an abstract pattern of golden leaves. The Cobalt Wood model uses relic Karelian birch, but dyed in cobalt blue, with a light grey, hand-polished carbon fibre frame. The sides and buttons are stainless steel, 24K gold-plated in case of the Emerald. No two pieces are identical.

The Sapphire Glass range is made from the eponymous material that is supposed to be stronger than steel and harder than gorilla glass. In fact, there was a rumour that Apple was going to use sapphire glass for iPhone 6, but ditched the idea, mostly because of high costs. Hadoro uses silkscreen printing, done by hand, on the material to get a rippled (moiré) pattern for the back that creates a colour-changing visual effect depending on how light falls on it, with Hadoro’s luminous “H” logo. The frame is of carbon fibre. The Touch of Genius model in this range pays homage to Albert Einstein by featuring his fingerprint, brilliantly stylised in silkscreen printing on sapphire glass—but of course, you can customise it to use your own fingerprint.

Hadoro’s most stunning design is the Emperor Dragon phone in the Carbon category. The 3D dragon on the back panel is made from a special carbon fibre material and has intricate detailing, with golden claws and glowing sapphire-glass eyes. The glow comes from the battery—only 2 to 3 per cent of it, they hasten to clarify, though iPhone users know how precious even that trickle is.

The Alligator finish is perhaps the tamest in terms of looks, though if you have the slightest conscience for conservation, look away now. Made of genuine alligator leather and hand-finished by expert leatherworkers in France, each has a unique pattern. The frame is stainless steel, and buttons and logo with gold or rose gold plating. The leather finishing can be black, red, green, white and peony blue.

A brand new customised iPhone XS or XS Max from Hadoro will put you back by anything from ?2,500 to ?5,500, more if you have special requirements. Existing phones may be customised at upwards of ?3,000, plus the cost of shipping it to France. The question is, do you love your iPhone that much?