I Have been a Twelve South fan since the BookBook, and now I needed something slimmer, so I give the Journal a go. Let’s go straight to my review below!
Design and features
The case surrounding the phone isn’t too bulky but seems like it will provide adequate protection in case of a tumble and, the wallet holds three cards comfortably. A big disadvantage to most Apple Folio is when you close the case, the Apple Folio case automatically locks the phone. However, this case does not. The screen remains lit and some unwanted functions may activate. My favourite feature is probably the kickstand for watching videos in landscape. I’d recommend getting a glass protector for your phone though, as it will protect your display from your dirty cards when the case is closed.
Upon my first impression, the Twelve South Journal Leather Folio case might be the best iPhone wallet you've ever come across for fashion. But when it comes time to use it, the experience isn't great. I mean it's beautiful but useless. A few of the Journal's design choices made me open the case when a phone call comes in. So, if you're in the market to use your iPhone occasionally, you can look somewhere else, but if fashion is what you're looking for, then the Twelve South Journal is the best phone wallet you can buy.
I typically wouldn't pay this much for a case, but it was the only wallet case I could find without a magnet closure because I like how it closes without locking the phone. I couldn't access my phone buttons then I realized I had to remove some strips on the side of the case. The strips were glued on with a strong glue that left a sticky residue that couldn't be removed from the casing. The case is very stiff but supposedly would break in over time. It hasn't at all, and can't be folded backwards, so it's nearly impossible to hold with one hand.
The high-quality leather on the overall case is thick enough to protect and provide an impressive feel. However, from the build quality through to the usability and design choices, the Journal is a misstep from Twelve South. If you want a phone wallet with quality, get other design like the BookBook, it’s way better. That’s why I rather choose other cases, but it comes again to your personal style.
If you like the modern slim design wallet folio case with grain leather and don’t mind about the quality and price, you can get the Journal Leather Folio Case but I think the Journal is the phone wallet I just want to carry around because it’s slim, not the phone case that I want with quality.