Review: Bellroy Phone Case
You may know Bellroy as a maker of classy, minimalist wallets – but that’s not all they do. I recently had a chance to review one of their newest iPhone cases, and I came away pretty impressed.
I am a big fan of my Bellroy Card Sleeve, so I was pretty excited to check out their newest case. The Phone Case is a fairly recent addition to the Bellroy lineup and comes in 1 Card, 3 Card and No Card variants. The 1 Card case I tested has a card slot on the back with a triangular cutout to aid in removing the card. It’s a fairly tight fit, but over time it becomes easier to insert and remove your card. The presence of a card doesn’t add much bulk, as the slot itself is recessed into the case; this does mean that the case is a bit bulkier than, for example, the Apple leather and silicone cases.
In terms of the looks, it’s a cut above Apple’s case – a very smooth, upscale look with none of the graininess or synthetic look that the Apple case exhibits after even the slightest wear. The polycarbonate shell’s contours are a bit more squared off as well, owing to the additional depth. The front edge sits just high enough to ensure the screen doesn’t contact any surfaces when face down.
This case has a couple of interesting quirks. One is that it’s incredibly snug – by far the most difficult case I’ve used in terms of getting a 6s Plus in and out. Some of this may come down to the slightly increased size of the 6s Plus over the 6 Plus (the newer phone adds 0.1mm to the height and width and 0.2mm to the depth) but it seems more like a conscious design choice. The lining is a lighter-coloured microfibre, which helps to minimise the chance of scratching if anything should (somehow) get between the case and the phone.
Another interesting inclusion is a slot for a spare SIM – it’s a fairly unusual addition that I’m guessing most people won’t use, but for those few users who carry around two SIMs I can see that it would be a cool feature.
One aspect of the design that I really liked was the presence of actual cutouts for the power and volume buttons. A lot of cases have a cutout only for the silent switch, leaving the other buttons covered with a raised segment. Having the actual buttons exposed gave a much more tactile feel when using the phone without looking or when in a pocket.
I was really looking forward to being able to use this case with my Myki (Melbourne’s public transport smartcard) to cut down on the number of things floating around in my pockets. Unfortunately, none of the many readers I tried was able to detect my Myki while it was in the case. This may be because the readers themselves are fairly low-power, so I’d be interested to hear from people in other states whether they’ve had any luck – Bellroy does say that public transport smartcards and contactless credit cards can be used with this case.
Overall, the Bellroy Phone Case is a stylish, classy way to keep your iPhone safe. If you’re in the market for a case that looks good, I’d recommend this one; if you’re looking for one that holds a card and/or a spare SIM, this is definitely the way to go.
The Bellroy Phone Case is available from bellroy.com and retails for $64.95 (6, 6s) or $69.95 (6 Plus, 6s Plus).