06 9 / 2012

Review: BookBook iPhone Wallet Case

By saying ‘Let me start with saying’ I realize what I’m really saying is that what I’m about to say won’t be universally good. That being said, let me start with saying that I adore  Twelve South as a company. They focus exclusively on creating fantastic accessories for Apple products and they’re great at it. Such is the case with BookBook, the wallet/case combo for the iPhone 4/4s that I’ve been putting to good use for the past 6 months or so.

Visually the BookBook is very sharp. The genuine leather case looks better and better the more you ding it up. However, while this may not happen for everyone, the leather that covers the earpiece of the phone did begin peeling away after only a few weeks of use. It’s still functional of course, but presents an eyesore on an otherwise brilliantly designed product.

The Phone Part

Speaking of which, the other issue that I have with this part of the phone is that until you break in the leather securing your iPhone, your phone has a tendency to rise a little bit above where it should be positioned causing the leather at the top to interfere with the ambient light sensor that allows your phone to disable the screen when you raise it to your ear. Until you break it in this is extremely annoying. More often than not I had to forcibly push my iPhone down into a snug position just to ensure I didn’t activate speakerphone, mute, or worse end the call altogether with my cheek. Again, this may be a problem specifically related to mine in a bout of bad luck but it’s pretty awful just the same. Thankfully this became less of a problem as time went on and the leather was sufficiently worn in.

Unfortunately the more worn-in the red bookmark piece became on top from repeatedly pushing the phone up to take pictures or video, the less secure my iPhone was as this piece wears out rather quickly. It’s still technically tough enough to keep your iPhone secure, but it feels far less safe than those first few days. So the frustrating compromise is that as the leather stretches more your iPhone fits better in some places and worse in others.

The Wallet Part

As far as the wallet section goes on the left inside ‘cover’ of the BookBook, it holds up rather well. It has 3 pockets for credit cards (well, one of which is a windowed plastic section for an ID) and 1 larger pocket behind these for folded bills. Be warned though- any more than 3 or 4 bills max and your book starts to little wonky like it needs a diet because it won’t shut all the way.

The Verdict

Honestly the BookBook is a bit of a mixed bag. If you don’t need your camera at the ready constantly and don’t mind exposing your ID and credit cards to anyone who’s around when you’re talking on the phone the BookBook is pretty awesome. In addition to having one less thing to carry, you also have the ability to retrieve not only your iPhone with ‘Find my iPhone’ should it go missing but your wallet as well. Of course, the flipside to that is that if you hadn’t combined them to begin with you’d have only lost your iPhone presumably but I digress. Aesthetically Bookbook is a real winner. It’s sleek, stylish, and I’ve gotten tons of compliments and questions about it in the time I’ve been using it.

Twelve South has made a fun and useful product, but there are some minor enhancements that would benefit BookBook. Let’s hope they create a new version for the iPhone 5 coming out next week that corrects some of these minor gripes and they’ll have a real winner on their hands. 

Still though, if you’re sticking with your iPhone 4/4s, you can pick one up here on Amazon.  Thanks for using my affiliate link if you do by the way- I get a little scratch from Amazon when you do that.