Twelve South BookBook iPhone 4 Wallet Case Review

Some say they create astonishing products specifically designed to be loved by anyone who lays eyes on them, and that if Apple products had a mind of their own, they would choose them over Steve Jobs. All we know is, they're called Twelve South. Alright I admit that was a pretty bad attempt at a Top Gear reference there. Whenever Twelve South outs a product, I can't help but fall in love with it. I'm sure you all know by now that Twelve South products are one of the most unique on the market when it comes to accessories made for Apple products. Today, we've got our hands on the latest creation from Twelve South called the BookBook for the iPhone 4. A true masterpiece on its own one might say. The BookBook for the iPhone 4 is an extension of the BookBook line of leather protective cases made for Macs and iPads alike, but with one big difference. It also doubles as a wallet.

You know you want to see more of the iPhone 4 BookBook, so head on over past the break for the full review! Eye candy guaranteed, popcorn not included.

Twelve South's BookBook line of vintage book-looking cases for Macs and iPads are like no other. Ever since I reviewed the BookBook for the MacBook Air, it has become my prime form of protection and every day storage protective case. I may come off as someone who loves a good book, but in fact, the truth couldn't be further away. I quite literally hate reading books. Nothing about books attracts me. And yet here I am, all over the BookBook like a schoolgirl in love. The latest BookBook for the iPhone 4 is handmade and bears the same vintage, hand distressed leather other BookBook cases are made out of. And the smell of the leather is oh so wonderful. It just oozes quality.

There's of course the matter of taste. The BookBook for the iPhone 4 isn't your conventional looking iPhone 4 case to say the least. Those who can appreciate such a different and unique, fresh take on what we're all used to seeing and using in cases these days, will be most satisfied with the BookBook's looks. Not to mention everyone will stare at you with curious eyes and awe when you pull your iPhone 4 out of your pocket. Like Twelve South's larger BookBooks, the iPhone 4 BookBook is very well detailed with golden embossed lettering and accents for that magical appearance. One thing I wished the iPhone 4 BookBook had is a little bit of color added to its spine like Twelve South did with the BookBook for the MacBook Air. The combination of the red and black adds so much more. Enough babbling about this and that. Let's move on, shall we?

When it comes down to protection, the BookBook for the iPhone 4 does have plenty to offer. Sandwiched between two sides made out of hardback covers, the BookBook adds a good level of protection for light drops and bumps. Your iPhone 4 will always be recessed safely within the BookBook's tough, hardback walled construction. It's worth nothing that while there isn't any form of padding to be found, the BookBook is designed in a way that it suspends your iPhone 4 right in the middle and away from harm's way.

Ports and buttons remain fully accessible and unrestricted allowing the use of all 3rd party cables and headphone jacks.

There are two obvious differences in the iPhone 4 BookBook case. Starting with the interior, you'll find a place to cradle your iPhone 4 in by sliding it in from the top while a neat little red tab acts as the closure clasp and also adds a little bookmark-like appearance. The entire interior of the iPhone 4 BookBook is lined with a smooth, velvety chocolate colored lining to keep your iPhone 4 protected and scratch-free.

Even though the BookBook adds a significant amount of bulk, you'll find it to be extremely comfortable to hold in your hand. It feels like you're holding a good quality leather wallet, but your iPhone 4 is inside of it. It will just get better in time when the leather fully "breaks-in" and softens up more. If you gotta take a call, you'll need to use both hands in order to quickly open up the BookBook. Unless you're very talented then you shouldn't have a problem.

One of the main reasons why you would want to pick up a BookBook for your iPhone 4 is for its wallet functionality. You'll notice that the entire left hand side of the BookBook is dedicated solely for keeping your valuables. There are a total of 3 card slots which can store your credit/debit cards as well as a clear slot designed for your ID or driver's licence. Yep, that's me a while back. Got cash? When I mean cash I just mean bills really. You can store a few bills in the wide side compartment located just underneath the card slots. Of course, the more you start stuffing cash inside, the bulkier the BookBook will get. So keep that in mind. I found that having a total of 3 standard cards stored inside the BookBook has kept a clean flat look both on the inside and out.

If you absolutely must, you can keep 2 cards in one slot. It will make it tougher to slide your cards in and out though. I would have to say that the ideal suggested total amount of just 3 cards will yield the best results.

What I'm happy most about is the way Twelve South designed the inner cradle that securely holds the iPhone 4. Instead of created a full framed cradle like most other case companies, the BookBook only covers the top and bottom of the iPhone 4 while leaving the sides of the touch screen completely opened for easy swiping across the screen. Although the volume buttons are covered up, they remain easy to press. If I had to nitpick, I did find the cutouts for the silent switch to be on the small side.

As much as I wanted the BookBook for the iPhone 4 to be flawless, it does have its drawbacks. Very few I should say. One of the major drawbacks is the exclusion of a camera cutout for the iPhone 4's back facing camera. I'm not sure why exactly Twelve South decided against a back cutout for the camera, but it's safe to say that they wanted to keep the solid feel and look of the book design as much as possible. Still, I think it was a bad move to sacrifice functionality in this way. If you want to take photos with your iPhone 4, you'll have to pop open the top tab and slide your iPhone 4 upwards from within the BookBook in order to expose the camera. Not convenient really. Not to mention that your screen will be partially obstructed by the BookBook. If you don't use your camera all that much, then it won't so bad.

The second drawback I found while using the iPhone 4 BookBook was that the spine created a slanted form factor. Unlike flip style cases that can lay flat on their backs, once you flip back the BookBook's front cover, a noticeable raised portion is created on the left side. Someone who is a left handed user will definitely have a harder time using the iPhone 4 with just their left hand. Unless of course, if you've got freakishly long finger it won't be an issue. I'm a right handed user like most and haven't found it to be an issue using my iPhone 4 with just one hand and being able to fully reach every part of the screen.

I wish Twelve South would offer their BookBook in a black leather as well because it can look mighty fine in black, don't you agree? Brown leather does make it look more aged and classical nonetheless. To sum things up, the BookBook for the iPhone 4 feels and looks incredibly good. Such a brilliant little iPhone 4 wallet case mixed into a mind-blowing enclosure that is the BookBook. Considering what was said earlier, if you're looking for a wallet case for your iPhone 4, the BookBook should fulfill that task whilst grabbing everyone's attention. Twelve South's BookBook for the iPhone 4 will run you $59.99.