capsule review

SGP's Valentinus is part bi-fold wallet, part case for your iPhone 4/4S

At a Glance
  • SGP Valentinus Series Leather Wallet Case (for iPhone 4/4S)

SGP’s $55 Valentinus Leather Wallet Case for the iPhone 4/4S is a leather bi-fold wallet-style case, available in black or brown. Due to its folio design, this attractive case looks like a smaller iPad case than one designed specifically for the iPhone, but for if you’re looking for a wallet case, this might be one to consider.

The iPhone snaps into a basic hard-plastic bumper within the wallet. While there is nothing special about the plastic, it leaves sufficiently-sized cut-outs for every port, jack and button. The bottom and top of the phone are fully exposed. There is no screen protector included, though at least the plastic slightly comes up over the edge of the screen. The camera and flash work fine from within the case. However, typing on the iPhone is tricky, as you can’t really get both hands around it when your keyboard is in portrait-orientation. Talking on the phone is quite awkward, since you have a flap of leather hitting your face and you can’t really hold it up to your ear with one hand. Folding the wallet flap back and holding it while you talk was a little easier, but still uncomfortable.

The Valentinus case is rather slender as bi-fold wallet-style cases go, but of course you’ll need to remove the case to put your iPhone in just about any dock-cradle accessory. As with any hard-plastic case, removing it is not something you’ll want to be doing regularly, as it doesn’t slip off easily. (SGP suggests that you remove your iPhone from the left side of the plastic casing—if you pull from the right side, it could damage the leather.)

The wallet flap contains two slots for credit cards, plus a larger pocket for more cards or folded cash. The wallet is quite small—I placed seven cards in there (two in the slots, five in the larger pocket) and the case could barely snap closed. I had the same problem with a different SGP wallet-style case: the Ava Karen. When you consider the cards you use on a regular basis—your driver’s license, credit and debit cards, insurance cards, frequent buyer cards, etc—room for seven cards isn’t asking too much of a wallet.

Perhaps SGP only intends for these wallet cases to be used when you only need to carry a few essential cards with you, but I can’t recommend this case for everyday use due to its limitations as both a protective case and a wallet.

[Karen Freeman is a writer, teacher, and Apple fan. Follow her on Twitter @karensfreeman.]

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At a Glance
  • SGP Valentinus Series Leather Wallet Case (for iPhone 4/4S)

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