Review: Bellroy Phone Case


You may know Bellroy as a maker of classy, minimalist wallets - but that’s not all they do. I recently had a chance to review one of their newest iPhone cases, and I came away pretty impressed.

I am a big fan of my Bellroy Card Sleeve, so I was pretty excited to check out their newest case. The Phone Case is a fairly recent addition to the Bellroy lineup and comes in 1 Card, 3 Card and No Card variants. The 1 Card case I tested has a card slot on the back with a triangular cutout to aid in removing the card. It’s a fairly tight fit, but over time it becomes easier to insert and remove your card. The presence of a card doesn’t add much bulk, as the slot itself is recessed into the case; this does mean that the case is a bit bulkier than, for example, the Apple leather and silicone cases.

In terms of the looks, it’s a cut above Apple’s case - a very smooth, upscale look with none of the graininess or synthetic look that the Apple case exhibits after even the slightest wear. The polycarbonate shell’s contours are a bit more squared off as well, owing to the additional depth. The front edge sits just high enough to ensure the screen doesn’t contact any surfaces when face down.

This case has a couple of interesting quirks. One is that it’s incredibly snug - by far the most difficult case I’ve used in terms of getting a 6s Plus in and out. Some of this may come down to the slightly increased size of the 6s Plus over the 6 Plus (the newer phone adds 0.1mm to the height and width and 0.2mm to the depth) but it seems more like a conscious design choice. The lining is a lighter-coloured microfibre, which helps to minimise the chance of scratching if anything should (somehow) get between the case and the phone.


Another interesting inclusion is a slot for a spare SIM - it’s a fairly unusual addition that I’m guessing most people won’t use, but for those few users who carry around two SIMs I can see that it would be a cool feature.

One aspect of the design that I really liked was the presence of actual cutouts for the power and volume buttons. A lot of cases have a cutout only for the silent switch, leaving the other buttons covered with a raised segment. Having the actual buttons exposed gave a much more tactile feel when using the phone without looking or when in a pocket.


I was really looking forward to being able to use this case with my Myki (Melbourne’s public transport smartcard) to cut down on the number of things floating around in my pockets. Unfortunately, none of the many readers I tried was able to detect my Myki while it was in the case. This may be because the readers themselves are fairly low-power, so I’d be interested to hear from people in other states whether they’ve had any luck - Bellroy does say that public transport smartcards and contactless credit cards can be used with this case.

Overall, the Bellroy Phone Case is a stylish, classy way to keep your iPhone safe. If you’re in the market for a case that looks good, I’d recommend this one; if you’re looking for one that holds a card and/or a spare SIM, this is definitely the way to go.

The Bellroy Phone Case is available from and retails for $64.95 (6, 6s) or $69.95 (6 Plus, 6s Plus).

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I’d be very interested to hear if people manage to use Myki in this case.

I have a Belroy wallet at the moment and use my Myki from inside it but do note that I have to open the wallet up so it doesn’t also try to read my Credit card at the same time (where I get an error telling me to only present one card at a time).

Is there an error? Could it be the ApplePay RFID thing interfering??


The card slot appears to open downwards like a wombat’s pouch. Is that not odd?


Yeah, the opening is at the bottom. It’s really snug though, and there’s also a slight lip at the bottom - zero danger of the card slipping out.


I use the same case here in Hong Kong with my Smartcard octopus. Same as Londons oyster card. However, like the author, I had no luck using it with the case. Big bummer. Anyone have any ideas how to solve the problem except cutting out a bigger area?


I’d passed the feedback on to Bellroy regarding Myki, but if it’s not working with two of the bigger smartcard implementations in the world then that probably indicates a bigger problem.

I’ll try it with Opal next time I’m in Sydney (within a few weeks) and if it doesn’t work then, I think Bellroy should consider removing any reference to smartcards from their marketing.


Let us know your results.
Meanwhile I’m thinking really whether I should cut open. It would look so ugly…


The phone case looks okay, seems like the card holder would eventually get loose (if not begin loose) and allow for cards to fall out of it.


I noticed the link in your profile and I have to say it seems a little on the nose to me that your first and only post on here is regarding a competitor’s product.


Sorry, I understand what you are saying. I was just speaking my mind as this is an issue i’ve had with cases in the past. I will not hide the fact that I too am in the industry so I certainly understand your concern. I am looking to become part of the community so I will be mindful of the way in which I contribute in the future.


I have the 3 card version of the case for the iPhone X and my myki can be read by the readers (newer ones haven’t tested the older reader)