Hands-on with Mozo's leather and metal replacement back for the Lumia 950 XL

While many have criticized the "uninspired" polycarbonate backing that the Lumia 950 family sports, there are a number of back plates being offered by third parties if you are looking to spice up your new Lumia 950 or 950XL.

We got our hands on a black leather backing for our Lumia 950XL, manufactured by Mozo, one of several Official Lumia Partners Microsoft has been working with. While we opted for the black version, they also offer red, natural leather, and white for both the 950 and 950XL. The natural leather even adds some stitching along the outer edge for an extra design flare. They additionally have flip-cover versions for users who are looking for extra protection.

The cover is designed to replace your existing polycarbonate backplate on the phone, and offers the same built-in Qi and NFC capability as the stock backplate. In fact, as you can see from the picture below, the inside of the leather backcover is almost identical to the polycarbonate one sporting the same general layout and metal contacts. After a quick test, I can confirm that the Mozo case works great with the flat Nokia Qi charging pad on my desk - NFC works too as expected.

The build quality is undoubtedly premium as it should be for the minimum $41.99 that one will have to shell out. The backing material is made with "genuine leather" that admittedly feels great to the touch. The leather is considerably more gripy than the stock polycarbonate backing, which made me feel better about leaving the phone out of its case.

The trim around the edge is still plastic, but has a metal coating. The reason for not being entirely metal is due to the fact that the case still has to snap into place. Being plastic ensures it doesn't actually bend out of form when you remove and snap on the cover. Since the metal is coated on plastic, I question how durable the surface will be in the long run, as many metal coated plastic surfaces tend to wear off over time.

All in all, for anybody who wants a more premium feeling Lumia 950 or 950XL without the extra bulk of a case, Mozo's leather back plate is a choice worth considering, though it may be more than some are willing to spend. You can find the cases available in the US via Mobile Fun or worldwide direct via Mozo's store. Unfortunately, it looks like the shipping timeline is anywhere between one to four weeks, depending on where you purchase them from, so you will be waiting a bit before you can get your hands on one yourself. Check out our hands-on video at the top of the article in the meantime!

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