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).
Borrowing its title from the iPad pouch of the same name, Illuzion is Spigen SGP’s faux leather wallet case for iPhone 5. Available in four color combinations, it packs a plastic shell to hold your iPhone on the right side and two credit cards on the left, using a snap to hold the case shut—pretty much par for the course. Like Uniq Creation and Zenus, SGP left a hole in the front cover directly over the earpiece. This allows users to take calls with the case closed rather than having to deal with the front flap flopping around or snapped to the back. The bright colors and textured covers will likely make the appeal of this case slightly greater, but it’s pretty straightforward otherwise.
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
Company: Spigen SGP
Compatible: iPhone 5