Just in case

I have always used my phones without covers, bumpers or cases. Back in my Palm IIIe days I used screen protectors for a while, but my phones have always gone as bare as the factories built them.

I belong to the group who feel that most things are designed to be best used as they are, and that the experience is diminished by wrapping things around the device. It is not all about pocketability either, I have always much prefered to use my Ipads bare too, using covers mainly as sleeves for transport and as stands.

My current phone is the non-plus Iphone 6. It still feels new to me, and I love both the look and feel of it. Yes, I too had the first impression that it was slippy, but I think it is mainly in my head. I have not dropped it more often than my other phones.

Which is to say I drop it every now and then. That fact combined with the big, beautiful screen got me thinking about protection again. The thoughts were somewhat toned down when I realized any serious protection would interfer with the feel of the rounded edges, a feel that I love. However, work was strongly pushing for picking some kind of protection, so I set about figuring out what I actually might want and like.

My first thought was of course that I would want something as minimal as possible. The closer I can get to the bare feel the better, right? Then, I thought that no matter what, I will always prefer to actually use the phone bare. That being the case, I could go for a bit more protection and bulk. Importantly, I could get something with a cover for the screen and feel good about throwing the phone in whichever type of bag I had at hand. In turn, this got me thinking about wallet-type cases. I love to be able to bring down the number of things I drag around everywhere, so a wallet and phone case in one could actually be a win in both convenience and bulk. This seemed like a direction worth trying.

So I got one

Case in point: my new Caseual leather wallet for Iphone 6

Three card spaces and a pocket for a few bills or receipts. The phone sits in a plastic holder which fits very well and is reasonably easy to the the phone in and out of. It looks and feels the way I hoped and still front-pockets pretty nicely if asked to. It does everything I hoped for, so it feels like a solid choice for me.

The downsides are also pretty much what I expected. Which is great, I have had no silly realizations which would have made me put the case in a drawer and forget about it. I use it every day and have my cards handier as a result.

Yes, the downsides. The edge feeling is of course runied, but more importantly the case makes the phone a decisively two-handed device. One hand is inevitably holding the case in one way or another if I want to do something with any speed or precision.

A small detail of annoyance is that the volume buttons are inside the fold of the case, making it much harder to adjust the volume if I am using remoteless headphones (which I most often do).

There was actually one unexpected problem, after all. That pocket for receipts or bills? I hang on to my receipts, but at least in this new state the pocket is way too tight to easily get a receipt in there. Several times have I paid, been handed the receipt and ended up doing a little dance where I try to stash the receipt nicely a few times before giving up and throwing it in my pocket alongside the case rather than inside it. I am not sure I will find a nice solution to this, I can easily see myself filling my pockets with receipts for as long as I use this case. On the plus side, I will perhaps get the receipts taken care of quicker.

Despite the annoyances, the case has a very strong point: even if it diminishes the feel of the phone, I do really like the feel of the case in itself. It feels solid, well made and not unnecessarily bulky. It looks good lying around, and it feels good to hold and use.

Work in progress

I have not yet succeeded in replacing my wallet, either. I have been unable to shake off enough cards. The three I can put in the case do cover my regular days. But there are a handful more which I use irregularly. Irregularly enough that I would not count on myself planning ahead and remembering to bring them if I did not always bring them. So, right now, the wallet remains in the bag or jacket pocket, safe to leave at home for a night out but always brought around on regular days at work or in town.

To wrap up

The Caseual leather wallet is a very nice case. I really like the style, feel and function and it only messes with the phone experience in ways I expected and can live with. I still much prefer to use the phone bare, but the case looks and feels good in itself when I use the phone in it. I am hopeful that it will soon enable me to go about my day with fewer things in my bags and pockets.

Thumbs up, even from this grizzled case skeptic.