Miniot Pouch for iPhone 4/4S
We really wanted to like Miniot's new Pouch for iPhone 4/4S (€59/$75+) -- despite our initial reaction that the idea of paying $75 to slide an iPhone into a wooden block seemed somewhat silly, the beautiful design caught our attention. This simple wooden holder is less like a case and more like a sleeve, a style of protector that we rarely like, combined with the reality that wooden cases are generally too expensive. Yet we held out hope that Pouch would be special, a hope that was quickly dashed after a single drop.
Coming in a variety of colors and woods—a photo carousel on the company’s web site displays the actual units available for sale—Pouch has an opening along the entire length of one side, and a much smaller thumb-sized hole in the center of the other. A soft lining prevents the iPhone from getting scratched when it’s inserted. The device slides in with the volume buttons facing out until it snaps into place, and is just as easily removed with a simple push. There’s no way to see the screen through the case, so a user must pop the phone out to see who’s calling, check text messages, or use it in any other way. For those seeking personalization, free text and paid image engraving are available.
Assuming that the design and pricing somehow struck you as acceptable, you’d likely expect that Pouch would not only protect the device inside of it, but itself be able to withstand an impact. As it turned out, we found out the hard way that Pouch doesn’t live up to the latter assumption. After an accidental drop, we were glad to discover that our iPhone was completely fine. However, as shown in the two photos above, both short ends of the case developed long cracks; not only was the case broken, but just enough tension was released that it could no longer properly hold the iPhone in place inside. This fragility and the limited ability to continue using the case after a single drop were heavy factors in this case’s below-average rating. The appeal of Pouch is already limited, but to sink $75 into a case that breaks so easily isn’t a good investment. Judged on looks alone, this is a handsome little piece of wood, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense as an iPhone case. Users would be better off considering one of Miniot’s playthrough models instead.