Inevitably, the first thing that people say when they see Twelve South's BookBook is something along the lines of: "Hey, now you can lose your phone and your wallet at the same time!"
This is technically correct, of course, but it also means that one can use Apple's fantastic Find My iPhone feature to locate said lost wallet/phone if it were to go missing. As someone who perennially leaves their wallet behind (but never forgets a smartphone), the risk of losing my wallet and phone together is worth taking.
I've used Twelve South's BookBook case for years, and I love it. I've tried other wallet cases but never quite found the fit and finish that I have with this one. The new version takes an existing formula and updates it for Apple's latest iPhones. Somewhat like a new Bond movie, this update will please fans of the old one but probably won't win over any converts from the wallet case-hating crowd.
The setup is simple: Wrapped in an elegant leather shell that looks not unlike a miniature bible, an iPhone goes on the right and there are several credit card slots and a windowed ID slot on the left. There's also a cash and receipt pocket behind the card slots. Open the book to access the contents, and close it when it's not in use. In one word, the BookBook case is elegant.
There are a few new features for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus versions, which are necessarily larger than the iPhone 5 edition. The additions include:
- An extra credit card slot in the iPhone 6 Plus version, bringing the total up to four, along with the windowed ID slot. The iPhone 6 remains tri-slotted, though it's possible to stuff a pair of cards into one slot in both.
- The inside is made from a nice suede material, distinct from the outer leather. Previous versions had leather interiors, and I much prefer the new one.
- In prior versions, the phone snapped into a permanently affixed plastic case. It wasn't difficult to remove, but it was less elegant than it could be. Now, the phone snaps into a shell case that is removable from the iPhone and usable on its own. It allows easy use of the phone in a dock and also lets you talk on the phone (or hand it to your kids to play Angry Birds) without flashing your wallet around at the world.
- The new shell case also adds a kickstand-esque feature.
Built into the main leather case are six hard, plastic nubs. These nubs lock into keyhole-style holes on the back of the plastic phone shell. Slide the phone to the right to lock it in place. Slide it to the left to remove.
However, if you slide it even further to the left, it unlocks only one side of the phone, allowing the BookBook to be used as a video viewing stand for a desk or an airplane. It's difficult to describe, so check out this video to see it in action.
To be sure, the BookBook adds a lot of bulk to my iPhone 6 Plus, but I'm getting used to it. And having my cards with me, helping me not forget my wallet anymore, are worth the trouble. Even more of an endorsement, my wife Jaime, who has been a faithful Lifeproof user since the iPhone 4, liked my review unit so much that she ordered one for her iPhone 6, and she's thrilled with it so far.
If you're in the market for an iPhone wallet case, you really can't go wrong with the Twelve South BookBook.
The BookBook is only available for purchase through Twelve South's website. The case is $60 (USD) for both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus versions, and it's available in either brown or black leather.
Is the BookBook on your holiday gift list this year — or are you wishing for a different case for your iPhone? Let us know in the discussion thread below.
Jordan Golson is an Apple Columnist for TechRepublic. He also writes about technology and automobiles for WIRED and MacRumors. He has worked for Apple Retail twice and has been writing about technology since 2007.