Although they’re not our favorite iPhone case style, folios appear to be gaining somewhat in popularity, and the iPhone 5 launch saw more folios out of the gate than we’ve seen early in previous generations. Today, we’re taking a look at several of these cases, which share many core characteristics but have notable differences between them. Our roundup includes Hex’s Axis Wallet ($50), Lab.C’s Smart Wallet Case ($42), Simplism’s Flip Note and Vertical Flip Style Cases ($30), Spigen SGP’s Illuzion ($33), Uniq Creation’s Couleur ($27), and Zenus’ Diary Collection ($35-$60).
Some of these cases are simple updates from previous iPhone 4/4S editions, with Axis Wallet as one of the prime examples. The design of the wallet case is essentially the same as that of its predecessor. Coming with a red, white, or black leather exterior and a plastic frame to hold the iPhone, it certainly feels like a premium case. There are still three credit card slots inside the front cover and an elastic band to keep the case shut. Rather than specific holes for the ports and buttons, Hex left the top and bottom edges fully open. Thankfully it carried over the camera hole, an omission in an earlier co-branded model.
While we wouldn’t strongly recommend any of these Folio-style iPhone cases, some are more worthy of consideration from those who do like the style and are willing to deal with a flap during phone calls. The best of the bunch are Hex’s Axis Wallet, Zenus’ Color Edge Diary Collection, and Zenus’ Lettering Diary Collection for their styles, and Lab.C’s Smart Wallet Case for its ingenuity; all of these cases earn a B, our general recommendation. Vintage Leather Diary Collection is deserving of a limited recommendation largely because its price is higher than generally makes sense for a case of this sort. By contrast, Illuzion’s price is fair, but it’s less exciting, and merits a limited recommendation as well. The two cases from Simplism and Uniq’s Coloeur all fail to earn a recommendation. Build and/or material quality limit their appeal, and even the stand functionality doesn’t make them worth consideration. Illuzion can be had for just a few dollars more, and it’s a better case.
Company and Price
Model: Axis Wallet
Compatible: iPhone 5