Our editors all have their favorite wallet cases for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: Seth’s top pick is Pad & Quill’s Little Pocket Book, Ben’s fondest of Mujjo’s Leather Wallet Case, and up until now, my pick — based more on material quality than practicality — has been Twelve South’s BookBook. Each of these cases picks up where Apple Pay leaves off, carrying a handful of credit cards and a little cash for the (still numerous) times when wireless payments aren’t an option. But most of the cases haven’t properly balanced practicality and protection.
That’s where CM4’s Q Card Cases for iPhone 6 ($32-$40 at Amazon) and iPhone 6 Plus ($32-$40 at Amazon) come in. Their MSRPs are tied with the most affordable wallet cases I’ve previously seen for the new iPhones, combining the slim protectiveness of a TPU iPhone case with the look and feel of a leather wallet. While the standard $40 cases use realistic-looking faux leathers, CM4’s Limited Edition versions use genuine leather and pack-in simple plastic screen protectors for $60 each (iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus). Below, you’ll see why it’s hard to go wrong with any of the Q Card Cases…
From my perspective, the key asset Q Card Cases offer is design neutrality. Unlike most of the competing wallet cases out there, the Q Card Cases look identical to regular playthrough (uninhibited front access) cases, and continue to work fully with third-party iPhone stands and accessories. There are six different colors to choose from, including gender-neutral and gender-specific options. Each one has full button coverage on the sides, a small ringer switch cutout, and a somewhat oversized rear camera hole. While the faux leather designs have a real leather-like grain, the dark brown genuine leather feels like smooth boots, and has a small metallic CM4 badge on the bottom.
One surprise is that the Q Card Cases’ card-carrying compartments are virtually identical from iPhone 6 to iPhone 6 Plus. Three cards fit inside tightly at first — give the material a little time to ease up, notes CM4 — though you can pop them upwards using a groove at the bottom. My only complaint about the compartment is that cards remain partially visible inside the case, though that has been an issue with most of the playthrough iPhone wallets we’ve tested. (Verus’s more plastic-heavy Damda Slide is a rare exception.)
Rather than expanding the iPhone 6 Plus’s compartment, CM4 used the extra height to include a thin slot that turns a credit card into a video stand, a legitimately great feature for the larger iPhone. It wouldn’t have been a bad idea to make the compartment a little larger for the big iPhone, though. Fitting cash into the compartment along with three cards isn’t easy at first, though as the material loosens up, you’ll be able to carry both around.
There’s no question in my mind that all of the standard $40 Q Card Cases offer great value for the dollar, particularly at their $32 starter street prices. The color options will legitimately appeal to men and women alike, as will the functionality: each Q Card Case manages to combine very good iPhone protection with a slim-line wallet that you’ll almost forget is there until you need it. Unless you’re really in need of the genuine leather, there’s no need to pay the premium for those models, as the standard versions deliver just as much class at more reasonable prices.
|Manufacturer: CM4||MSRP: $40-$60||Compatibility: iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus|