Bullstrap MagSafe wallet review: Same as Apple's but with better leather

Posted:
in iPhone
Bullstrap has made a name for itself with quality leather goods. Its recent MagSafe wallet looks and feels incredible, but offers no innovation beyond recreating Apple's original design.

Bullstrap's leather MagSafe wallet
Bullstrap's leather MagSafe wallet


MagSafe debuted with the iPhone 12 line and was subsequently brought to the iPhone 13 lineup. With MagSafe, users can mount wallets to their phones, attach their phones to stands, connect a magnetic battery pack, or charge from a power outlet.

Accessory makers have continued to innovate in this space, releasing wave after wave of compatible accessories. Bullstrap has an excellent line of MagSafe-enabled cases, but here we are checking out the company's wallet.

Great leather, cloned design

Bullstrap uses high-quality top-grain leather for its MagSafe wallet. Full-grain is the highest quality leather, whereas top-grain is the second-highest grade.

What makes it different is that the outermost layer of the hide is removed, allowing it to be thinner. For such a small accessory, a thin piece of leather is necessary for cutting down on bulk.

Using Bullstrap's leather MagSafe wallet with a case
Using Bullstrap's leather MagSafe wallet without a case


It's got a luxurious patina and will age wonderfully with use. We've seen how Bullstrap's leather case ages, and the wallet will be just the same.

The leather is stitched around the perimeter, leaving the opening at the top for cards to be inserted. Bullstrap has an internal tension peg to hold the cards, so even if you just put one or two cards into it, they won't fall out.

Removing my Apple Card from the Bullstrap wallet
Removing our Apple Card from the Bullstrap wallet


Around the back is a hole used for sliding the cards free. Of course, it has the requisite internal magnets used for connecting to MagSafe on the back of an iPhone or a MagSafe-compatible case.

If the design seems familiar, it's because it is a near carbon copy of Apple's MagSafe wallet, albeit with better leather.

Apple's MagSafe wallet versus Bullstrap's
Apple's MagSafe wallet versus Bullstrap's


There isn't anything inherently wrong with mimicking Apple's wallet design, and Bullstrap certainly isn't the first to do so. We just wish it offered something to differentiate itself.

Bullstrap could have increased the thickness just a bit and allowed for three cards to be stored. Maybe it could've adjusted the design to create a more seamless look, sans stitching.

Anything to make it more unique other than the leather used.

That iPhone 13 Pro camera bump...

Once more, the massive camera bump on the iPhone 13 Pro is causing issues.

The wallet won't fit
That wallet won't fit


The wallet can't lie flat when paired with an iPhone 13 Pro-compatible case -- like Bullstrap's MagSafe-enabled one. It hits the bump, leaving a small gap between the wallet and the case itself.

This gap can slightly weaken the magnetic attraction, leading to a higher likelihood it comes free inadvertently.

There are, fortunately, ways to avoid this issue, and we can't fault Bullstrap for the problem at hand. It's the same dimensions as Apple's wallet, so whether or not it sits flush will depend on which case you use.

You can also use the wallet without a case. In such instances, it fits perfectly and has no issues at all.

We tested a few cases that had this issue, but it seems particularly egregious for Bullstrap not to ensure compatibility with its own case lineup.

As a reminder, this issue is only present on the iPhone 13 Pro. MagSafe wallets are one of several accessories that have the occasional problem with the oversized camera module.

Should you buy the Bullstrap MagSafe wallet?

This is a tough recommendation to make. The wallet itself is exceptionally nice, with high-quality leather that trumps Apple's offering.

At the same time, it offers nothing unique other than the material used.

Bullstrap's leather MagSafe wallet
Bullstrap's leather MagSafe wallet


Apple's MagSafe wallet costs the same as Bullstrap's but has the additional integration with the Find My app. This integration is weak, though, and likely not a compelling selling point for most users.

Feel confident picking up the Bullstrap MagSafe wallet if you prefer its "rough and tumble" leather look to Apple's waxy finishes, but don't expect it to offer anything we haven't seen before.

Pros
  • Great-looking, top-grain leather
  • More rugged appearance than Apple's wallet
  • Full support for MagSafe
Cons
  • Just copies Apple's design
  • No support for Find My
  • Fit issues on iPhone 13 Pro

Rating: 3 out of 5

Where to buy

You can order Bullstrap's MagSafe leather wallet on Amazon for $59.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    I kind of disagree a little bit. It’s not an exact copy. In Apple’s design, the line at the top of the pocket goes straight across with a dip at both ends. With the Bullstrap design, the line goes on an angle all the way across. Also the cutout in the back has a slightly different design. I feel like the article makes it seem as if the Bullstrap version is almost a carbon copy, which is not the case. I’m not sure how different you can get with a wallet like this. You need to be minimalistic or it will be too bulky.  
  • Reply 2 of 6
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,721member
    I kind of disagree a little bit. It’s not an exact copy. In Apple’s design, the line at the top of the pocket goes straight across with a dip at both ends. With the Bullstrap design, the line goes on an angle all the way across. Also the cutout in the back has a slightly different design. I feel like the article makes it seem as if the Bullstrap version is almost a carbon copy, which is not the case. I’m not sure how different you can get with a wallet like this. You need to be minimalistic or it will be too bulky.  
    How about making it easier to pull out cards? I have two credit cards and my DL which makes it nigh on impossible to get them out. A cut out at the bottom to push them or a ribbon inside the pocket would be a welcome improvement. 
  • Reply 3 of 6
    Why would this get 3/5 when the Apple wallet got 4.5/5 for virtually the same product, according to the reviewer? It seems like they're faulting the product for being similar to the Apple wallet as opposed to it being reviewed on its own virtues. I haven't tried out the wallet, so I'll reserve judgment, but this is inconsistent journalism. It should be at least 4.5 based on the other review, which was also done by the same reviewer.

    edited May 2022
  • Reply 4 of 6
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    I kind of disagree a little bit. It’s not an exact copy. In Apple’s design, the line at the top of the pocket goes straight across with a dip at both ends. With the Bullstrap design, the line goes on an angle all the way across. Also the cutout in the back has a slightly different design. I feel like the article makes it seem as if the Bullstrap version is almost a carbon copy, which is not the case. I’m not sure how different you can get with a wallet like this. You need to be minimalistic or it will be too bulky.  
    How about making it easier to pull out cards? I have two credit cards and my DL which makes it nigh on impossible to get them out. A cut out at the bottom to push them or a ribbon inside the pocket would be a welcome improvement. 
    I was wondering why there’s a cut out on the inner facing side, where a cut out on the external side would actually be useful.
  • Reply 5 of 6
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,721member
    crowley said:
    I kind of disagree a little bit. It’s not an exact copy. In Apple’s design, the line at the top of the pocket goes straight across with a dip at both ends. With the Bullstrap design, the line goes on an angle all the way across. Also the cutout in the back has a slightly different design. I feel like the article makes it seem as if the Bullstrap version is almost a carbon copy, which is not the case. I’m not sure how different you can get with a wallet like this. You need to be minimalistic or it will be too bulky.  
    How about making it easier to pull out cards? I have two credit cards and my DL which makes it nigh on impossible to get them out. A cut out at the bottom to push them or a ribbon inside the pocket would be a welcome improvement. 
    I was wondering why there’s a cut out on the inner facing side, where a cut out on the external side would actually be useful.
    Yeah, supposed to allow some traction for thumb to slide cards up, and if cards still had embossed raised numbers there would something to get traction on—but they don’t. 
Sign In or Register to comment.