BookBook For iPhone: A Luxury Leather Wallet Case That’s Almost Perfect [Review]

BookBook For iPhone: A Luxury Leather Wallet Case That’s Almost Perfect [Review]

The BookBook is the best wallet case there is for the iPhone.

Like the rest of the BookBook range, Twelve South’s BookBook for iPhone ($60) is a luxury, handmade leather wallet case that’s designed to look like a pocket-sized vintage book. Not only will it lovingly house your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S, but it also features three credit card pockets, and a larger pouch for notes and bills.

The BookBook is available in a dark tan brown leather, and every one is hand-distressed to ensure each one is a little bit unique. As you’d expect, the case provides access to your iPhone’s dock connector; headphone jack; mute switch; and volume, home, and sleep/wake buttons.

The Good:

The BookBook really is a beautiful case. Having already tested the stunning BookBook case for iPad, I expected a lot from its smaller sibling in terms of design, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

Its dark, high-quality leather adds a touch of class and sophistication to the case, and only compliments the beauty of your iPhone. As iPhone wallet cases go, this is by far the best looker.

It’s also incredibly strong. Although soft and smooth, the leather is thick and tough and really robust. It does scratch, but that only adds to the vintage look, so it’s unlikely you’ll worry too much about picking up a few scuffs.

The BookBook holds your iPhone in place with a soft leather frame that matches the rest of the case. Behind that is a smooth lining that ensures your device isn’t going to get scratched when you slide it in and out of the case.

The BookBook will hold around four to five credit cards in its front pockets quite comfortably, but if you attempt to jam more in, they can be a little difficult to get out. One of the credit card pockets is transparent, which means you can place your driver’s license or ID inside and you don’t need to take it out every time you get pulled over for speeding.

There’s also a larger pocket at the back of the case that’s great for holding bills and notes, and other cards that you can’t fit into the front pockets.

The Bad:

There aren’t a lot of downsides to the BookBook, but there are a couple that could prove to be a deal-breaker for some of you. The first is that this case does not accommodate your iPhone’s camera; you need to slide your device up and out of the case slightly every time you need to take an photo.

I found this to be a bit of a pain, especially when you want to snap pictures quickly. Because the BookBook holds your iPhone in nice and securely — especially when the case is new and the leather is tight — it’s not easy to slide it out to take a picture.

Twelve South could rectify this either by adding a cutout to the back of the case (which should be a pretty simple change) or by making it easier to slide the iPhone out of the case with a pull-tab.

My other major gripe with the BookBook is that there’s no way to keep it closed. If you drop your device, the front of the BookBook is likely to open in mid air and you’ll find your precious iPhone face down in the dirt.

Finally, I have one minor issue with this case, and that is that it’s not easy to access the mute switch on the iPhone. On my case at least, the cutout overlaps the switch a little and makes it hard to put your phone on silent.

The Verdict:

The BookBook is a terrific looking case (as I keep saying) and quite possibly the prettiest iPhone case I’ve tested. It’s build quality is fantastic and it’s well designed, with plenty of room for your credit cards and cash.

It’s biggest issue is that it doesn’t accommodate the iPhone’s camera, but this is something you get used to and it’s a small tradeoff for such a wonderful case. I would definitely recommend the BookBook to anyone who’s looking for a great wallet case for the iPhone.

Rating: ★★★★☆

BookBook For iPhone: A Luxury Leather Wallet Case That’s Almost Perfect [Review]BookBook For iPhone: A Luxury Leather Wallet Case That’s Almost Perfect [Review]BookBook For iPhone: A Luxury Leather Wallet Case That’s Almost Perfect [Review]BookBook For iPhone: A Luxury Leather Wallet Case That’s Almost Perfect [Review]

  • Pete Townill

    While the BookBook is pretty awesome, many of my friends have it, I found a product superior in nearly every way from a seller on Etsy called zenokleather (http://www.etsy.com/listing/85244050/hand-stitched-iphone-4-4s-wallet-with). The one I got was hand made, had a camera slot, a low profile silicon case inside, and had free monograming for the same price.

    I don’t work for them, but I totally endorse what I bought. It also gave me a better feeling to give to a smaller company with high quality standards…

  • Justin Gilbert

    I’ve had the case for about 6 months now and love it….but the camera bit is truly annoying. I’ve seen some of the fixes where people take a hole punch to the case, but most look amateurish at best. Then on top of that because of the depth of the wallet, if a hole is made for the flash as well it causes a haze when pictures are taken with it on.

    Might take it to a leather shop…but might also just go buy another case as the new camera was one of the biggest reasons for getting the 4s vs the 4.

  • Justin Gilbert

    While the BookBook is pretty awesome, many of my friends have it, I found a product superior in nearly every way from a seller on Etsy called zenokleather (http://www.etsy.com/listing/85244050/hand-stitched-iphone-4-4s-wallet-with). The one I got was hand made, had a camera slot, a low profile silicon case inside, and had free monograming for the same price.

    I don’t work for them, but I totally endorse what I bought. It also gave me a better feeling to give to a smaller company with high quality standards…

    WOW! Great find. I’m on it!

  • Noldorian

    @Pete – that seems like a great product but BookBook is lot better looking. That etsy wallet looks like something a cowboy might have, LOL. Way too ‘cowhide’ for me and I love BookBook’s refined vintage book look. Also, the etsy product doesn’t look like it folds all that well. BookBook has a definite ‘spine’ and it’s incredibly tough.

  • Brian Burns

    Mail me your review copy. lol I need a new wallet and iPhone case. :)

  • Pete Townill

    @Pete – that seems like a great product but BookBook is lot better looking. That etsy wallet looks like something a cowboy might have, LOL. Way too ‘cowhide’ for me and I love BookBook’s refined vintage book look. Also, the etsy product doesn’t look like it folds all that well. BookBook has a definite ‘spine’ and it’s incredibly tough.

    Mine is sitting folded closed now but when it is folded open it provides a bit of a ramp which isn’t for everyone, but I like it better for this reason (I can eat my lunch and lay it folded open and the screen is tilted just the slightest bit towards me as I go through Reeder). Those dudes had black and red versions (red looks very girly) with different stitch colors too. Not cowboy at all, I get a lot of compliments on it from people all over the city.

    The leather straps that actually hold the phone on the BookBook are obnoxious and in the way (it’s a pain in the ass to hold leather to your head while in a prolonged conversation)

  • joewaylo

    My downside is they have yet to invent an iPhone wallet that holds 32 cards like my Rolodex card wallet does. All of my 64 store cards and credit cards in one wallet.

  • herald

    Killian, where did you get your iPhone wallpaper?

  • Kevin Hunter

    I agree 100% all of twelve souths products are great I own this and two of the Bookbook iPad cases. For me the only downside to the phone case is people think Im a biblethumper when they see it in my hand. The iPad cases won’t fit on my elliptical machine so I have to switch to a thinner one. But very glad to see a review that doesn’t just omit these cool products.

  • Paul Lloyd Johnson

    This is my worst nightmare of an iPhone case, instead of celebrating the design of the iPhone is shrouds it in tacky fakery! It looks beyond cumbersome.

  • Robert Bogar
  • cajundiva16

    BookBook iPhone Case – I bought this for my hubby for Christmas and he loves it, but…as Killian Bell says in the review, the case has no camera lens hole so you have to take it out of the case and the space where the Mute switch is, is partially covered by the case and it does switch the mute button on. So he has had a few calls where no-one can hear him. It took a little while for him to figure out what was happening. He still uses it now, but has to check the mute switch every time. I found the one I bought on eBay for less than $30, so if you’d like one, shop around! :)

  • Steve Lawrence

    Hang on… how the hell would you take a phone call with your phone trapped in this thing?!

  • KillianBell

    Killian, where did you get your iPhone wallpaper?

    To be honest, I can’t remember. I think I just typed “iPhone wallpapers” into a Google image search.

  • KillianBell

    Hang on… how the hell would you take a phone call with your phone trapped in this thing?!

    The front cover actually folds all the way around to move out of the way.

  • Stuart Potter

    Yeh I know, make a rather elegant looking quality wallet/case that is designed to look like a small book – but have a hole in the back and a clip on the front – then it will look like any other cheap case out there – brilliant!!!  I have a genuine Book Book and it looks and feels great, oh and it looks like a small antique book….Eureka!!

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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