SIMPLcase For Travelers Takes Care Of Your Spare SIM Cards [Review]



byLGCL Designs
Category: Cases
Works With:iPhone 5
Price: $29

Back in March we took a look at the SIMPLcase, an iPhone case which stored your spare SIM cards and a SIM tray eject tool inside. One Kickstarter campaign and several months later, the SIMPLcase is a shipping product, and one which I which I have been testing out in a recent move from sunny Barcelona to gray Germany.

Does the SIMPLcase pass? Yup. With flying colors, in fact.

What It Is

The SIMPLcase is a polycarbonate shell which covers the back and sides of the iPhone, extending slightly past the screen edges so you can lay it face down without the iPhone’s screen getting all scratched up. Inside the case (you have to remove the case to access it) is a silicone insert shaped to grab and grip up to three spare micro or nano SIMs, plus a section to hold the (included) SIM tray eject tool.

Finally, the rear of the case has two thin slots running down either side of the little hump that houses the SIM compartment. These are designed to grab a credit card and use it as a kickstand.

The Good

The first thing you’ll notice is how good the case feels int he hand. It’s very light, and adds almost nothing to the iPhone in terms of bulk. In fact, the slight bulge along the back actually makes the iPhone fit the hand better.

The slight bulge along the back actually makes the iPhone fit the hand better.

The raised edge around the bezel is also welcome, as you can set the iPhone down without worrying about the screen, and the general fit and finish is excellent: it’s easy to slip on and off, but will never fall off by mistake, and the cutouts for all the ports are neat and precise.

These slots use your credit card as a kickstand.
These slots use your credit card as a kickstand.

Inside, the SIM holder is equally well made. I have a spare nano SIM for my iPhone 5, plus The Lady’s old iPhone 4S micro SIM in there, plus the tool. It turns out that the length of a nano SIM is close enough to the width of a micro SIM that you can use the same bay for both just by turning the nano SIM sideways. Having all this to hand in its own little tray turned out to be incredibly useful, especially when I had to groggily switch my old Spanish SIM back in one morning in case the UPS guy who was delivering our stuff called.

The credit-card kickstand thing also works just fine. I tested it, but didn’t use it for anything because I have an iPad mini for reading and watching movies on the plane.

The Bad

Fat fingers won't fit here.
Fat fingers won’t fit here.

There are two things that don’t work so well. One is that the silicone SIM holder sometimes lets its contents loose. I cut my own nano SIMs from micro SIMS, so I might have the sizes slightly off, but the supplied SIM tray eject tool came loose too. In practise this is no big deal, as they don;t rattle, and they can;t actually escape until you take the case off the iPhone.

the volume switches are almost impossible to press unless you get your fingertip in at just the right angle.

The other problem is a bigger one: the volume switches are almost impossible to press unless you get your fingertip in at just the right angle. For actual volume changes it’s usually okay, depending on your grip, but it render the iPhone camera almost useless when trying to snap pictures using the volume shutter buttons. And as you probably use your iPhone camera quite a lot when traveling, this is a problem.

The Verdict

Apart from the weird volume-switch misstep, this case is excellent for travelers. Even if you take it off at your destination, you have a safe place to keep your regular home SIM while you’re away, and the case is actually nice enough to use all the time, even if you don’t have any SIM-carrying needs.

At $30, it costs the same as most other mid-range iPhone cases, only with extra functionality. Recommended – unless you snap a ton of pictures with the shutter buttons.


Product Name: : SIMPLcase

The Good: Beautifully made, light, simple, very functional.

The Bad: SIM cards can sometimes come loose inside; hard to use iPhone’s volume buttons.

The Verdict You’ll know if you need this case, and if you do, then you should go ahead and buy it. It’s a way, way better solution than keeping your SIMs in a pocket or wallet where they can get lost or damaged.

Buy from: LGCL Designs



Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.