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).
Couleur is the least expensive case of this group, but it also feels cheap. Instead of thick, rich materials, its covers are made of a thin and obviously imitation leather. We do like the color options, though, and the fact that a screen protector is included with each. Instead of a plastic shell or frame, Uniq chose to use four curled corners to hold the iPhone 5 in place. They’re quite tight so you shouldn’t fear that the phone will fall out, but all four of the device’s edges are far less protected than they should be. Couleur has the earpiece opening in the front cover, but its hindered by the fact that the material is so thin the spine doesn’t hold and the cover slides back and forth. This can lead to blocked audio. Additionally, there are no credit card slots. The one special feature is the ability to stand your iPhone in a viewing position by pulling the frame away from the back cover; this half is held on with very weak magnets.
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: Uniq Creation
Compatible: iPhone 5