No phone has as many accessories, specifically cases, as the iPhone. Any price point from literally a dollar up to many hundreds is catered to. But as smartphones continue to be the go-to source for information, social networking, photography, and banking, the accessories help add additional utility to our devices. Case in point: Wallet cases.
If you’re like me, you carry a phone, license or ID, and a debit card. That’s it. That’s all I need. When money is needed, a simple transfer via my phone on my banks website is all I have to do. Wallet cases make that integrated lifestyle even easier. By having everything in one place it makes traveling extremely lightweight and simple.
Today, I’ve got three different wallet style iPhone 5 cases that we all are going to take a look at. What makes this comparison even better is that these are all three different styles of wallet case, too. And after using each for a couple days now, I’ve got a good idea at the pros and cons of each style. Let’s get started…
The first case we’re going to take a look at is Incipio’s STOWAWAY case. The plastic and silicone combination makes for a nice, sturdy case with a bith of shock protection to boot. Around back is an opening door that can hold several plastic cards and a couple bills. In my daily travels I comfortably held three plastic cards and a coffee coupon to the gas station on my way to work (gotta have my coffee). That is, I feel, the max you want to try and cram in the back of this case. Over three plastic cards and something else thinner and not so hard, the back starts to get finicky with closing completely, or simply pops open more easily (when you don’t want it to). On that note, under normal use I never experienced the back of the case randomly opening and spilling the contents of the storage space all over the place.
Priced at $34.99, the STOWAWAY case makes for a good normal use case with the added benefit of wallet storage behind your phone in a secretive, confidential way.
Flip Wallet Case
The Flip Wallet case for the iPhone 5 was sent to us by Mobile Fun UK and ended up being one of our favorite cases ever. The bottom flipping design allows quick opening by letting gravity handle bringing the folio part of the case down instead of having to fiddle with it with your fingers. On top of that, there are two slots to slap a couple of cards. Stress: a couple. One thing that makes this particular style a benefit for heavier phone users is that you can use your phone when its inside this case easily with either your left or right hand. With a case such as the BookBook, using your phone one handed with your left hand when it is inside the BookBook is almost impossible, and at best, unruly. It’s not an issue with this case.
The only weakness with this particular case is that it doesn’t hold very much at all. Two plastic cards or a card and a few bills is all you’re going to fit in this case. Then again, if that’s all you’re looking for and don’t want a massive wallet sized iPhone case then this is actually quite an awesome case for the price. Availability is white (shown) as well as black and purple.
More: iPhone Cases (Mobile Fun)
What is a proper wallet case roundup of any sort without a nod to the king of them all, the BookBook by Twelve South. At $59.99 it’s by far the most expensive case in the roundup. But then again, it holds the most (but a ton) and is made out of real leather – two things that aren’t cheap.
Inside the book you’ll find four card slots with the bottom one featuring a see-thru window for an ID. If you’re of the adventurous type, you can fit two cards per slot if you want, but it’s far from pretty at that point. Underneath the four card slots is a full-height pocket for stuff like $100 bills, checks, notes, etc. Loading up the BookBook as its various pockets invite you do results in quite a bloated, thick case/wallet. But in terms of functionality and “leaving the wallet at home”, the BookBook is the best at this very task.
For most scenarios we prefer the BookBook’s greater functionality and better build materials. That said, hardcore phone users who don’t want to constantly have to take the phone in and out of the BookBook’s plastic case shell will find usability with your left hand lacking. Because of the design (and size) of this case, using it one handed with your left handed when it has slots full of cards is next to impossible. Still, for some it’s easy to overlook the minor inconvenience of removing their phone many times a day to use the phone in order to leave the purse/bag/wallet at home.
Which Case Is Right For You…
If you want to take the most amount of normal wallet functionality with you and like cow hide, the BookBook is the hands down winner. It offers the most storage and real leather. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Flip case from Mobile Fun. It offers easy left and right hand usability (something the BookBook fails miserably at) and a convenient bottom flipping design. Finally, for those of you that don’t want your wallet’s internals flashing to the outside world, Incipio’s STOWAWAY case is your best bet. It keeps all of your stuff secret and hidden out of sight yet easily within reach in just a few seconds.
In the end there isn’t a perfect one for every person. It all depends on what you value most. Are you the bring all the things BooKBook user or a secretive double agent type of person who wants to keep it all hidden?
More: BookBook (Twelve South)