Remember Wally? It is an attachable leather wallet for the iPhone 5 that came out earlier this year and was a real hit on Kickstarter. Now the team at Distil Union in beautiful Charleston, SC, have decided that they'd like to protect your iPhone 5 a bit more and today they're introducing the Wally Case for iPhone 5 (US$40 pre-order on Kickstarter).
What's different? The original Wally stuck to the back of your iPhone 5 with a nano-suction material, but didn't offer any protection to the sides of the phone. Wally Case takes a polycarbonate frame with a scratch-resistant coating, and then adds that luxurious Argentinian vegetable-tanned leather wallet with the convenient pull-tab that makes accessing your cards and cash so easy.
The Distil Union team sent me a Wally Case prototype to try out -- note that it uses a clear polycarbonate case while the actual production models will use either black or white polycarbonate. The leather comes in black or brown, and if the original Wally is any indication, it will get a nice patina over time that looks just great.
The case is much stiffer and sturdier than most of the polycarbonate cases we review here at TUAW, and I hope that Distil Union plans to keep using a similar thickness for production models. Full openings at the top and bottom of the case make it simple to insert and remove your iPhone 5.
One thing I'd like to see in the production models would be to have the leather cover both sides of the case; at the present time, it only covers the right side (looking at the front of the iPhone 5). Having a strip of leather on the lower-left side beneath the volume buttons would add to the leather feel when holding the Wally Case in your hand. Adding a texture to those side pieces would also make the Wally Case much more "grippy."
The original Wally and Distil Union were helpful in personally getting me away from the dreaded Costanza wallet. Distil Union recommends holding a bare minimum of IDs and credit / debit cards in the Wally, then digitizing other cards for safekeeping in Lemon Wallet. I did that, and now I carry a fraction of the weight and thickness of cards that I used to.
While the Wally Case Kickstarter project has just started, I'd venture a guess that it will be just as successful as the original Wally was. If you're in the market for a nice, protective iPhone 5 case that can also serve as a replacement for your wallet, look no further. The official Kickstarter video for the project is below.