HEX Free Wired Code Wallet: An iPhone 4S Case with a Fatal Flaw



Here at Gear Diary we work hard to give as honest and complete a report as possible when we review a product. That means we will point out the things we like but also point out the things that need improvement. It means we will rave about something we love but we will be critical of items we don’t. And when we recommend an item you can rest assured that we REALLY liked it. And when we warn you off it is because we value and appreciate your trust in us. And when there is an item that we like but cannot recommend because of a single flaw it pains us. And we try to be as fair as possible. That’s the situation with the iPhone case we are reviewing today. Great case, fatal flaw…

It comes from HEX and is part of the Code Wallet line. This particular case is the limited edition HEX Free Wired Code Wallet. It is $49.95 and available here on the ShopHex website. It is a great case but it has a single flaw that makes it unusable, at least for me. What is that flaw? We’ll get there.

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From HEX:

Just like a G6, we give you the Hex Free Wired Code wallet for iPhone for and for ask Straight out of the new HEx Far East Movement Artist Signature Capsule. All the features and functionality you have come to expect lockdown in this limited edition package.

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Genuine leather

Elastic enclosure

Slim profile design

Card slots

Quick release design

Improves protection

Way cool

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HEX Free Wired Code Wallet has a nice look and feel. The case is made from leather and it is quite pleasing to the touch. The HEX name/logo is embossed in the lower right. It is small and unobtrusive enough that this “logo-hating guy” isn’t at all bothered by it. An elastic strap keeps the cover securely closed.


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One side of the interior of the case has a plastic frame for the iPhone. The other side is unfinished leather that has slots for three cards. It is a bit snug but the cards will fit. At the same time I do have a small concern that the top card will be in direct contact with the iPhone’s screen. I probably worry a bit too much about such things but the idea of hard plastic coming into frequent contact with my iPhone would likely lead me to not use the card aspect of this case if it were to become my daily driver. It won’t become my daily driver because, while it is a great case, it has a single flaw that makes it unusable, at least for me.

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After a bit of trial and error I discovered that the best way to get the phone into the case is to put the right side (the side without the buttons) in first. Once it is seated securely I pushed the opposite side into the case until it clicked in place. The case grabbed onto the iPhone quite well and, at no time, did I have any concern the device would  accidentally pop out.

All of this is great and I would love the case were it not for the one single flaw I keep mentioning. What is it? I’m getting there.

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When in the case with the cover on top the speakers and dock connector remain exposed. Of course you aren’t going to dock the iPhone when it is in this case. That should be fairly obvious from the start. You can, however, sync and charge the phone without removing it from the case. That’s a good thing since removing the phone is not as simple as it might appear. Yes, this case gets and keeps a good grip on the iPhone.

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When you look from the top you can see that the sleep/awake button, as well as the 3.5mm headphone jack and noise canceling microphone are also readily accessible.

There is a lot to like with the HEX Free Wired Code Wallet. It looks and feels great. It protects the iPhone beautifully. The elastic strap can keep the cover in place OR can be used to keep the cover folded back. Yes, it is a great case but it has a single flaw that makes it unusable, at least for me.

What is that single flaw that means I, for one, won’t be using it. Simple, it doesn’t have a cutout for the camera. This was also the case with the Twelve South BookBook for the iPhone 4/4S but that case made it rather simple to push the iPhone up and expose the camera lens when it was time to take a photo. With this case you actually need to completely remove the phone from the case in order to take a picture. Add in the fact that it can be a bit challenging to remove the phone from the case and… this case is PERFECT… if you don’t use your iPhone to take pictures all too often. I do use my iPhone all the time for pictures, so this case is not the case for me.

You can learn more and get your own here on the ShopHex website.

MSRP: $49.95

What I Like: Leather; Highly protective; Well made; Slim profile; Elastic band keeps things in place; Phone held securely

What Needs Improvement: Can be difficult to remove the iPhone once it is in the case; No cutout for the camera means using the iPhone to take pictures is a complete pain

Categories: Reviews

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3 replies

  1. Good eye Dan, I went through the same thing, love the design but ended up with a $12 cheapie that had the cut out for the camera.  Problem with my cheapie, is that it does’t hold as snuggly as the clip in types.  Mine slides in and then occludes some of the screen.. Oh well..