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The best wallet phone cases: A buyer's guide
Smartphones can do more than ever before, but sometimes they require some extra real estate to pack in that technology. That extra size ends up limiting your pocket space. Luckily, there’s an easy way to save yourself some space and keep your phone safe — a wallet phone case. There are plenty of options to choose from, and we’re here to help guide your purchase by picking out the best wallet cases you can buy from a variety of reputable case brands.
Looking for more ways to keep your phone safe and get the most out of it? Don’t forget to check out our guide for the best case brands to look at, the best phone skins for a purely cosmetic upgrade, and mobile accessories you can get!
Why buy a wallet phone case?
The most obvious reason to invest in a wallet case for your phone is so that you can leave your old wallet behind. Think of it as killing two birds with one stone. Even though you may not get quite as much storage space as a traditional wallet, many cases can handle three or four cards as well as some cash.
Of course, the protection element of a wallet case is almost as important as the storage. Many options adopt a folio design with a TPU bumper on the inside, which provides two-for-one security. The bumper is great against drops, while the folding cover keeps your display in pristine condition. Better yet, the folio can serve as a folding kickstand in case you want to stream videos hands-free. Of course, not all wallet cases go for the folio setup, so don’t think that you have to fit a large leather case in your pocket.
What to look for?
It’s not as easy to just walk out and grab a wallet case as you might think. There are a number of factors to consider such as storage size, design, and materials. Here are a few of our top tips:
- Type of wallet case — We’ve already mentioned that the folding folio is the most popular type of wallet case, but it’s not the only one. Spigen’s Slim Armor CS, for example, is essentially a rugged case with a protected pocket built into the back. It keeps your cards away from your screen, but you’ll have to be careful about wireless charging.
- How much storage do you need — If you’re going to replace your wallet, you can’t just tote one or two cards around with you. Think about how many cards you use in a single day, as many wallet cases come with three or four pockets. You may also want to look for an option with a cash pocket if you’re still holding onto paper bills.
- Material — Stop us if you’ve heard this before, but wallet cases are all about decisions. You’ll have to decide on your material, and how much you want to spend. Genuine leather cases are luxurious and should last, but they’ll cost a pretty penny. Faux leather cases look good too, and they won’t cost you nearly as much. However, if you aim for a case like Spigen’s Slim Armor CS, then you’re looking at tough polycarbonate which can fall into a range of prices.
- Design — All folio covers are created equally, right? Well, not exactly. Some rely on a magnet clasp, others have a physical latch, and still more offer a slot in the front so you can take calls without ever opening the cover. Either that or you can go for the rear-mounted slot wallet and ignore the flip cover altogether.
A note about third-party wallet cases
Outside of Samsung — and now Apple with its MagSafe wallet — most OEMs tend to stay away from wallet cases. They’re not as easy to churn out as simple bumper cases, and even Samsung limits its wallets to one or two card slots and no cash. Essentially, we’re saying to look for a third-party case if you decide to grab a wallet case. You’ll find way more options and loads more storage space for all of your essentials.
Before you buy a wallet case from a brand you’re not familiar with, just be sure to check for the following:
- Check out the reviews, especially on Amazon. Are people happy with the case? Do the reviews look real? Take a look at the attached pictures if there are any.
- Take a good look at the return policy. Some cases can be returned for a while, but you may not be able to get a replacement if something breaks or wears.
- We’re here for you! Android Authority has literally hundreds of guides to help you choose the perfect case. From best brands to per-device breakdowns, we’ve written enough to see phone cases in our dreams.
The best wallet phone case brands
Now that we’ve given you some guidance on what to look for, why to consider a wallet case, and why a third-party is the way to go, let’s see who has the best options. We’ve chosen five of our favorite wallet phone case makers to help you narrow down your options. You’ll find all manner of different examples, so let’s get to it.
If you’re not sure what material you want, but you know it has to be a folio, then FYY is a great place to start. It pretty much only makes wallet cases, and they run the full range of materials. You’ll pay about average prices — genuine leather costs the most, of course. However, one of the more interesting FYY wallet cases relies on a detachable magnet. The bumper stays firmly on your phone, but you can take the wallet off for wireless charging or if you prefer to use a car mount.
FYY crafts folio cases with the best of them, but you may have to look elsewhere depending on your phone. The company only offers cases for Samsung Galaxy devices and Apple iPhones as of right now. If you’re looking for a bit more variety, check out wallet cases from Tucch, which are very similar and readily available.
The best FYY wallet case: Genuine leather case
If you want the best material around, it’s tough to top genuine cowhide leather. This is a fairly standard folio case, and it locks in place with a powerful magnet. You can also flip the cover into a kickstand at either of two heights. FYY’s genuine leather wallet case offers RFID protection for your cards, and you can choose from as many as four different colors to match your other accessories. Grab yours from the links below:
If you want the best case maker around, no matter the model, Spigen deserves some serious consideration. It’s not only a mainstay on our best case lists, but it continues to craft new cases for nearly every model on the market. It offers a laundry list of designs, not the least of which is a rear-mounted wallet case. Unfortunately, the wallet case is one of Spigen’s less universal options, and it’s only widely available for Apple and Samsung devices.
The best Spigen wallet case: Slim Armor CS
As we said, the Slim Armor CS isn’t a folio like many other wallet cases. Instead, it utilizes a sliding door on the back panel to protect your cards and cash. You’ll also have to stick with the essentials, as the case can handle just one or two cards. On the bright side, the Slim Armor CS is imbued with the best protection that Spigen can make. It’s a hybrid case with TPU and polycarbonate elements for both drops and scratches.
Learn more about our favorite Spigen cases.
Smartish is another well-known brand, and while it does offer a small variety of cases, by far its most popular cases are wallet cases. Even better, many of these wallet cases are also fully customizable. However, Smartish appears to focus most of its effort on iPhone cases, with only a single model offered for Galaxy S phones, with no further Android support.
The best Smartish wallet case: Wallet Slayer Vol. 1
The original Smartish case is still the best wallet case it offers, despite the arguably more premium Wallet Slayer Vol 2 hitting the market a while back. This case has space for three cards and cash in the back, with grippy sides to prevent unwanted drops. The real unique selling point here is the plethora of colorways available, including flat colors, patterns, and the option to upload images for a completely unique design.
Arae may not be as recognizable of a name as Spigen or Smartish, but it’s possibly the best option around if you don’t have a flagship from Apple or Samsung. It offers wallet cases for plenty of devices, including some mid-range and entry-level phones. All of Arae’s cases are reasonably affordable as well, including the few genuine leather options that are available.
The best Arae wallet case
There’s no fancy name for Arae’s wallet case, it just gets right to business. It’s another folding folio, though you can choose from genuine and PU leather options. You can even keep your Arae wallet phone case close at hand thanks to the included wrist strap. The case doubles as a folding kickstand, and it comes in a mix of different colors for you to choose from. Finally, the Arae wallet is one of the most widely available cases, and here are your options:
Nomad makes a variety of extremely premium cases, most featuring a higher-quality leather than you’ll find in competitors’ cases. This means that they’ll develop a fine patina over time, and feature a tactile element that can’t be beaten. However, its cases aren’t offered for many devices, with support limited to Apple iPhones.
The best Nomad wallet case: Modern Leather Folio
Nomad’s Modern Leather Folio case is one of the most refined wallet cases you can buy. Featuring space for three cards and cash on the inside and a premium Horween leather finish on the outside, it still manages to offer 10-foot drop protection in a sleek package. It’s also compatible with MagSafe accessories and wireless chargers. Although we’ve linked to all of the phone models below, this particular wallet case is also available for most iPads.
- iPhone 13 Pro Max
- iPhone 13 Pro
- iPhone 13
- iPhone 13 Mini
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 12 Pro
- iPhone 12
- iPhone 12 Mini
Hoomil is a great pick if you want a wallet phone case that screams business. Even though the cases are made from PU leather, they still have an air of luxury about them. You’re also in luck if you have a non-flagship device — Hoomil has tons of entry-level and mid-range devices covered. In fact, you may have an easier time finding non-flagship cases right now.
The best Hoomil wallet case: The Classic Business series
A leather case has never looked out of place in the boardroom, and that’s how Hoomil designed its Classic Business line. Each model is a simple leather folio with two card slots and a cash pocket so you can cover the essentials. Hoomil’s wallet case locks with a magnetic clasp or you can flip it around for hands-free viewing. It’s the perfect case if you need to practice that all-important pitch just one more time. Here are your best bets for the Hoomil wallet:
One last wallet case brand to consider is Vena. Like Spigen, it skips the traditional folio design in favor of a rear-mounted option. However, it takes a unique approach to the design that’s fully enclosed.
The best Vena wallet case: vCommute
Vena’s vCommute is the only wallet case to choose if you’re dead-set on the brand. It’s a rear-mounted design, which means you’ll have to remove your cards if you want to charge wirelessly. It’s also somewhat limited in its availability — you’ll have to have a mainstream flagship. However, it does keep the folding kickstand design, which is a key feature of the folio wallet cases. The vCommute is only available in a classic matte black finish unless you have an iPhone 12 or 13 series device.