Apple’s MagSafe Wallet: does it deliver or slip?

Paul Alvarez

iPhone 12 with MagSafe Wallet

As soon as I saw the leather wallet option as one of the new MagSafe accessories for the iPhone 12; the minimalist in me knew I had to try it. The MagSafe idea alone for wireless charging on the iPhone was exciting with the ability to not have to worry about overnight charging mishaps, but other magnetic accessories surprised me.

I have always loved the idea of a iPhone wallet-case combo, but due the size and cost of Apple’s version and the fact that don’t normally like cases on my phone, I could never keep it for very long. I have used a wallet case a few times while traveling but every time I get home I take it off and forget about it.

The appeal of the MagSafe wallet provides two benefits that I feel will make me stick with it. The first is the fact that I do not have to have a case on my phone to use it. The fact that it just sticks to my phone and can be there whenever I want is super useful. The second is the fact that I can take it off and put it back on effortlessly (with magnet magic).

So for the most part I don't have it on since I prefer to have my phone case-less. The fact that I can choose to have it on or off without struggle is a really awesome feature. I honestly find wallets to be a pain. I like to use Apple Pay as much as possible since it is just so much easier and usually have my phone in my hand anyway. So having a card or two attached to the back of the phone when needed is great.

Though, some concerns also arose, especially after many had the following criticisms. For one, it can be difficult to get cards out of the wallet. Second, in some instance the wallet will fall off easily when putting my phone in my pocket (especially when I am putting it in my skinny jeans the were just washed and dried). And third, you can only fit up to 3 cards in the wallet — really only 2 cards comfortably.

It wasn’t enough for me to not try it out for myself though, and in all honesty, most of their critisms can be true in one way or another, but feel that they are either not that big of a deal or are not as bad as described.

For instance, pulling the cards out can be tricky but I don’t want my cards to be able to come out that easy from my wallet. Especially one that is sitting on the back of my phone facing outward. I also find that only being able to carry a few cards is a plus not a negative — forcing me to be more intentional on what I actually need to take with me.

As for the magnets not being strong enough to stay on the phone when putting it in your pocket, not an issue at all. I, like the Basic Apple Guy¹, find no issues when sliding my phone in and out of my pocket with the wallet attached. If anything, it took me a while to get the damn thing off when I needed to pay for something with one of the cards inside.

I was able to try the MagSafe Wallet with a MagSafe Silicon Case for the iPhone 12 and I did notice that the wallet wasn’t as strong when on the case compared to directly attaching to the phone. I didn’t feel like it was that much easier to slip off when putting in my jeans pocket but you can definitely notice it isn’t as secure when attached to the case.

I don’t know if this is because of the Silicon material on the case or if the magnets in the case are not as strong as the ones on the back of the iPhone. Either way it is something to remember when thinking about this wallet if you choose to have a case on your phone as well.

The quality of the wallet, like many of Apple’s leather accessories, feels premium. Over time, I think the wallet will wear into a beautiful patina and the slot will become easier to slide the cards in and out. The stitching is really nice and though the back of the wallet is stiff, due the magnets and protective shield, the outside is soft and sports a subtle Apple logo.

All in all, the wallet feels solid in the hand without the phone. $59 it is a lot for such a minimal wallet but the utility of MagSafe makes the cost worthwhile. I do think that it makes the phone fit better in the hand while on. Some of my complaints early on with the iPhone 12 design was the sharp edges not feeling as comfortable as the 11 design before it.

Whether you are rocking the MagSafe wallet on a iPhone 12 mini or iPhone 12 the wallet looks and feels great. I actually really like how the wallet looks on the iPhone 12 mini, it almost looks like the phone came that way. On the iPhone 12 the wallet looks pretty sweet with the blue edges of the back glass standing out. 12 and iPhone 12 mini with MagSafe Wallet

After using the iPhone 12 mini for a while with the MagSafe Wallet, when I moved the wallet to the 12, it felt very weird. On the mini, since the wallet sort of curves down to the edge of the phone, my hand felt comfortable hold the wallet and phone as one, it actually made for a very nice ergonomic setup.

Going back to the iPhone 12, with my fingers feeling glass around the sides of the wallet, it felt awkward to hold. After a while I got used to it though and it began feeling more comfortable but still do think that the iPhone 12 mini with the wallet is a super nice setup. I think the wallet added to me liking the mini so much.

I am hoping Apple brings even more interesting MagSafe accessories like the MageSafe Wallet. It is great to see Apple come up with things that still surprise me. There have been things I have hoped for, for years, that Apple did deliver (AirPods) and other things that I never knew I wanted or needed like this MagSafe Wallet. Wallet on a iPhone 12 with MagSafe Case

The thing about minimalism is that it starts with intention. You limit the things you have or create barriers to restrict abundance and choice. The MagSafe Wallet forced me to be more intentional in what I carry with me every day. Providing a minimal carry that not only functions great but looks really great too.

  1. He even made a time-lapse video of sliding the wallet and iPhone out of his pocket over and over again.

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My passion is in technology. I write reviews about gadgets that interest me but also provide some kind of value in my toolset to achieve my goals. Most of my writing is surrounded by technology and how it plays a role as a tool, help with productivity, and also provide mindfulness for a more fulfilled life.

Turlock, CA

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