Review: Arctic Accessories Wallet Stand for iPhone 5
Executed properly, Arctic Accessories' Wallet Stand for iPhone 5 ($25) would unquestionably fall into the "great" category. It's attractive, protective, and based around a really smart concept we've yet to see from any other case maker. Regrettably, a few small missteps collectively have a big enough impact to detract from the case's overall value.
The case does just what its name suggests, providing both wallet and stand functionality. It combines polyurethane and polycarbonate plastic iPhone case materials with fabric on the back. That fabric forms a small pouch capable of holding two credit cards, cash, a key, or some combination, while a Velcro tab keeps it shut. It’s a smart looking combination of materials, and the choice of red, grey, pink, or orange fabric makes the aesthetic appeal very wide. We would’ve preferred if the pouch was set up to hold at least one more card—that seems to be the standard with most wallet cases these days—but it works well for what’s there. The pouch creates a noticeable but not uncomfortable bulge, and the tab is angled such that it can also serve as a kickstand in either landscape or portrait orientation, a feature that works very well.
As for body coverage, Wallet Stand is up there with the better iPhone 5 cases we’ve reviewed. It protects almost all of the stainless steel antenna, save for separate openings along the bottom for the microphone and headphone port, speaker, and Lightning port, plus another gap for the side switch. The material extends a bit past the screen, creating a lip that’ll help prevent damage from falls. We were also happy to see coverage for the Sleep/Wake and volume buttons, at least at first—this actually turns out to be the case’s downfall. All three buttons lose pretty much all tactility, making them incredibly difficult to successfully press. The volume buttons are bad, but the Sleep/Wake control is even worse: it often takes multiple attempts to actually turn your iPhone on or off.
We like almost everything about Wallet Stand; it’s a really well-conceived case, but unfortunately the button coverage is a sticking point. The ability to carry around a good looking iPhone case instead of a wallet is appealing, and this would otherwise be one of our top choices. As it is, it needs some tweaking. Until then, it earns a limited recommendation.