After a year with my iPhone 5 on its last leg, I finally gave in and traded up for the iPhone 7. Needing a new case and rather than go the typical hard case route, I eventually landed on a leather iPhone wallet from a company called Pad & Quill.
The model I chose (Bella Fino) has simplified my daily routine, improved the usability of my iPhone, and looks fantastic!
Before I dive into the details, I want to tell you why I decided to use an iPhone wallet vs. a traditional hard case.
Why I decided on an iPhone wallet over a case
At first, I thought having my phone and wallet all-in-one would be too cumbersome. But after realizing that my current set up wasn't ideal, I was open to experimenting with other options.
I'd been carrying my phone in my front pocket since the flip phone days. But as phones got larger and my wardrobe became more fitted, front pocket real estate was at a premium.
With my old iPhone 5 in my front pocket, it was uncomfortable to sit down. And when I upgraded to the larger iPhone 7, it became impossible.
Since my phone was going to spend a good deal of time in my hands or on a desk anyway, I figured why not just get a wallet case that's easier to slide in and out of my back pocket?
It also simplified my morning routine. Now that I work in a gym, I'm typically wearing athletic clothes so my usual pocket check routine didn't apply anymore.
With a wallet case, I have everything in one place. I can just grab my phone and keys and hit the road. No more worrying if I put my wallet in my bag or left it on the dresser again.
Why I chose Pad & Quill for my iPhone Wallet
Once I decided to go with a leather iPhone wallet, I researched the hell out of it.
While many of the options out there looked really cool at first, closer inspection and reading reviews revealed some deal-breaking flaws.
Some had functionality issues with ports and cameras. Some use a type of glue to “finish” the edges of the leather that peel up in a short time and others were just plain garbage.
Then I found Pad & Quill. They have a rather different and concise view on consumer products.
“We don't think the market needs another purveyor of cheap crap.”
Pad & Quill
I totally agree with that statement, so I did a little digging to find out how they put this concept into practice.
Here are the benefits of buying Pad & Quill products that impressed me most:
- 25 year leather warranty
- 30 day no questions asked money back guarantee
- Lifetime warranty on wood cases and components (even if you drive over it with your car)
- All products made by hand using real materials
- Customizable color choices (I went with Whiskey and Deep Sea Blue)
With Pad & Quill standing so strongly behind their product, I figured there was no risk in at least trying such a great looking accessory.
Worst case, I could always return it and get my $60 back if I weren't totally happy.
Pad & Quill Leather iPhone wallet – quality and aesthetics
As this photo illustrates, the full grain American leather used on the Bella Fino is beautiful. It has a deep luster without the cheap shiny appearance of corrected grain leather.
Mine was a bit darker than I expected (unless in direct sunlight), but Pad & Quill assured me that the color was within the expected range.
Like most leather products, the color varies depending on the light. In the sun, it takes on more bright honey tones and under artificial light, it's more of a muted dark chocolate.
After having my wallet for a while, I actually prefer the current color and wouldn't trade if for a lighter one.
Just be aware that you might not get a color exactly as it appears on your screen.
The packaging, which looks like an invitation to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, is the first hint at the over-the-top quality of this product.
Rather than leaving the edges of the leather unfinished or piped with a sealant, all the layers are folded over and sewn together perfectly.
To protect your device, Pad & Quill added a rigid layer in-between the exterior leather surface and the lining which provides structure without adding too much bulk.
As you can see from the this photo, every crease is laser straight and there isn't a stitch out of place.
Of course, you'll upgrade your phone before you see a fraction of the 25 year warranty, but it's comforting to know how confident Pad & Quill is in their product.
Pad & Quill Leather iPhone Wallet – Functionality
Let me describe what it's like to use the Bella Fino iPhone Wallet on a daily basis.
This iPhone wallet holds my iPhone 7, four cards, and a few folded bills which is perfect for most daily needs.
All I have to do before leaving the house is grab my phone and keys and I'm set.
In the hand
Since upgrading to the iPhone 7, cellphone usage has become a two-handed affair. The added size of this wallet makes the phone easier to handle and hold onto.
The thin case I had before caused it to keep dropping into my lap when I was attempting thumb gymnastics across the expansive screen.
Peeling off the wax paper reveals the 3M clean release adhesive which allows you to remove and re-stick your phone whenever you want.
The adhesive isn't visible when installed and makes your phone look like it's just magically staying in place.
I held my wallet by the corner and shook it like a dog with its favorite chew toy to some curious onlookers to demonstrate just how well it sticks.
If you switch cases on a daily basis, I recommended that you grab an extra adhesive pad (about $5) with your order for when the original eventually wears out.
Camera, ports, and buttons
Since the Bella Fino sandwiches the phone rather than cradle the edges, there aren't any issues with buttons or ports being blocked.
It took some practice, but I've learned to adjust the volume without opening the case by pressing the up and down buttons through the soft spine.
Also, the camera cut out is large enough to not effect the field of view or flash and high enough to protect the lens from scratches and drops.
Is an iPhone wallet from Pad & Quill right for you?
Maybe you'd rather pay one time for a high quality product rather than keep replacing throw-away items.
Maybe you want to simplify your everyday carry and are ok with having your phone in hand or on the table.
Or perhaps you just get a kick out of well-made leather products that age beautifully.
If any of those reasons sound good to you, then I strongly suggest you look into Pad & Quill because I've been extremely pleased with their product so far.
Pad & Quill also make accessories and cases for most Apple products as well as messenger bags and full leather backpacks. They come with the same outstanding warranty and are worth a look.
If you aren't blown away with the quality, functionality, and aesthetics, you can always send it back within 30 days for a full refund.
If you do buy this wallet, get used to people asking questions about it and wanting to hold your phone for closer inspection.
All the best,