My iPhone 4 is always in a bumper case, and I carry it inside my Dooney and Bourke Multi-Function Zip Around wallet. That wallet is small enough to fit in my purse, but it holds some cards and cash, so I can just grab it and go. If you’d like an even smaller wallet plus iPhone case – or perhaps one more unisex in style – the iPhone 4 / 4S Leather Wallet Case Valentinus Series from Spigen/SGP Case may be for you. Let’s give a closer look at the one they sent us.
The Valentinus wallets are made of “premium genuine leather” in either black or brown. It is a folio style case that’s held closed with a non-magnetic snap. Stitching is even and straight. There’s a Valentinus logo stamped into the front bottom corner. It measures 4.6″ long X 2.5″ wide X 0.75″ thick at the snap closure. The empty case weighs about 0.5 ounce.
The leather is very thin and supple. There is minimal stiffening in the front of the case.
The spine of the Valentinus is closed in. The open side shows the closure strap and the hard-shell case that holds the iPhone. This polycarbonate frame is black, even for the brown leather case, and it has a matte finish. Click on the lower picture, and you’ll see that SGP Case has added an Apple-like “Designed by SGP in California, USA” statement. You can also see a hint of the camera opening on the back of the case.
The interior of the case shows more of the polycarbonate shell. You can see the opening for the camera. Confusingly, they also have an opening that would expose the Apple logo on the back of the iPhone, if the polycarbonate frame wasn’t glued into the leather folio. The SGP website has a warning about the proper method for removing the phone to prevent the frame from pulling free of the leather: “Phone must be removed from the left side plastic frame. Do not remove from right side as the leather may tear away from the plastic frame.” I wasn’t sure if they meant my left as I looked at the case, or the case’s left. In any event, I removed the phone by lifting out the side without the volume buttons first so that I didn’t put undue pressure on the buttons. I also inserted the side with the volume buttons first, again to prevent undue pressure on them. I’d rather risk messing up a case than messing up my iPhone 4.
The leather folio is lined with a fabric that SGP Case calls “microfiber chamude.” It has a fuzzy texture, and it’s been embossed with a repeating pattern of the SGP logo.
Opposite the iPhone frame are two slots where you can store a couple of cards. There’s a pocket underneath where you can fit more cards or some folded up currency.
Here’s the Valentinus loaded up with my things. I have three cards in the slots. Like the song by Tim Curry, you know I never carry cash, so I didn’t have any bills to put in the pocket. The polycarbonate case encloses the sides of the iPhone and wraps over to cover just the very edge of the front.
The top and bottom of the polycarbonate shell is cut away so you have free access to the sleep/wake button, top microphone, and headphone jack, plus the bottom microphone, speaker, and the 30-pin connector. I could access all of these connectors and controls easily. You’ll notice the polycarbonate shell wraps around the corners of the iPhone for protection and a firm hold.
The case closes nice and flat with the phone and my cards inside, as you can see from the lower picture.
The leather for the Valentinus is very thin and flexible. You can see that the front folds to the back so that you can easily hold the phone to make a call. It feels much thicker and wider in hand than does the naked iPhone, but it’s not uncomfortable. The problem I did have was with the closure snap. It’s stiff enough that it curls up, as you can see in the picture. I wear glasses all the time, and this strap kept bumping the frames of my glasses when I held it up to make a call.
I like the SGP iPhone 4 / 4S Leather Valentinus wallet case. Although it doesn’t have a lot of stiffening in the front flap, adding the cards to the slots will stiffen it and provide screen protection for the iPhone. It holds my Verizon iPhone 4 well, and all controls and connectors are accessible. It’s lightweight, but it offers quite a bit of protection for the phone inside. You can stick your driver’s license, debit/credit card, and some cash inside, and you’ll be ready to go anywhere. It’s small enough to fit in your pocket, purse, or gear bag. You get a lot of protection and convenience for $55.