Over the past year we've seen quite a few wallet cases for the iPhone. Some of them tried to stow an iPhone inside of a wallet, which made it difficult to use unless you pulled the iPhone out of its protective shelter. Others used the idea of sticking a wallet (usually just slots for a few credit cards) on the back of an iPhone or iPhone case. CAZLET is an iPhone wallet case from Australian manufacturer KYNEZ that made it through Kickstarter and is now in production. Starting at US$39, the CAZLET might just be the one iPhone wallet case you need to get your phone and everything else into one pocket.
Specifications for US size CAZLET
Dimensions: 5.9 x 3.15 x .71 inches (15 x 8 x 1.8 cm)
Weight (empty): 2.11 oz (60g)
Can hold: iPhone 5/5s/5c, four cards (ID or credit/debit), 20 US banknotes, six coins, one SIM card, one SIM removal tool, cleaning pad (minimum)
Accessories: Coin pocket, hand strap, ID sleeve, card band, cleaning pad
Materials: Nubuck leather, Cordura, YKK zipper
I have to admit that I like the looks of the CAZLET. The iPhone 5s slides right into a "pocket" on the front of the CAZLET, and with the TIF (Touch ID Friendly) version of the case, there's a nice cut-out making it easy to unlock your phone. There's also an HBS (Home Button Sheltered) version for the iPhone 5 or 5c.
The Nubuck leather is very smooth with almost a suede-like feel to it. Stitching is well done, and there are orange thread highlights to show users where the hidden on/off and volume switches are. Yes, you can use them through the case, which is nice since you won't need to slide your phone out to be able to use it for just about anything.
Your iPhone's bottom is going to be wide open to the world; that's not only for easy removal of your phone, but for charging it with the CAZLET installed.
The inside of the CAZLET is the amazing place -- like the TARDIS, it's a lot bigger on the inside. On one side you can see the Cordura that holds the iPhone in place. In the center "spine" of the CAZLET you'll find an orange hanging strap, while the other side has the wallet and holds accessories. The review CAZLET came with all of the goodies, including the coin pocket, hand strap, ID sleeve, card band (holds a bunch of credit/debit cards together) and a cleaning pad. There's also a SIM removal tool option, and a tiny "nook" for a SIM card.
Having tried a lot of iPhone wallet cases, I was dubious about the CAZLET. Most of the time I find that the more wallet-like iPhone wallet cases are better used as wallets, while the less wallet-like ones are almost unusable due to a lack of space. The CAZLET appeared to have a lot of space inside, but I wanted to see if it could replace my existing Waterfield Finn Wallet and serve as a case as well.
That Finn Wallet contains a lot: six credit cards, twelve ID, insurance, and membership cards, and a handful of bills. I decided to try putting the credit cards and membership cards into the card band, the ID card into the ID sleeve, and the cash in the middle of the wallet. Well, I wasn't able to put all of the cards into the case -- but then again, I have way too many of them.
So for me, the CAZLET isn't going to work. But most people have a much more reasonable number of cards in their wallets and for them I'd say this wallet case is a good bet. The iPhone fits snugly into the front pocket of the CAZLET, and although it didn't align my iPhone perfectly within the cutout on the front of the wallet case, it still looked pretty darned good. I had no issues using the iPhone while it was installed in the CAZLET, with the pass-through buttons for power and volume working perfectly.
The construction of the CAZLET is top-notch, and the ecosystem of accessories is astounding. Buying a CAZLET that's fully loaded can be a bit expensive. Take the US TIF version at $65, add the ID sleeve at $2, card band at $4, coin pocket at $4.50, hand strap at $6, SIM eject tool for $1.50, and you're talking about a total price tag of US$83. That is less expensive than buying a quality iPhone case and a quality leather wallet together, so be sure to consider that as well when making your decision.
KYNEZ's CAZLET is a new entry to the iPhone wallet case market and does a remarkably good job of holding your iPhone and a wallet-full of cash and cards. The company has provided a lot of handy accessories for the CAZLET so that it will fit almost everyone's needs. It looks good, the construction is topnotch, and all in all it's one of the first combo iPhone wallet/cases that I've seen that really does the job.
Rating: 3-1/2 stars out of 4 stars possible
As much as my iPhone 5s would probably love to live in a CAZLET, our editorial policies forbid us from holding onto review items so one lucky TUAW reader is going to get a fully loaded CAZLET valued at $83. Here are the rules for the giveaway:
Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
The entry must be made before April 18, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
You may enter only once.
One winner will be selected and will receive a CAZLET and accessories valued at US$83.