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 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.
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 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.
[xrr rating = 80%]