Review: iPhone 4/4s Wallet Case By Zenko Leather

Posted by Matthew Snider with 1 Comment

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This post comes to us from one of our readers and Twitter followers, Brandon Hall. You can find Brandon online at Brandonhall.com or Tweeting as @brandon_hall81. This case comes from Zenko Leather on Etsy.

I know I am not the only one that faces this dilemma: you have wallet, keys, your iPhone, and at least a few other things to carry around in your pants pocket when you go out. One day, a mutual friend pulled out his iPhone and I noticed that the case was also a wallet. I loved the idea of carrying around two or three of your most important cards and your driver’s license in a case that also safely carries your iPhone.

This friend was using the BookBook iPhone case and it is a very nice looking wallet case that is beautifully crafted, but there was one issue: no opening on the back of the case for the camera – instead, you have to pull up on a tab that pulls the camera up enough to take a picture. As someone with younger kids who takes tons of pictures, that would get really annoying really quickly, so I went out on a quest for another similar product.

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Now, let me warn you, there are literally dozens of different types of iPhone wallet cases on the market. Just do a search in Amazon and you will see the whole spectrum of cases, from ones with a secret compartment on the back to knock offs of the BookBook case. I searched high and low, read hundreds of reviews, and was getting frustrated because I wasn’t finding anything that really stuck with me like the BookBook did. Then there was Etsy.

If you don’t know what this site is, it’s pretty much a place where anyone in any country can open up “shops” and sell their hand crafted products – everything from crotched hats to handmade ties and everything in between. I decided to head over there just to see what they had because I knew there were some iPhone cases on the site. There were just as many options on there as there were on Amazon, but I could tell right away that these options appeared higher end and that more care went into the production.

I found a case there that stood out instantly and I took the plunge and purchased it. The case is hand crafted by a seller in Canada and came with either green or red stitching.

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It is held together with an elastic band with a leather tab on it, more on that later, and has a generous opening in the back for the camera and flash.

When you open it up there is room on one side for three cards and a pocket behind the card slots for a couple of bills or another card. On the other side is a clear rubber iPhone 4/4s case that is sown into the leather with two strips in the middle and one next to the camera opening.

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Pros:

  • Beautifully hand crafted leather and stitching, you can tell this thing was hand crafted and it just smells of manliness with the real leather.
  • Convenient, especially if you don’t carry that much around with you. I was able to fit my health insurance cards, my HSA card, and my debit card in the slots. Since I don’t carry cash with me, I just slid my driver’s license in the pocket behind the slots. They are a little snug, but not bad at all and the leather will stretch a little over time.
  • The phone fits into the provided case snugly and, because it’s clear, you can still see the phone and all its beauty. The case is also sown into the leather securely and you really feel like it is protected from drops and everyday usage.
  • Convenient – even after just a few days of using it, I could tell how this was going to be convenient. I just grab my phone and everything else is there, no worrying about grabbing my wallet.
  • The elastic band really is much faster and feels secure when closing the case. There’s no magnetic closure to possibly impact your cards in the wallet.

Cons:

  • The elastic band will wear out over time, that’s just a fact. Thankfully, the seller knew this also and included and extra elastic band with the purchase to replace the original when it wears out.
  • Dexterity is a little jumbled when using the phone. If you are used to tweeting/texting/typing with both hands on the side you will either have to fold it in half to continue doing that or get used to typing with your left hand at the bottom of the phone instead of the side. Same thing goes with talking, have to fold in half to hold to your ear comfortably.
  • Price is a little steep, $60 plus $8 shipping and handling from Canada. It is in the same price range as the BookBook and it is seriously a quality made product. Also, if this is your thing, they will monogram the case free of charge for a little extra added class.

All in all I would HIGHLY recommend this case to those looking for something like this. I love the look, the functionality, and protection it offers and most of the cons I am either able to look past or get used to over time. It is also a great conversation piece when you are out and about and pull out your card to pay for something.  If the look of this one isn’t your thing this seller also offers other options or you can search the site for something else entirely.

Matthew Snider

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Matthew is the Editor-In-Chief, and founder of Geek for i. He has produced such posts as Top 5 iPhone Apps For The BathroomMac or PC and many more. His love for iDevices started back when he purchased the original iPhone.

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