iPhone 4 Case Review: Apolis Global Citizen Transit Issue Smartphone Wallet

Companies like Apolis don’t come around very often.  After I had agreed to review their latest offering, a wallet style case for the iPhone 4, I went to read up and learn more about the brand.  What I read really made me stand up and take notice.  Work conditions at the Chinese factory that produces the iPhone have been all over the news of late and details on the numerous suicides by the Chinese workers are shocking.  We’ve all read the stories about the less than stellar work conditions in factories that product sneakers and other brand named clothing too.

Apolis takes a utterly refreshing approach to they way they go about manufacturing their products and it’s one that I think should be considered as the blueprint for manufacturers in the future.  The team at Apolis “partners” with the manufacturers they select and they allow the market to determine the future of each of the items they product.  This season the group traveled to Vietnam and began product of the Transit Issue Smartphone Wallet.

But partnering with a factory isn’t all that revolutionary is it?  What Apolis does however is.  They traveled to Vietnam, got to know not only the workers at the factory but the people and the country of Vietnam too.  Before I get into the review of their iPhone 4 case sit back and watch the video diary below.  If you feel you’re watching an excerpt from the Travel Channel you’re not far off.  Real travelers know that in order to get the most out of an adventure you have to meet the people of the country you’re visiting and do what they do.  That’s just what Apolis did.

The Transit Issue Smartphone Wallet is available in four color variations:  Black, Dark Brown, Light Brown and Natural and each is made from a beautiful all natural leather.

The black version of the case I was sent for review arrived in a simple pouch that was marked with the country of origin (Vietnam) and the factory code where the case was made.

The inside of the case is embossed with the same information. Notice the subtle stitch threads which offer a nice contrast against the black leather of the case.

Inserting the phone into the case is quite easy.  You simply slide it down the leather cradle and that engages the pull tab that can be used to remove the phone from the case as needed.

Once you’ve got the case on the fit is ideal.  The force required to slide the iPhone 4 into the case is just enough that you feel secure in the fact that your phone isn’t going to fall out but easy enough that it’s not a struggle to get it in or out.  You’ll notice a good amount of “lay-on-the-table” design with the case so if you choose to lay your phone screen side down while it’s in the case the glass will be protected.

On the bottom of the case you’ll find three individual cutouts, one for the speaker, one for the iPhone 4’s main microphone and one for access to the 30-pin dock connector port.

On the left side of the case there’s essentially two cutouts.  One for the volume buttons and one for the vibrate switch.  Getting to both functions is easy.

Since this is a top-loading case the top of your iPhone 4 is left mostly exposed.  But this gives way to full access for the sleep/awake button, secondary microphone and headset jack.  It also means you’ll have no issue with headset jacks fitting no matter the size of the jack.

Since this is a wallet style case you get two slots on the back which can accommodate credit cards, ID, money, business cards or other items of similar size and shape.

Even with credit cards inserted into the two slots the iPhone’s camera lens and flash are still left exposed so you’re able to snap pictures or shoot video without removing your phone.

I’ve seen and even tested a few wallet style cases for the iPhone.  And while many of them are quite functional and even look good none that I’ve tested so far are as sophisticated as the Apolis Transit Issue Wallet.  If this case was only made from high quality leather, if it only fit the iPhone perfectly, if it only had the added feature of allow you to store credit cards, ID or other essential items that would be enough.  But the fact that it’s being made by a company that’s border line revolutionary in the way they care about the way they conduct business is the icing on the cake.  If you’re looking for a sleek and executive looking wallet case for your iPhone 4 that can easily go from the office to a night out on the town you’ll want to check out the Transit Issue Smartphone Wallet.

You can grab an Apolis Transit Issue Wallet of your own by visiting the company’s web site here.

Apolis also has their very own iOS application that helps keep you updated with what’s going on with the company.  You can grab it from the iTunes App Store here.

MSRP: $68

What I Liked: Quality leather in a variety of colors.  Great fit.

What Needs Improvement: Only two slots for wallet items.

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