Bellroy iPhone Mod Case + Wallet review: A MagSafe case with a near-perfect companion wall...

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in iPhone
Bellroy's Mod Case + Wallet may be the ultimate solution for those who want a great MagSafe iPhone case with a matching wallet as it fixes some of Apple's missteps.

Our iPhone 13 Pro in the Bellroy ModCase with wallet
Our iPhone 13 Pro in the Bellroy ModCase with wallet


When you pick up Bellroy's latest case, it comes with two parts. You get the Mod Case as well as a companion wallet. It's available sizes for the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Unfortunately, no luck for iPhone 13 mini users.

A MagSafe-compatible case

First and foremost, we need to look at the case. If the case is poor or doesn't properly protect your phone, MagSafe and the wallet are effectively irrelevant.

Bellroy knows its way around a hide of leather and its extensive array of leather goods is evidence of that. They have an exceptional lineup of wallets, covers, and more.

Leather cases for your iPhone are a natural inclusion to this list. They've created them for the last number of years but it's the iPhone 13 series case with a bundled magnetic wallet that caught our eye.

Our personal wear pattern on the Bellroy MagSafe-compatible ModCase
Our personal wear pattern on the Bellroy MagSafe-compatible ModCase


The case is very slim with a two-material makeup. The body and sides are a durable "flex polymer" material while the back is wrapped in eco-tanned leather.

We chose the Terracotta color which is a lovely medium shade of brown. Bellroy has other neutral colors such as Basalt grey and black but vivid colors too including a bright Cobalt blue, Lagoon teal, and Citrus yellow.

The case is lined in a contrasting microfiber that isn't visible from the outside, but a touch we like. Many cases are lined with microfiber as it helps protect your phone from small debris that gets inside.

ModRail system for the magnetic wallet
ModRail system for the magnetic wallet


Embedded within the case are the requisite magnets needed to support MagSafe. That is the ring of magnets as well as the alignment magnet.

That brings support for all MagSafe accessories. Slap on a MagSafe battery pack, any third-party MagSafe wallet, use a MagSafe car mount, or use a MagSafe charger with up to 15W speeds.

MagSafe charging
MagSafe charging with the Bellroy ModCase


We tested it with the Apple MagSafe Battery pack without issue and even charged up each night on the Belkin 3-in-1 BoostCharge Pro. As with other leather cases, we noticed a round indentation on the back of the case where the magnets make contact.

This happens with every leather case we've tested -- including Apple's -- and it isn't particularly pronounced or an issue for us.

Use any MagSafe accessories with the Bellroy ModCase
Use any MagSafe accessories with the Bellroy ModCase


The sides of the case have a bit of grip, allowing us to better hold onto the device. As they also wrap around the front of the phone just slightly, it appears to provide ample protection with minimal bulk. Since ditching the massive wallet is the goal here, less bulkiness is best.

With -- or without -- the bundled wallet, we'll happily use the Bellroy Mod Case.

A minimalist wallet

To date, we reviewed several MagSafe wallets. We covered Apple's leather wallet that contains support for Find My, Bullstrap's with premium leather, Moft can convert to a kickstand, and a high-fashion choice from Labodet.




Bellroy's wallet differs. Instead of a universal wallet that will work with any MagSafe-enabled phone, they only support the company's own cases.

This isn't a frivolous attempt to lock users into the brand's ecosystem, but rather a way to fix one of the most irksome facets of all other MagSafe wallets.

All other wallets connect purely through MagSafe and are held at the correct angle using the lower alignment magnet. But the MagSafe magnets aren't strong enough on their own to prevent errant removals.

Many users would complain about Apple's wallet and others slipping off in their pockets or twisting around. To fix this, Bellroy uses the same MagSafe magnets but places two ModRails above and below.




The ModRails slip into the divots on the back of the case to hold it securely when placed. Together, it prevents the wallet from easily sliding off or rotating on its own.

In our past few weeks with the wallet, we never had it accidentally come free when we were not trying to remove it. Plus, it is still remarkably simple to remove when we did want to transition to a MagSafe charger or mount.

The case can safely hold three cards -- one more than Apple's wallet does. We believe three to be the magic number for a wallet. It allows us to keep a credit card, our debit card, and our ID on hand with the addition of our digital Apple Wallet cards.

Another big improvement is how you remove cards. Apple's wallet requires you to remove the holder from your phone and press through a cutout in the back.

Opening the Bellroy wallet one-handed
Opening the Bellroy wallet one-handed


Bellroy's is fully covered and cards are inserted or removed by opening a flap. The flap is on the right side and can open with your right or left hand.

Thanks to the ModRails, it can also be opened while attached to the back of your iPhone without being removed. This all may sound simple, but these are common pain points with the first-party solution.

Opening the wallet with the other hand
Opening the wallet with the other hand


The leather on the wallet matches that of the iPhone cover giving you a seamless look between the two accessories. Something we didn't anticipate was how the leather would age.

With the wallet on our phone 75 percent of the time, it left the middle of the phone near-pristine while the edges and top started earning its wonderful patina. You can see this for yourself in some of the highlighted photos above.

The positive side is when we purposefully left our wallet off it allowed the patina to even out, giving a fantastic warm, lived-in look to the case.

A perfect pair

With the arrival of MagSafe, we were promised a better future for mobile users who pack small. We weren't required to choose between a case with a wallet on the back and wireless charging.

But the first wave of wallets was lackluster, mimicking Apple's partially-flawed design or adding other features while not improving core issues.

Bellroy ModCase with the wallet attached
Bellroy ModCase with the wallet attached


As both a case and wallet maker, Bellroy is in a unique position to bring a creative solution to the market that is not just functional but has great aesthetics too. And that's just what they've done.

It does mean you can't use the wallet with any other cases but it's a minor downside for an otherwise excellent user experience.

Bellroy's Mod Case + Wallet Pros

  • Case and wallet are sold together

  • Quality, eco-tanned leather on both parts

  • Wallet can be opened one-handed with either hand or while on case

  • Up to three cards can be held in the magnetically-sealed wallet

  • More affordable than Apple's leather case and wallet

  • Protective case yet still very slim

  • Case fully supports MagSafe charging and accessories

  • Wallet won't accidentally come free from case with ModRails

Bellroy's Mod Case + Wallet Cons

  • Wallet only works with Bellroy cases

  • Some users will still need to hold more than three cards

Rating: 4 out of 5

Where to buy

Grab the Bellroy Mod Case and Wallet directly from the leather worker's website for $99 in one of six colorways for iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, or iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,110member
    JP234 said:
    Way too much money for a phone case that won't work when you upgrade in a few months or a year.
    Except that many of us don't upgrade every "few months or a year".  Many of us get a new phone 3+ or more years.  You're not the market segment then.
    watto_cobrawilliamlondonuraharamike1
  • Reply 2 of 6
    payecopayeco Posts: 581member
    What is the overall thickness of this case and wallet compared to Apple leather case and wallet. I’m really intrigued and might consider one for the 14 Pro Max when it comes out but it looks really thick in some of those photos. Apple’s leather case and wallet are what I currently use and that is about as thick as I can handle so if this is much thicker than that I think I’m going to have to pass. 
  • Reply 3 of 6
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,993member
    payeco said:
    What is the overall thickness of this case and wallet compared to Apple leather case and wallet. I’m really intrigued and might consider one for the 14 Pro Max when it comes out but it looks really thick in some of those photos. Apple’s leather case and wallet are what I currently use and that is about as thick as I can handle so if this is much thicker than that I think I’m going to have to pass. 
    Yes, was going to ask the very same question. I have the Apple version of this and removing cards is nigh on impossible. Also concerned that Bellroy wraps around the front. Apple uses the magnet to hold case on, so don’t get why Bellroy would make it harder to pry case off with that design. Also not thrilled with the plastic edges. But would go for this one on next phone, even if thicker, if Apple fails to improve. 
    edited July 2022
  • Reply 4 of 6
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,332member
    sflocal said:
    JP234 said:
    Way too much money for a phone case that won't work when you upgrade in a few months or a year.
    Except that many of us don't upgrade every "few months or a year".  Many of us get a new phone 3+ or more years.  You're not the market segment then.

    Agreed. I will definitely look at picking this up whenever I decide to upgrade my 12 Pro. Probably next year. I have always used and loved Apple's leather cases. For me, they offer the right amount of protection while remaining easy and slim enough to easily slide in and out my pocket. However, the wallet addresses two points for me. The ability to hold three cards and remove a card without separating the wallet from the phone.
  • Reply 5 of 6
    If you’re going for minimalist but willing to entertain lock-in to third party extension of MagSafe with more magnets, I’ve yet to see better than magbak.com. I love the add on attachment plates for dashboards and even customized an Etsy MagSafe charger, and it’s thin, trim, and elegant while the wallet is high quality and can stretch a bit to more cards if you work on it. But I wore down the odd sealant over the stitched edges on their leather wallet after 6 months. Perhaps that’s just an indicator I’m tough on leather, as I had previously nicked a leather apple case as well. So when the edge started getting rough, I finally switched to the mentioned Moft wallet that has proven nearly indestructible - from abrasion to immersion - while still attaching well to any MagSafe case or bare iPhone, including a current low priced Spigen. 
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