DODOcase are responsible for the lovely Moleskine-like iPad cases and the texturally delicious BOOKback, and when they produced a new line of cases for iPhone/iPad/MacBook Air, I ordered one for my new iPhone 5 immediately.
The case consists of a khaki (they call it “sage”) waxed cotton sleeve lined with orange cotton material (some of their web pages talk about felt, but this isn’t), with a bridle colour (tan) leather wrapper forming a pocket on either side. There is a label sewn inside, and some orange stitching on one side, which is a nice visual touch. It’s pretty, and the wax isn’t the thick layer you find on Barbour and Belstaff jackets that covers everything you touch for a very long time.
My phone slips in very easily, and would slip out equally easily if I held the wallet upside down, which I don’t – this isn’t a problem. The two pockets I am using to replace a card case and money clip, so one hold two credit cards (and could hold an id easily enough as well), and the other hold a few bank notes. There are still a couple of cards left in my card case, but I don’t really need to carry them.
I had intended to carry the wallet in my front jeans/trousers pocket, exactly where I carried the card case and money clip (but with the iPhone in the other front pocket), but it hasn’t worked out that way, as the wallet with the iPhone is significantly larger. As a result, I have mostly moved the wallet to a jacket inside breast pocket. I can easily slip the iPhone in and out of the wallet without removing the wallet from my jacket pocket. This has been convenient so far; I will probably experiment with putting it back in my trouser pocket and shuffle around my pen-knive and handkerchief to find the optimum fit.
With the iPhone out of the case, the cards would easily fall out of the wallet if held upside down; with it in the case, they are a snug fit. This is unlikely to be a problem with my usage pattern, although I would advise owners to be careful of leaving the wallet sitting on a table, etc – exactly as with a normal wallet.
I find it useful to stow my iPhone “head down”, meaning with the connectors (headphone jack and Lightning connector) showing, as then I don’t have to remove it to charge, and can listen to music with the iPhone still in the wallet and in my pocket. I have noticed it occasionally turning on as I put the phone back in, which could be my fumbling, but I suspect is the top edge on/off switch being activated from the “head down” insertion. This isn’t a problem at all, as I keep a passcode active, so no butt-dialling.
I’ve had it for over a week now, and I like the overall feel; the materials are indeed durable and the leather feels luxurious. There is some sign of a patina starting to form on the leather, and the waxed cotton should do the same.
The quality of the materials and manufacturing, as expected from DODOcase, is excellent. As it isn’t an exact match for my previous use pattern, as is replacing several different items, I still have to fully adapt to its use, but I am confident that will happen in time. I like it: a lot.
Update: 18 January 2014.
I still like the things about the case that I liked originally: it looks and feels good. It is true that it has worked its way to a much looser fit, with a new iPhone 5S and much use. During that time I also tried some other cases: the TwelveSouth SurfacePad, and the Saddleback Leather iPhone5 Case. In short, the SurfacePad is very slimline, but when open and folded back, the front cover blocks the camera; and the Saddleback Leather case is still new, but very appealing.
I think I have settled on using cases, rather than wallets or covers for the iPhone. I want the protection from coins and keys, but I also want free access to the phone, so a removable case is my preference. On those factors, the DODOcase is good: but the Saddleback Leather case is better. Any change like this has ripple effects: I have moved to a SimpleWallet for cash and cards, rather than a (only slightly larger) card case plus money clip. Trying to combine the functions with the DODOcase was the triggering step, but the loose hold on my phone, and the fact that the cards and case are only half covered in the case pockets made me go back to the wallet and case combo.