Twelve South have a reputation amongst Apple faithful for producing quirky yet cool accessories exclusively for Apple hardware. Bearing this in mind, I leapt at the chance to try out their BookBook case for the iPhone 6 Plus.
As wonderful as a smartphone crafted out of glass and alloy may be, you can be certain that things are unlikely to ever end well should your said glass and alloy crafted pride and joy drop from a height onto a hard surface.
This unfortunately brings me to the greatest paradox of owning a high-end smartphone. With a high end phone, one of the key things people get most excited about is its design and build - especially if the phone happens is fashioned out of premium materials instead of Tupperware.
Flagship phone buyers have not only chosen to buy a fantastic looking and amazing feeling phone, but they’ve also decided to part with a) their kidneys, or b) their first born, or both a & b. Because of this they protect their investment by purchasing a protective case. Sadly this often leaves beautiful high-end smartphones looking like plastic el-cheapo devices.
Look and feel
This paradox wasn’t wasted on Twelve South. They’ve crafted the rather wonderful and unique BookBook case for the iPad, iPad mini, MacBook air, MacBook pro, iPhone and iPhone 6+.
Looks-wise, The BookBook case looks like the sort of antique hardcover book that you’d find in the library of Bruce Wayne’s mansion. Imagine a copy of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, or even a vintage Bible, and you’re pretty much there.
Cleverly, wear and tear actually enhances the BookBook. Where silicon and plastic cases tend to age poorly, looking increasingly threadbare as they accumulate scuffs and scratches, these give the BookBook even more antique character and are part of the Book Book’s charm.
The BookBook is available in either brown or Black leather - both of which are certain to appeal to your inner bibliophile/phone geek.
The iPhone 6+ BookBook case sports a few refinements. One is the camera cut out on the BookBook’s rear. An earlier BookBook I’d reviewed a while back didn’t have one so taking a photo required I slid the iPhone up to snap a photo. I dropped the case/phone several times while doing this so the rear camera cut-out is a welcome addition.
Equally nice are pockets provided for credit cards, receipts, cash and other whatnots I’d normally keep in my wallet. Twelve South have also handily included a window pocket for photo ID.
In Use the BookBook delivered surprising results. I use the word surprising to describe people’s reaction to it rather than its ability to protect my phone (which it did most excellently).
Attending a work meeting while waiting for a text message, I took my BookBook encased iPhone 6+ out and put it on the meeting room table. People attending the meeting were unusually polite. When the text message came through, I flipped the BookBook open to reveal my iPhone and replied to the message.
A sigh of relief and a few giggles rippled around the meeting table. People had mistaken the BookBook for a bible, thinking I was deeply religious, hence the lack of potty mouthed profanity at the meeting.
Religion aside, I quickly became attached to the BookBook. Where protective cases are a necessary evil, the BookBook ticks all the right boxes.
For a start it provided solid protection for my iPhone 6+ thanks to its leather body, suede interior and padding. Accidental drops and knocks haven’t been a problem so far at all.
Keeping ones phone ding-free is one thing, but using a latex phone condom that fuglifies your phone is another matter altogether. Thankfully the BookBook manages to be both quirky and peeper pleasing. That it takes on more character with use is a fantastic bonus.
From a functionality perspective, I also liked that it also did double duty as a wallet. Having credit cards, cash and ID in the same place as my phone is not only dead handy but also goes a long way towards reducing pocket clutter or forcing me to get something as naff as a man bag.
Nothing is perfect, and to this end the BookBook has one gotcha – it isn’t cheap. A quick check revealed BookBook prices ranged from a whopping $129.99 (for an iPad BookBook travel journal case) through to a slightly less costly $79.99 for smaller BookBooks. That’s a lot of money for a mere phone case, but you do get a hell of a lot of phone case for your money.