The CASELLET is a snap-on case for the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S that also doubles as a wallet for your credit cards and bills. Unlike most other wallet cases, which are traditionally made from leather, this one’s made from a durable plastic that aims to provide you with better impact protection against dings and drops.
It will hold up to four credit cards on their own, or three credit cards and a few bills. It comes in black, white, or pink, and it’s complimented by a brushed aluminum backplate. As you’d expect, it provides access to your camera, volume rocker, mute switch, and more. The CASELLET is the spawn of a very successful Kickstarter project, but is it actually any good?
With space for your credit cards and cash, the CASELLET ($35) allows you to leave the house without having to worry about picking up your wallet. Just grab your iPhone — which is likely to be in your pocket already — and you know you can grab that obligatory coffee on the way to work and the milk on the way home.
Because it’s made out of durable plastic, the CASELLET provides greater impact protection than leather wallet cases, and it’s also a great disguise. No one’s going to know that this thing is home to your credit cards; it just looks like an iPhone battery case.
The CASELLET provides a nice, tight fit that will ensure that even if you do drop your device, it’s not going to pop out of the case. Inside the case there’s a soft, felt lining that ensures the back of your iPhone isn’t scratched while it’s inside.
Its polycarbonate design is relatively flexible, allowing you to bend the sides of the case slightly to get your iPhone in and out. This means that the CASELLET is less likely to snap, which makes you feel a little more comfortable about its seemingly fragile hinge.
Finally, a clip inside the CASELLET’s rear panel ensures your credit cards are firmly held in place; they’re not just thrown inside to slide around and jump out everytime you open it. While tight at first, after a little use it becomes easier to slide your cards in to and out of the clip.
And you’ll need to get used to sliding your cards in to and out of the case, because you’ll almost always need to pull them all out to access the one you want. It’s not easy to pull out a single card, especially if the card you want is sat at the bottom of the pack, so putting all four cards away again after every purchase becomes a frequent occurrance. This does become a little frustrating if you’re in a rush.
At 18mm thick, the CASELLET is almost double the size of your naked iPhone, and it adds a significant amount of bulk. It may be more robust than most leather wallet cases, but it’s a whole lot bigger, and that could be an issue for you. It’s also not that pretty, either, even though it does come in bright pink.
Once again, it looks just like one of those large external battery cases. The additional bulk is bearable when it’s extending your iPhone’s battery life, but you may not get used to it for the sake of a few credit cards.
Finally, the CASELLET’s brushed aluminum rear panel looks really great, and it adds a touch of elegance to all that otherwise boring plastic. But the elegance disappears after just a few days of use when it becomes covered in scratches. The aluminum scratches incredibly easily, and after sliding your iPhone along your desk a few times or throwing it into a purse with your keys and change, it begins to look very worn and covered in sratches and scrapes.
I was very fond of the CASELLET when I first slapped it on my iPhone; it’s unique and I like the fact it tries something new. But I began to feel a little disappointed with it as time went on.
Its bulk became and issue for me, and I found it was much more comfortable to just slip my wallet and my iPhone into my pockets separately than it was to have the CASELLET digging into my thigh all day long. I was also disappointed that its aluminum panel scratched so easily and made the CASELLET look worn after just a few days of use.
Having said that, it did do a great job of holding onto my credit cards and cash, and its flexible polycarbonate design makes it very robust. If you carry your iPhone in a purse rather than a pocket, and you’re not keen on leather wallet cases, then the CASELLET could be an ideal solution for you.