Wallet cases have recently become more popular for phones. These are cases with a front flap that also has a few pockets to carry credit cards. It’s a result of several factors. More use earphones such as the AirPods to make calls, so the need to hold a phone to your ear is reduced. Also, with the increasing price of phones, a front cover offers added protection. And third, many desire to travel lightly and carry simply a phone with some credit cards and bills, and can do that using a wallet case.
I’ve been using Apple’s standard leather wallet case for about a year. It’s an attractive design with smooth leather, about as slim as can be, and has a magnet in the cover to turn your phone on and off when opening and closing it. It has one pocket for a couple of cards or license and a larger pocket to hold a few more and folded bills.
It costs $100 and comes in several colors. After a year of use, the case (blue in my case) shows moderate wear. The rubber trim along the edges is tearing/shedding slightly and some of the blue case has turned black. Of course it’s best to see the wear on your case, instead of the phone itself. That’s what Apple told me when I showed it to a store employee asking about its warranty. Sorry, no warranty for this.
When it came to look for a replacement I searched far and wide. I read most reviews, searched all of the options on Amazon – with some as inexpensive as $$12 – and finally ended up with a case from one of the pioneers of quality cases, Vaja. Vaja Cases is in Argentina, but offers quick shipment and good support, so it matters less where they are.
The leather is in a totally different class from Apple cases. It’s heavier, has a soft matte grainy finish and is lined. It has four slit pockets for cards and a full length pocket just like the Apple. Its major drawbacks is it doesn’t activate the phone as does the Apple case and calls made using the phone’s own speaker are sometimes muted when the cover is folded back on the case.
The Apple case design also prevents any of the edges of the credit cards from contacting the screen, unlike those cases with multiple slit pockets. I have a sense that these edges can wear the coatings down. But that’s not an issue if you use a screen protector.
Over all the Vaja is perhaps the best looking case of any wallet case, as you’d hope, at a cost of $150. They also offer a wide assortment for many phones from the major manufacturers with some starting well below $100. You can even custom create your own case with a choice of features and colors.