Hands-On With Apple's iPhone 12 MagSafe Wallet Attachment
Alongside the MagSafe cases and the MagSafe Charger that Apple introduced with the iPhone 12, there's also a Leather Wallet that has magnets at the back so it can attach right to an iPhone as an add-on accessory. Leather Wallets became available for purchase over the weekend, so we picked one up to see if it's a worthwhile alternative to a traditional wallet.
Design wise, the $59 iPhone Leather Wallet comes in a soft European leather that's available in Baltic Blue, California Poppy (a deep yellow color with a bit of orange), Saddle Brown, and Black. It's lightweight, compact, and minimal, and it looks great on the back of an iPhone.
You can fit somewhere around two to three cards in the Leather Wallet, and it's best not to attempt to add in more because leather is known for stretching and wearing. At the back of the Leather Wallet, there's a little cutout for the thumb that's meant to make it simple to slide a card out, but it takes some time to master the gesture due to the fit of the cards inside.
A three card capacity may work for some people, but for those who have multiple credit cards plus a driver's license or ID, the Leather Wallet might not be ideal. The Leather Wallet can attach directly to an iPhone 12 or to a MagSafe case, and it displays a little animation on the iPhone's screen to let you know when it's connected.
When it comes to magnet strength, the magnet in the Leather Wallet is strong enough to adhere to the case and remain in place when shaking the iPhone vigorously, but we're skeptical that it's going to stay in place during routine daily use.
If you tap the Leather Wallet a few times, it pops right off, but the biggest issue is how it interacts with pockets. When tucking the iPhone with Leather Wallet into a pocket, care needs to be used. If you don't align it right, there's a chance the iPhone could go in the pocket while the Wallet slides right off, and the same goes for taking it out.
The magnetic connection isn't strong enough to adhere the Leather Wallet solidly to the iPhone when the force of a pocket is involved, and if you're not careful, you could have a mishap where the Wallet comes off during regular use. Your cards are going to be more secure if you're not planning to pocket your iPhone, but if you do plan to get the Leather Wallet and use it as normal, grip the wallet and the phone tightly when inserting and removing it from pockets to make sure the Wallet doesn't detach accidentally.
Those who have more than three cards that are carried regularly or those who want the freedom to use a wallet without having to be concerned about attachment issues should probably opt out of the Leather Wallet, but it has the potential to be a useful accessory for those who are careful and those who prefer a minimal look and wallet experience.
Top Rated Comments
Magnets are generally good at keeping something from moving perpendicular away from the surface of the magnet, but they are generally bad at keeping something from moving laterally across them. That's why this wallet falls off the way it does, and it's why MagSafe is no good for iPhone mounts for cars. It's probably enough for selfie-sticks and gimbals, but there's little reason in those environments to rely on something that doesn't have a super firm grip.
In a sense, the iPhone implementation is the OPPOSITE of MagSafe on the Mac, where magnets were used because their strength could be overcome by a little force. All of the iPhone implementations except for that ridiculous puck charger are for things that you want to stick and stay put reliably.
I think I am going for a walk outside the Apple Store hoping for some lost wallets with folded $100 bills instead of a card