I’m generally a minimalist where iPhone cases are concerned, preferring either the naked phone or a very slim case like the Mujjo wallet case that is my daily driver. But Pad & Quill’s leather cases are so gorgeous, it’s hard to resist trying out something a little more substantial.
The Pad & Quill Bella Fino is a pocket book style leather wallet case available for both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Designed for use in a jacket pocket, it combines all-round protection for the phone with slots for either four (iPhone 6) or five (iPhone 6 Plus) cards, plus a slot for bills …
The first thing you notice about the Bella Fino is the thickness of the leather. Both front and back covers are rigid, providing confidence that it will protect the phone from almost any drop.
While the case is open on one side, the side of the case protrudes sufficiently enough from the phone itself that it will protect against a fall even on the open side. There’s a cutout for the camera at the rear, but you’d have to be incredibly unlucky to drop the case at such an angle that the front corner didn’t protect it.
As we’ve come to expect from Pad & Quill, the quality of the leather is fantastic, with beautiful stitching. The 25-year warranty might be overkill for a product you’ll likely only keep until the next time Apple changes the sizes of its phones, but it does say a lot about the confidence Pad & Quill has in the quality of both leather and workmanship.
As always with real leather, you’ll find imperfections in the skin, and a few small scratches had shown up after ten days or so of use, but to me this is half the beauty of leather: it looks great even when marked.
Pad & Quill offers a choice of either black or two shades of brown for the exterior–which it calls Dark Chocolate and Whisky–each with a choice of two contrasting colors for the interior of the wallet. I opted for Whiskey with Deep Sea Blue, and love the combination.
As you can see, the iPhone 6 version has four card slots, one of them transparent with a finger hole to help remove the card–handy if you need to pull out a pass or ticket. Unlike the Little Pocket Book which Seth Weintraub tested back in November, which has a wooden insert to hold the phone, the Fino has a re-usable 3M sticky pad. This, to me, is one of the most impressive elements of the case.
You peel back a sheet of greased paper, apply the phone, close the case then press down. This done, the phone is held very firmly in place. But if you want to swap between cases, or use the naked phone, it peels right off again. Reapply the protective paper and you can use it again and again. It also leaves no sticky residue at all on the phone.
In the course of testing it, I removed the phone around a dozen times. Each time, it eased right off without residue and stuck again just as firmly. This makes it practical to use this case when you want the additional protection or card capacity, while switching to a slimmer case the rest of the time.
Behind the card slots is space for a few dollar bills. I say a few, as US dollars are a tight fit: this is not a wallet case to choose if you like to cram in a lot of cash. If you’re based in a different country, check the dimensions of your notes: it’s way too small for British bank notes, for example. For reference, US dollar bills are 6.14×2.61 inches.
My one complaint? With the card slots filled, the wallet doesn’t sit flat: the front cover sticks up at about 30 degrees.
This is not a problem at all when the wallet is in your pocket, but it does look a little untidy if you have your phone out on a desk, for example during a meeting. That said, it’s so easy to take the phone in and out, you can easily do so if it bothers you.
I also found cards took a little effort to slide in and out, but personally I like that, a slight effort being preferable to the risk that cards could fall out.
If you want a wallet case which offers full protection for your iPhone 6/Plus, and are willing to accept some bulk as the price of that protection, then the Bella Fino is well worth a look.