Twelve South’s BookBook for iPhone 4/4S Review

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So you just got yourself a brand new iPhone 4S, and now you’re looking for that one perfect case that will help protect it but also make it stylish at the same time.  I’ve tried many different cases for my iPhone 4S, and none has come close to my ideal case other than the BookBook from Twelve South.

Like its name, Twelve South’s BookBook is in the shape of a book.  It’s made of leather and is designed to have an aged look and feel to it.  It feels quite good in the hand.

The iPhone is situated on the right side of the BookBook.  The iPhone slides in from the top and is held down by a leather flap with a red pull tab.  The red pull tab barely sticks out enough for my fingers to pull at it.  It might not be a problem if the iPhone is always in this case, but it’s necessary to pull out the iPhone to take a photo because Twelve South for reasons unknown has decided to not make a hole for the iPhone’s camera.  So it does get quite annoying constantly removing it from the case if you like taking photos.

On the bottom, there are holes for the port connector, speaker, and microphone.

On the left side is a hole for the mute switch; the volume buttons are covered.  The volume buttons can still be easily pressed, and you can still feel the click of the button through the leather.

The right side is fully protected.

The BookBook holds 3 cards, and an inner pocket holds a few folded bills.  It was quite difficult to take the cards out at first but the leather stretched over time and is much easier now.  The bills will stick out if you only fold them in half.

The BookBook doesn’t quite close all the way with the 3 cards and 2 bills inside.  A quick remedy would be just to put the side with the cards down first, and the iPhone’s weight will keep the case fully closed.

To answer a call, you’ll have to fold the BookBook cover back.  It will expose your cards, but your hand should cover most of it from prying eyes.

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Can you spot the BookBook?

Twelve South’s BookBook is a very nicely designed case.  I’ve been using it for a few months, and I’m very satisfied with it.  The BookBook creates a unique style for any iPhone 4/4S owner.  It’s priced at $59.99 from Twelve South.


Product Information

Manufacturer:Twelve South
  • iPhone 4/4S
  • Great unique looking case.
  • Leather.
  • Slots for a few cards.
  • No hole for camera.
  • Making a call will expose the cards to prying eyes.

5 thoughts on “Twelve South’s BookBook for iPhone 4/4S Review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. wow, as a happy fan of the iphone 4S, this case is unfortunately not for me. The camera is one of the best features of this phone, and having to pull it out of the case each time – a TOTAL dealbreaker!

  3. It happens that I had reason to correspond with TwelveSouth regarding my BookBook, and when I did, I asked about the camera issue. Below is a quote from the email I received.

    ” As with most other leather iPhone cases, we would either have had to make a relatively massive hole in the back of the case for the camera and flash, or leave it off completely. Because leather is a flexible material, it simply cannot hold the camera with absolutely no potential for movement at all. A leather iPhone case with a small camera hole like what you see in the hard aluminum or plastic cases would have the potential of having pictures somewhat infringed upon by the edges of the hole, thus ruining the pictures. The option would be to put a hole in the back of the case that was between the size of a nickel and a quarter which would most certainly degrade the appearance of the case.

    Now, you might think it would be worth it, but unfortunately Apple doesn’t agree. They have very stringent specs that they require for any case approved by them and sold in their stores and online. The BookBook for iPhone4 with a smaller, more discrete hole for the camera and flash would simply not have passed…we know…we tried. And we didn’t want to offer a case with a huge, ugly hole in the back that ruined the “book look” of the case.”

    So that answers the “why” question.

    And FYI – you don’t remove the entire phone from the case, you pull up the tab, and just slide the phone up about an inch and you’re good to go.

    I take a lot of pics with my iPhone camera, and honestly, you get used to sliding the phone up. I just have to remember at some point to move the camera app to a lower spot, I always forget and it gets covered up, but it’s my fault that I don’t remember to move the app down.

    I can also say that the case wears well. A few months of sliding in and out of your pocket and it feels like a well worn in wallet, and looks great. My issue stemmed from a split in the side where you put cards. The leather and fabric separated. I’m not sure if I over filled it or if it was a design issue, but they were prompt to give me an RMA number and replace it, with expedited return shipping. They get an A+ on the customer service side for sure!

  4. Very nice case! Something I’d want if I could afford the data plans and cell service 🙁
    I do have an Touch and will check out their site to see what they have for it 🙂

  5. I had the same issue as Deni, with the leather and fabric splitting on the side of the card pockets, and they also promptly replaced it. At the time I was using it for an iPod Touch 4G, which fit snugly with a Griffin clear case on it. I haven’t put the replacement into service since getting an iPhone 4S because that will not fit while wearing the same slim case, and I don’t want to have to find and reattach the case when I don’t use the Bookbook now that I know it won’t hold the # of cards I need.

  6. A couple of other things – they also sent me a link to someone who had done a mod on the case to make their own camera cut out. It seemed interesting, and might be something to try, but as my replacement is brand new, I don’t want to take a chance on messing it up yet!

    Here’s the link they sent:

    I think they may need to consider using a teeny bit of elastic or something in the card area, which would prevent that split. If mine does it again, I may try to see if I could use elastic to “fix” it and see if it holds.

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