I’ll be honest: I’ve never used an accessory for my gadgets that was produced by an Asian company. Asian accessories have been notoriously characterized as being cheap knock-offs of what’s popular in the country their attempting to get their product in. Admittedly, when I was contacted by Foxjail to review two of their cases, I was skeptical. I wasn’t sure what would be said, come time for the review. Honestly, I was afraid that the review would be full of me iterating things that are wrong with the product: how cheap the material feels and how the case doesn’t *quite* fit. Thankfully, I couldn’t be more wrong. The Simple Block Diary case and the Minimalism are, hands down, the nicest cases I’ve used or seen come from an Asian market (in this case, Korea). Hit the jump to read more.
Simple Block Diary Case
The Simply Block Diary Case, herein referred to as the SBDC, is a folio-style case for the iPhone 5. Made of natural leather with nickel alloy accents, the case feels far from cheap. The leather produces a near-looking wear after use, and the nickel accents provide great aesthetics.
Installing your phone in the SBDC is simple. The inside of the case features another case of sorts, one that looks like many of the snap-on cases available on the market today. Simply insert your phone, button side first, and you’ve got a nice, secured fit.
Since the case is a folio-style case, all of your ports and buttons are available. I had no trouble accessing them in the slightest.
The front of the SBDC features a nickel-alloy accent with the Foxjail logo. It looks nice and contributes to the overall clean look of the case. Furthermore, one of my favorite features of the SBDC is the earhole cutout. You can answer a call and close the flap while continually talking. This solves a couple of problems brought up by a lot of consumers using folio-style cases: the fact that 1.) you look silly talking on what looks like a notebook, and 2.) how uncomfortable/awkward it is to hold a folio-style case up to your ear with the flap open.
The back of the case features another nickel-alloy accent that runs the length of the phone. The accent reads: “The Foxjail Simple Block Diary” on one end and “Designed by Jin” on the opposite end. While I do enjoy the look of the accent, I could do without the text on it. The camera cutout is clean and small, but doesn’t produce any problems when using the camera.
The inside of the SBDC features a soft-touch material, along with pockets for two cards. In my experience, I don’t enjoy placing my cards in my phone case. Although they can act as an all-in-one solution for your phone and wallet needs, they add a bit of bulk and don’t allow the case to close completely. You’re left with what looks like a book whose front cover just won’t close all the way. I prefer to keep my important cards in my wallet.
The SBDC is a surprisingly good case from an Asian market. Foxjail has made me a believer in the idea that not all products from Asian companies aren’t cheap knock-offs and that there are premium products to be found. You just have to look for them. You can check out the SBDCon Foxjail’s website for information, and purchase it on Amazon.
Pros: Fantastic design and surprisingly good quality
Cons: Putting cards in the case adds too much bulk and doesn’t allow the case to close all of the way
Minimalism for iPhone 5
Next, we’ll take a look at one of Foxjail’s other offerings: the Minimalism for iPhone 5. The Minimalism borrows *a lot* of features from the SBDC, but has it’s own unique spin on a couple of things.
The Minimalism is also a folio-style case. You install your iPhone in the same exact fashion, too: simply insert it into the existing snap-on case inside of the case.
The Minimalism is made of the same exact material as the SBDC, too. It feels high quality, and wears nicely. I was sent the Turquoise Mint color, and I really like it.
The front of the case features the same earhole cutout for talking on the phone while the case is closed.
The back of the case features another small cutout for the camera and doesn’t product any sort of problems with the flash. If you notice, the back of the case also features a line of wear directly down the middle of the case. At first, I thought that I might have been sent a defective unit, but it actually has a purpose: the stand function. The stand functions works okay, but it’s nothing special by any means. You have to get it just right to stay up, and there seems to only be one angle that actually is comfortable for viewing. Nonetheless, it’s a nice feature that’s common to many folio-style cases.
The inside of the Minimalism features soft-touch material with a silhouette of the Foxjail logo embossed in a pattern. It looks really nice, and is actually one of my favorite things about this case. There are also two card pockets inside the case, but much like the SBDC, I prefer not to use them due to the inability to completely close the case that occurs when you put cards in it.
The Minimalism is very similar to the SBDC, with the stand function being the main difference. I personally like the absence of the nickel-alloy accents, but I feel that’s simply a matter of preference. If you’re into the SBDC, but want a cleaner look, then the Minimalism may be for you. You can get information on the Minimalism here.
MSRP: Not specified
Pros: Same great design as the SBDC with a few nice differences
Cons: Cards still bulk the case up too much